Seminar: Public Safety, Counter Terrorism and Mathematics of Proof


Public Safety, Counter Terrorism and Mathematics of Proof

Evening Seminar by Prof. Chris Johnson, University of Glasgow.

Monday 12 May, 2008 - BCS office, London

Held in conjunction with the BCS FACS group.

The meeting was held at the BCS in London, commencing at 5:45, with tea from 5:15. Chris Johnson will speak for about an hour, followed by questions. Attendance at the meeting is free of charge, but you must register in advance. After the seminar, attendees can, at their own expense, join the speaker for informal discussions over dinner.

Prof. Chris Johnson of the University of Glasgow described a number of recent projects to improve public safety by supporting counter terrorism. Most of this work was based either on the analysis of specific previous attacks, including the use of Improvised Explosive Devices in Iraq and Afghanistan, or through advanced simulation techniques, for example developing crowd models to plan the evacuation of future Olympic venues.

Formal methods have not been used to support any of this detailed work. Instead, the aim has been to create multi-disciplinary teams that work together to create computational tools for counter-terrorism based on detailed domain knowledge.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to develop more general theories that might be used to support predictions about future targets or strategies for attacking public infrastructures. In contrast, this talk suggested that mathematical specification techniques and associated abstractions can be used to generalise beyond the specific focus of our previous work on public safety and counter terrorism.

Further information

An event flyer is available.

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