FORCES Project Workshop
September 1999


The third FORCES workshop took place in the Computing Department, University of Lancaster. The workshop took place in SkyLab, located on the C (top) floor of the Computing Department. The Department supplied projection facilities for a PC as well a standard overhead projector and screen. The telephone number of the Department for messages is 01524-593-802.

The following hotel was suggested for visiting project members: Royal Kings Arms, Market Street, Lancaster LA1 1HP (phone 01524-32451, fax 01524-841-698). This is in the centre of Lancaster, available at a discounted Department rate of £52.50 per person per night. From the railway station, walk towards the centre of Lancaster. The hotel is about 100 metres on the right, at traffic lights next to Waterstone's.

Mon. 6th September 1999

The following was only for members of the Project Management Committee. The management committee took place in the Board Room of the Royal Kings Arms as above.

19.00Project Management CommitteeKen Turner, Stirling (chair),
Gordon Blair, Lancaster (secretary)

Tue. 7th September 1999

The following topics were open to all project members and invited parties. Where available, presentation slides may be obtained by ftp (PDF or PowerPoint compressed with gzip). To download these, click on the title of a talk.

See also the supplementary information collected after the workshop in response to participant's questions.

09.00The Next Generation NetworkDave Marples, Telcordia
For some twenty to thirty years the telecommunications network has been based around the concept of switching 64 Kbit/sec channels around a network, using a separate control infrastructure. This architecture has served well but as we move into the twenty first century and computer networks become ubiquitous, then moves to unify computer and telecommunication networks are afoot with the promise of higher performance and cost savings. This interactive discussion outlines some of the changes that are occurring with respect to these Next Generation Networks with particular emphasis on the implications for the Features and Facilities that they provide.
09.30Open SignallingMark Banfield, Lancaster
10.00General Discussion on Next Generation Networks
10.45The Importance of ArchitectureJohn Evans, Marconi Communications
11.15What is An Architecture?Ken Turner, Stirling
The term architecture is much (ab)used in computer science. Is it an abstract model (as in analysis) or a detailed structure (as in design)? Is it a static representation (structural) or a dynamic one (behavioural)? How may architectures be created, compared or refined?
11.45General Discussion on Architecture
13.15Feature Interaction Work at Strathclyde UniversityEvan Magill, Strathclyde
13.45Feature Interaction Work at UKCJohn Derrick, Kent
This talk will provide a brief overview of the feature interaction work at Kent. This consists of applying techniques for combining partial specifications written in the formal specification language Z. The feature to be checked for interaction is modelled as a partial specification consisting of a Z operation. The underlying system is taken as the other partial specification.
14.15General Discussion on Feature Interaction
15.00Report on ParlayRichard Kett, BT
15.30Formalising ChiselKen Turner, Stirling
Chisel is a notation defined by BellCore for informally capturing service/feature requirements. Its appeal lies in its simple graphical nature, coupled with the possibilities for translation into other formalisms. This talk will report work in progress on formalising Chisel in LOTOS and SDL.
16.00Modelling a Legacy Telecomms Switch with a Feature ManagerStephan Reiff, Glasgow
Feature Interactions have usually already been resolved within legacy telecommunications systems. However, enhancements in form of new features can reintroduce the problem. We propose a hybrid approach where a theory of interactions is developed to guide the operation of a feature manager which will detect and resolve interactions. The theory is developed hand in hand with a formal model of the feature manager, allowing us to experiment with different approaches. Once the feature manager is developed (i.e. the algorithms for detection and resolution have been developed) it can be deployed in an operational system that automatically detects and resolves interactions. The feature manager requires only observable information, i.e. messages communicated through the network, to achieve this aim - therefore it will be suitable for enabling third-party services to interwork with a bespoke switch. In this talk we report on initial results in modelling and identify certain issues that need to be covered by the theory of interactions.
16.30Concluding RemarksGordon Blair, Lancaster

Attendance List

Mark Banfield, Lancaster
Gordon Blair, University of Lancaster
Lynne Blair, University of Lancaster
Graham Clark, Marconi Communications
John Derrick, University of Kent
John Evans, Marconi Communications
David Hutchison, University of Lancaster
Richard Kett, BT
Mario Kolberg, University of Strathclyde
Evan Magill, University of Strathclyde
Vijey Thayananthan, University of Strathclyde
Dave Marples, Telcordia
Stephan Reiff, University of Glasgow
Ken Turner, University of Stirling

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Last Update: 15th July 2006