Roger Needham lecture 2004

Performance Evaluation Process Algebra

Speaker: Dr Jane Hillston, University of Edinburgh.

Dr Hillston explains how the compositional stochastic process algebra PEPA may be used to investigate and enhance the performance of software, hardware and other dynamic systems.

Performance-evaluation process algebra is a formal description language which can be used to represent the behaviour of dynamic systems in a rigorous and quantified way. PEPA models can then be analysed to predict the performance of a system, and be manipulated to investigate potential improvements to that system.

The success of the formalism is based on the interplay it captures between existing performance-modelling techniques and the abstract functional representation of process algebras. In particular, the composition of process algebra components brings benefits for model construction, manipulation and solution.

This lecture introduces PEPA, giving examples of its use, and explains some of the underlying theory which has allowed its practical application to a wide range of systems.