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Joël Ouaknine to give BCS Roger Needham Lecture 2010

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This year's BCS Roger Needham Lecture will be given by Joël Ouaknine from the University of Oxford Computing Laboratory. It will be on 4 November at the Royal Society, London. 

Our society is becoming increasingly reliant on computer systems; think of mobile phones, Sat Nav, the internet, and so on. A modern car typically harbours tens to hundreds of microprocessors, themselves running several tens of million lines of code, controlling such critical components as fuel injection, airbags and anti-lock braking systems. Many of these devices operate in the background, reacting in real-time to a complex environment and subject to a wide array of functional and timing constraints. A major modern scientific challenge is to devise effective methodologies for accurately modelling and analysing such real-time computer systems, in order to verify and guarantee that they function as they are intended to.

In this talk, Joël Ouaknine will describe some of the fundamental paradigms and algorithms for reasoning about real-time systems. Perhaps surprisingly, several basic questions of decidability and complexity turn out to be remarkably difficult, and a number of problems remain open after some two decades of work in the field.

Joël Ouaknine will present, at a high level, some of the deep connections that are found between real-time verification and mathematical logic, automata theory, combinatorics and graph theory.

Finally, the presentation will discuss how we expect to translate parts of the rich body of theoretical work in real-time systems into concrete engineering achievements, in the context of ongoing collaborations with industrial partners from the automotive and avionics sectors.

For more information on how to book a place at the lecture visit the BCS website. Registration is at 6.30pm and the lecture will start at 7pm.

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