Dynamic Reconfiguration of Algebraic Compositions

   School of Computing & Communications

   Friday, September 30, 2022  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Description

Abstract computation devices can be composed together algebraically using well-defined operators, in order to build new units of the same type that perform more complex behaviours. Although manually composing computations is suitable for closed environments, fixed compositions are not sufficient to deal with open environments in which specifications are constantly changing.

To address this problem, we propose an exciting PhD topic in the field of Theoretical Computer Science, whose aim is to lay the foundations of a formal model for dynamically changing the structure of pre-defined algebraic compositions. Through this model, new computational behaviours shall appear on the fly with minimal or no human intervention.

Candidate Profile

The appointment requires an MSc degree in Computer Science, Mathematics or a closely related area, with excellent marks in BSc and MSc degrees. Ideal candidates will have experience with theoretical aspects of Computer Science such as type theory, abstract algebra, category theory, formal languages and models of computation.

Studentship Details

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship for up to 3 years, which will cover full tuition fees and a monthly payment for living expenses. As part of the award, the PhD candidate will be required to assist with two or three computer science modules at Lancaster University College at Beijing-Jiaotong University. This will comprise one 12-week trip per year to Beijing, China, for which flights, accommodation and visa application fees will be covered.

For the rest of the year, the student will be working on their research project in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK, under the supervision of Dr Damian Arellanes.

How to Apply

For entry in January 2023, please send the following documents to by Friday 30 September 2022:

  • A CV summarising education, awards, positions, academic work and scientific publications.
  • Academic transcripts of MSc and BSc degrees.
  • 1-page personal statement (motivation to work on this project and a little about your background).

For international applicants without a degree taught/researched in English, please also send proof of English proficiency according to the following requirements: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/entry-requirements/postgraduate-english-requirements/#computing-and-communications-442540-1.


Arbab (2004). Reo: a channel-based coordination model for component composition. In Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, 14(3):329-366.
Bruni et al. (2008). Modelling Dynamic Software Architectures using Typed Graph Grammars. In Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, 213(1):39-53.
Lau et al. (2004). Constructive Specification for Compositional Units. In International Symposium on Logic-Based Program Synthesis and Transformation, pp. 198-214.
Lio et al. (2022). Runtime Composition of Systems of Interacting Cyber-Physical Components. ArXiv e-prints, arXiv:2205.13008.
Wermelinger and Fiadeiro (2002). A graph transformation approach to software architecture reconfiguration. In Science of Computer Programming, 44(2):133-155.
Nahabedian et al. (2022). Assured automatic dynamic reconfiguration of business processes. In Information Systems, 104:1-19.
Khakpour et al. (2016). Synthesizing structural and behavioral control for reconfigurations in component-based systems”. In Formal Aspects of Computing, 28(1):21-43.
Castro et al. (2010). Towards Managing Dynamic Reconfiguration of Software Systems in a Categorical Setting. In Proceedings of the International Colloqium on Theoretical Aspects of Computing, pp. 306-321.

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