Computing With Infinite Data

Computing With Infinite Data

Monday, 09 April 2018

Media Type
NIEWS April 2018,

by Mathematics & Mathematics Education Academic Group

In this era of computer technology, countless automated processes enabled by sophisticated computer software are in operation every day. These range from autopilot aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, to computer systems that monitor and manage railway traffic. All of these processes demand high levels of software correctness.

The mega project “Computing with Infinite Data” (CID) aims to enhance the functionality of computer algorithms by employing mathematical methods to establish the correctness of programs, and by studying the various representations of exact real number computations at infinite precision. The project is funded by the European Union and involves 21 research institutions in Europe, as well as Chile, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and the US.

“Up to now, it has not been possible to map the mathematical theory, one-to-one, to programming languages”, explained Professor Dieter Spreen from the University of Siegen, who together with his colleague, Professor Markus Lohrey, leads this huge scientific project.

Assistant Professor Ho Weng Kin from NIE’s Mathematics & Mathematics Education Academic Group at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is leader of the Singapore research team. His team comprises local experts in exact real arithmetic, domain theory and applied analysis. With his experience in exact real arithmetic, Assistant Professor Ho will join forces with Professor Spreen and other international experts to look for ways to circumvent the mismatch between theoretical and applied aspects of computing with infinite objects. This one million Euro research initiative is administered from the project headquarters at the University of Siegen, Germany. NTU is proud to be the only university in Southeast Asia partnering with the University of Siegen on this effort. CID is a four-year initiative started on 1 April 2017, and it will cover staff exchanges of at least one month per annum for each participant as well as an annual workshop. The CID is funded under the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission.

In addition to the scientific investigations on the relationship between topology, computation involving infinite data, and related logical representations, NTU is also working closely with another participating institution, the University of Birmingham, to organise project conferences and tutorial sessions and other training-related activities.

This article first appeared in NIE's quarterly publication NIEWS in April 2018.