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[PVS] Funded PhD position (Formalising the Interface between Software-Hardware)

3-year funded Ph.D. position

Formalising the Interface between Software and Hardware (FISH)


Start Date: September/October 2008
 Foundations and Methods Group,
 Software Systems Laboratory,
 Trinity College Dublin

Supervisor: Andrew Butterfield Andrew.Butterfield@xxxxxxxxx


The aim of this project is to investigate the modelling of the interface between
hardware and software, with particular emphasis on Flash Memory devices.
The motivation for this work is to be able to contribute to a formally verified
model of a POSIX-aware file-store implemented with flash memory,
and so suitable for mission-critical data-collection applications
such as space probes.
This is part of a pilot project currently under way in the Grand Challenge
on Dependable Systems Evolution.

The research will use the techniques of the Unifying Theories of Programming (UTP),
and recent work on the language "Circus", and a variant called "slotted-Circus",
to explore the theory and practise of reasoning about the correctness
of software at the hardware interface level, incorporating techniques
for reasoning about the correctness in the face of certain classes of failure
whose occurrence is probabilistic and non-determinisitic.

We seek a student with an interest in modelling and verification,
with experience of at least one formal method (Z, VDM, B, CSP, pi-Calculus)
and skills with discrete mathematics, predicate calculus and theorem proving.
The candidate should have a good background in computer science, with
a good Bachelors or MSc degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or a similar

The funding covers fees, plus a stipend of 17,000+ euros.


Send applications, by email to

1. Detailed CV
2. Contact details for at least two referees
3. A clear statement as to why you would be suited for this research project.

See the project website for further details


Andrew Butterfield     Tel: +353-1-896-2517     Fax: +353-1-677-2204
Foundations and Methods Research Group Director.
School of Computer Science and Statistics,
Room F.13, O'Reilly Institute, Trinity College, University of Dublin