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Tom Chothia

Department of Computer Science
University of Edinburgh
Rm 1613, JCMB
Kings Buildings

Mobile Agents

The emergence of agent based systems is signalling the beginning of one of the most important paradigm shifts in computer science since object oriented method and client/server based distributed systems. This paradigm shift will obviously require technology development, but of equal importance, or perhaps even more importance, it will also require substantial education and methodology development. It is not hard to predict that agent technology is an important emerging technology, since it is already beginning to send shock waves through the computer industry - L.L. Thomsen and B. Thomsen


I am a PhD student at Edinburgh University. My main interests are in Global Computation and Mobile Agents. My particular interest in this field is dealing with notions of locality. The ability to call local resources with uniform commands is fundamental to mobile computation. This has led me to investigate a notion of binding a channel so that it has a number of mutually exclusive local areas. Communication on the channel is then allowed inside these areas but not between then. I have developed a boxed pi-calculus called the local area calculus that captures this notion.

  • This work is introduced in a paper co-authored with Ian Stark called A Distributed Calculus with Local Areas of Communication . This paper was presenting at HLCL 00 and is now avaliable in ENTCS volume 41.2.
  • I study the encoding of this calculus into the pi calculus in the paper Encoding Distributed Areas and Local Communication into the pi-calculus, which I will be presenting at EXPRESS 01, also with Ian Stark.
  • Posters description this work are available here and here. These posters was displayed at Forte/pstv 2000 and at the Edinburgh Informatics Colloquiums.
  • I gave a talk on the Local Area Calculus at BCTCS 16. My slides are available here and a draft paper based on my talk is available as dvi or pdf.

  • Teaching

  • I am the a teaching assistant on the CS4 Computer Security course.
  • I am taught the Theory Postgraduate Course: Computation and Logic. Jim Laird's course notes are avaliable here. The TPG Course Handbook also contains useful information and is avaliable here.
  • I am tutoring CS1, the web pages are here.
  • I am providing e-mail help for the CS3 Individual Programming Project. Please read all of the webpage documentation before mailing ipphelp with a question.
  • Past Work

    Past work I have done:
  • 1998: I work on the synthesis of logic programs.
  • 1997: I wrote a gene finder for the Human genome project.
  • 1996: I wrote a nondeterministic functional language in ML. There is my report as a dvi file.
  • Other Stuff
  • An old CV as a dvi file and as a text file.
  • CNN World News.
  • BBC News.
  • Doonesbury.
  • The A.I. Department.
  • The Ministry of sound web site.
  • A list of books I've read recently.
  • Photos from two old conference trips.