DYVERSE Networks: pushing the boundaries of formal verification

Primary supervisor

Additional information

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. The funding is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

The controlled motion of swarm satellites; the cooperation of several robotic systems to meet a common goal; the operation of large-scale electrical power networks with renewable generation sources; the automation of public transport scheduling systems in metropolitan areas; the synchronisation patterns of beta-cells in your pancreas; the self-organisation of cells: these are examples of interdependent, interacting, distributed and networked systems. Their operation is usually safety critical and demands the preservation of stability despite uncertainties and the recovery from contingencies minimising losses. Since they exhibit different transitions and switching behaviour patterns, they can be seen as hybrid systems. That is, systems which combine continuous and discrete, smooth and abrupt dynamics (discontinuities, discrete events).

To check that these systems satisfy some desired properties requires the application of methods beyond classical control engineering procedures or stability analysis techniques. To this end, the combination of formal verification methods from computer science and dynamical analysis techniques seems to be promising. This is one of the main aims of DYVERSE. DYVERSE is the DYnamical-driven VERification of Systems with Energy considerations. Here, energy refers to the abstract energy of dynamical systems, which is studied by means of the dissipativity theory. Dissipativity theory analyses dynamical systems behaviour by means of the exchange of energy with the environment. This project aims to expand the already-existing results on formal verification of hybrid systems within the project DYVERSE to networks.

The framework proposed here is general and applicable to a broad class of physical, biological and engineering systems. Depending on the student's interests, different application domains can be explored. This research would be part of the project DYVERSE (DYnamical-driven VERification of Systems with Energy considerations).

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • This project requires mathematical engagement and ability substantially greater than for a typical Computer Science PhD. Give evidence for appropriate competence, as relevant to the project description.
  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.
  • You will have good time management.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?
▲ Up to the top