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Research

This is the research website of David Llewellyn-Jones. Here you will find details about my research and work.

I am currently employed as a Reader in Computer Security at Liverpool John Moores University, working in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. I do very little teaching, but devote myself instead to research in the area of Component Composition in a Personal Ubiquitous Computing Environment. Until recently my work was funded by an EPSRC grant under the Next Generation Networking initiative.

This webpage is just a very brief page detailing some of my research and with links to papers and such. For more information, please visit one of the links above, or get in touch by email. To see a list of my publications, or some related websites, click on the links in the 'Navigate' box on the left.

About me

My portraitI originally studied Mathematics and Philosophy at St. Peter's College, part of the University of Oxford. Having completed my degree I then went on to do a PhD in Mathematical Logic and Model theory at Birmingham University under the supervision of Richard Kaye. For more information about this, please see the maths page on my personal site.

On completing my PhD I started work for Codemasters as a programmer, working on Toca Race Driver, a driving game. I stayed there for nearly two years, but eventually decided to move back into academia, to the position that I'm currently in here at Liverpool John Moores University.

Research interests

Below is a list of my research interests, with a brief outline of each of them.

  • Ubiquitous Computing Security: in 1991 Mark Weiser introduced a vision of computing in which devices are so pervasive that they became 'invisible'; so much part of our every day lives that we hardly notice them, in the same way text and writing is taken for granted nowadays. The vision has evolved a lot since then, but reality continues to move closer to it. In the meantime, security concerns have become a major issue for computer users. In a ubiquitous environment, security issues are even more prevalent, and their consequences are potentially more serious.
  • Network Security: a Ubiquitous Computing environment relies heavily on networking to achieve its effectiveness. Networking can also be seen to be the source of many security related threats. As such, network security constitutes a central part of my research.
  • Secure Component Composition: another characteristic feature of a Ubiquitous Computing environment is the constant interaction between components. This includes both networked appliance components and executable code components. This has important ramifications in terms of security, as the composition of multiple components can have unexpected effects on the security properties of a larger system. An important part of my research involves considering how component composition affects security properties, and how this can be used advantageously.
  • Code Analysis and Reasoning: establishing security properties of executable code can be difficult. One way to achieve this is by performing code analysis, in order to turn the code into a form of propositional logic that a computer can then reason about. The processes involved are exciting (to me!), and I'm very interested in researching techniques that can allow code analysis to be performed automatically and efficiently. Part of this work involves automatic proof generation, based on the logical statements obtained.
  • Digital Rights Management: devising community DRM techniques based on automated trust. The motivation for this work is to try to move away from draconian DRM models towards more acceptable schemes that allow communities to govern their own level of protection and enforcement.
  • Model Theory: my PhD area was in mathematical logic and model theory, considering the characteristics of the automorphism groups of models of Presburger Arithmetic. This is a very pure subject, but is fascinating in its own right.
  • Logic: whilst interesting in its own right as a pure subject, there is also scope for using results in the areas of logic and model theory to improve the way computers can reason about code through Direct Code Analysis. The aim is to use this work to improve the determination of security properties for code components.

Contact

I can be e-mailed at D.Llewellyn-Jones@livjm.ac.uk and will happily accept PGP encrypted e-mail using my public key. For more info about PGP and how to get PGP software, see the International PGP homepage.

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