Theories, techniques and tools for engineering

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Computing Sciences


Railway networks use a range of different signalling principles, for example route-based signalling, speed signalling, signalling using train protection systems such as the different levels of the European Train Control System, and Communication Based Train Control. Cost and practical constraints mean that there is a limit to the amount of each network that can be changed from one system to another in a given time period, as a result of which it is inevitable that networks use a mixture of signalling systems.

There is no single theory for rigorous analysis and simulation of such mixed systems, leading to a strong dependence on engineering judgement. This has the potential to lead to either over-design or accidental restrictions in capacity. In the worst case certain situations which have the potential to reduce safety levels may be missed.

The PhD study will develop such theories for modelling and verifying complex networks comprising areas with mixed signalling. The general aim is to come up with a general, open and extendable agent-based framework to enable capturing any type of signalling, legacy or new, and to assist signalling engineers in ensuring safety of such heterogeneous systems.

The theories will provide a formal foundation for fully automated verification of system safety that can be tool supported with the use of the advanced mechanised theorem proving.
As an important part of the study we will also develop techniques to support evaluation of heterogeneous systems' capacity.

The study will focus on supporting the application of such theories by a set of tools that have domain-specific interfaces and are scalable and useable.

The work will be driven by the needs of industry and conducted in a close cooperation with Siemens Rail Automation (Chippenham) to ensure that the results have potential to be deployed in real industrial settings.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510580/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2513782 Studentship EP/P510580/1 01/10/2016 30/12/2020 Paulius Stankaitis