Graph-theoretic and mathematically rigorous algorithmic methods developed
at the University of Hertfordshire have improved the applicability of
compiler technology and parallel processing. A compiler developed in the
course of a ten-year research programme at the university has been
successfully applied to a number of commercial problems by re-purposing
the research tool. NAG Ltd has adapted the tool into a commercial product
[text removed for publication]. Numerous applications of the mathematical
methods (such as type-flow graphs used conjointly for correctness and
optimisation) have been deployed by industry (including SAP, SCCH, German
Waterways Board) working closely with the university.
The Software Systems Engineering Group at UCL developed and patented
xlinkit, an approach that supports the validation of XML documents in
general and over-the-counter (OTC) derivative transactions expressed in
the Financial Products Markup Language (FpML) in particular. The
widespread adoption of FpML (95% of financial market participants now use
it for OTC transactions) has brought about a substantial reduction in
market and credit risk for financial institutions, by reducing the time
required to confirm derivative transactions from up to 10 days to at most
one day. In the year to June 2012 about $440 trillion OTC transactions
were executed worldwide. [text removed for publication]. Message
Automation, which markets a product including tools based on that patent,
has received £3 million revenue in the same period.
Semmle is a successful spin-out company set up by members of the UoA,
based on their research on program analysis. Semmle markets an
industrial-strength product allowing organisations with large software
systems to understand and manage their code bases. This business
intelligence platform started to be sold to prominent customers in 2008,
including [text removed for publication] NASA. NASA used it to help ensure
the safe landing of the Curiosity Mars Rover.
The success of the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) has been due in large
part to the technologies built around it for constraining, querying,
styling and otherwise processing XML documents. Research carried out at
Edinburgh has been instrumental in the creation and/or design of many of
these core XML technologies, including XSLT, XML Schema, XInclude, XQuery
and XProc. Edinburgh staff played key roles in bringing these technologies
into widespread use in both the private and public sectors through
participation in standards development work.
Research into the operational characteristics and applicability of
networks, carried out at the university in collaboration with groups at
Caltech and Sony
Systems, revealed the pressing need for a standard format that could be
used for storage and
exchange of mathematical models of such systems. Hertfordshire researchers
played a crucial role
in the initial design, dissemination and early exploitation of the Systems
Biology Markup Language,
SBML, now recognised as the de facto standard format for this purpose.
Several major scientific
publishers operating across academic boundaries require their authors to
use SBML, and 254
software tools, including MATLAB and Mathematica, are now SBML-compliant.
testify to a sizeable, international user-developer community that
biologists, mathematicians and software developers.
Research on software architectures and reengineering helped Portuguese IT
develop automated migration tools. A report by IT research company Gartner
in 2009 identified the
collaboration as one of the company's key strengths. The partnership
allowed ATX to sustain an
innovative R&D programme and win business in a competitive market.
Impact occurred via:
The same research also helped local SME Hunter Systems to redesign their
products for the Web.
Essex research into the practical deployment of computational grammar
theories, tools and techniques led to the expertise of Dr Doug Arnold
being sought between 2009 and 2011 by BAE Systems, a leading UK
manufacturer of advanced defence and security systems. Arnold advised the
company on the design of two prototype natural-language interfaces for
responding to emergency situations and sharing sensitive data across
organisations. The projects' goals were met and his contribution enabled
BAE Systems to develop feasibility-of-concept demonstration systems. His
practical expertise in Natural Language Processing provided the company
with an appreciation of the limits of particular tools and helped it to
avoid undertaking over-ambitious projects.
Modern processor architectures (networked multi/many-core nodes),
together with society's expectation of evermore-complex applications,
require fluent mastery of concurrency. To enable this mastery, in the last
two decades our group has taught, researched and developed fundamental
notions of concurrency, new programming languages
(occam-pi, and the KRoC toolset), libraries (JCSP, CCSP, C++CSP,
CHP), runtime systems (the KRoC/CCSP multicore scheduler) and tools
based on formal process algebra (Hoare's CSP, and Milner's pi-calculus).
Our work has had impact in providing new mechanisms for software
development in a number of sectors such as chip design, large-scale
real-time systems, formal interfaces and testing and the space industry.
Testimonials supporting this are available from a variety of industrial
and commercial sources (NXP Semiconductors, Big Bee Consultants, Philips
Healthcare, 4Links Ltd. and Microsoft Research Cambridge). The breadth of
impact of the work is evidenced by download statistics, as well as by
third-party contributions to libraries and documentation.
Analytical Software Design (ASD), based on Communicating Sequential
Processes (CSP) and the
Failures Divergences Refinement tool (FDR), has been developed and
patented by the specially
created Dutch company Verum. The new software, based on research in the
UoA, was released in
2009 and has allowed customers to build rigorous, error-free software
systems automatically by
specifying state machines. ASD, using FDR as its verification engine, has
produced many millions
of lines of verified code for customers including Philips Medical Systems,
Ericsson, FEI and ASML,
who typically report at least a 50% reduction in costs and a 90% reduction
Pioneering research into Inductive Logic Programming in the UOA led to the creation of Secerno
Ltd. From 2008 Secerno attracted investment of approximately $20m and successfully released
several updated versions of its product DataWall, based on this Oxford research. In May 2010
Oracle Corporation bought Secerno specifically to gain access to this technology, which now forms
a core part of Oracle's database protection and compliance products. Oracle continues to develop
the software, which is used across the globe by public entities and private companies to protect
databases from internal and external attack and to ensure that they comply with relevant
legislation. Customers include major businesses such as T-Mobile, which uses Database Firewall
to protect 35 million users.