Maryam Ghaffari Saadat

Maryam Ghaffari Saadat


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Research interests

I’m passionate about multidisciplinary research, particularly applying formal methods in analysis of socio-political systems. My doctoral thesis, completed at Leicester University, proposes a formal framework based on category theory that can be used to model and analyse complex systems. In such a framework, a complex system is modelled as a graph grammar (analogous to a linguistic grammar with an alphabet and a set of rules for constructing words and sentences) and its behaviour (analogous to the language corresponding to a linguistic grammar) is captured comprehensively and efficiently by the process of unfolding. The main contributions of this thesis are twofold: 1) improving expressiveness by extending the unfolding theory to graph grammars involving data attributes and/or conditions that constrain application of rules when certain structural patterns are present; 2) applying the extended unfolding theories in analysis of complex systems such as escrow services, token-curated registries for smart contracts, and resource-exchange networks. This framework can be employed in conjunction with other formal methods (e.g. game theory, Machine Learning, graph theory) and is especially useful for analysing adaptive complex systems, also known as autonomous systems. 

I'm currently working as part of the Autonomy and Verification Group on the EPSRC-funded "Science of Sensor Systems Software" (S4) research programme. Broadly speaking, my role is to develop, extend, and apply formal verification and development techniques for sensor system software. More specifically, I'm working on verification of swarm robots using different methods including temporal logic and graph grammars.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Applications of Category Theory in Analysis of Complex Systems, University of Leicester

26 Sept 201626 Sept 2021

Award Date: 20 May 2022

Master in Science, Decentralised Structural Solutions to Resource Dilemmas, The University of Warwick

4 Oct 201030 Sept 2011

Award Date: 7 Nov 2011

Bachelor of Science, The Power of Social Structures, The University of Sheffield

29 Sept 200812 Jun 2010

Award Date: 29 Jun 2010

Areas of expertise

  • Q Science (General)
  • Formal Methods
  • Formal Verification
  • Graph Grammars
  • Temporal Logic
  • Category Theory
  • Game Theory


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Power Dynamics in Resource-Exchange Graph Grammars

    Ghaffari Saadat, M. & Wickham, J. P., 17 Feb 2024, (Accepted/In press) In: International Workshop on Computing with Terms and Graphs.

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review