Research profile

The aim of the research group is to develop new, nonconventional computational models and to study their properties, their applicability in different areas of computer science. This approach can be justified, on one hand, by the intention of inventing computational paradigms for the efficient use of the new possibilities offered by modern technology, and on the other hand, by the hope of a better and more precise understanding of the structure, functioning, and behavior of living systems and their communities, certain processes going on in nature, or social, cultural phenomena appearing in our society.

The two main areas of the investigations are

  • nature-motivated computational models, with particular focus on distributed architectures described in a formal language theoretical framework, such as membrane systems (P systems) or DNA-inspired architectures, and
  • formal language theoretic paradigms of multi-agent systems, that is, different variants of grammar systems.

The members of the group have fundamental contributions to both areas, which includes introductions of formal descriptions of fundamental notions and important properties of different kinds of multi-agent systems (cooperative and distributed problem solving systems, simple reactive systems, ecosystems, knowledge networks) and new important concepts in the theory of membrane systems and molecular computing.

See the page about the projects of the goup for more information.

Key personnel

Erzsébet Csuhaj-Varjú, D.Sc., Ph.D, Dr. habil, science advisor, head of the group. She is is also full professor at the Department of Algorithms and Applications of the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Her main research interests are formal languages, distributed systems and bio-inspired computing. In these areas she (herself or with co-authors) published over 170 articles in international journals and edited volumes, a monograph and edited 14 volumes. Her publications have so far received over 750 citations. She has been co-founder of the area of grammars systems, a formal languagetheoretic counterpart of the theory of multi-agent systems. She has important contributions to molecular computing and membrane computing. She and György Vaszil are co-founders of the area of P automata in the theory of P systems, i.e., membrane systems.

She is and she was supervisor (principal investigator) and participant of several Hungarian and bilateral granted research projects, team leader of EU projects. She is the Hungarian team leader of the European Molecular Computing Consortium. She is a member of the editorial board of ERCIM NEWS, the quarterly of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics and the International Journal of Foundations of Computer Science. In the last five years, she has been program committee chair, co-chair, program committee member and organizer of over 35 international workshops and conferences, among them conferences and workshops in bio-inspired computing.

She has been supervisor of Hungarian and foreign visiting PhD students and postdoctoral fellowship holders. She is regular reviewer of Hungarian and foreign grant agencies, including ERC.

György Vaszil, Ph.D, senior research fellow. His main research fields of interest are bio-inspired computing, formal language and automata theory, and distributed systems. He is author or co-author of more than 70 scientific publications, editor or coeditor of 5 edited volumes. His articles have so far received about 170 independent citations. He is cofounder of the subfield of P automata, and he has significant contributions to the development of grammar systems theory as well.

He was awarded with the Bolyai János post-doctoral research scholarship by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the prestigeous Alexander von Humboldt research scholarship. He was also working in the Computer Science Department of the University of Potsdam as a visiting researcher. He has been the participant of several national and international research projects, and he was program committee member or participated in the organization of several international workshops or conferences. He has been regular reviewer of leading international journals, grant agencies in Hungary and abroad.

See the page about the members for contact details and more information.

Representative publications

  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú, J. Dassow, J. Kelemen and Gh. P aun. Grammar Systems. A Grammatical Approach to Distribution and Cooperation. Gordon and Breach, London, 1994.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú, L. Kari, Gh. Paun, Test Tube Distributed Systems Based On Splicing. Computers and Artificial Intelligence 15(2) (1996), 211-232.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú, J. Kelemen, A. Kelemenová, Gh. Paun, Eco-Grammar Systems: A Grammatical Framework for Studying Lifelike Interactions. Artificial Life 3(3) (1997), 1-28.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú, A. Salomaa, Networks of Parallel Language Processors In: New Trends in Formal Languages. Control, Cooperation, and Combinatorics. Ed. by Gh. Paun and A. Salomaa, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 1218, Springer Verlag, Berlin - Heidelberg, 1997, 299-318.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú and Gy. Vaszil. P automata or purely communicating accepting P systems. In Gh. Paun, G. Rozenberg, A. Salomaa, and C. Zandron, editors, Membrane Computing, International Workshop, WMC-CdeA, Curtea de Arges, Romania, August 19-23, 2002, Revised Papers, volume 2597 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 219-233. Springer, Berlin, 2003.
  • J. Dassow and Gy. Vaszil. Multiset splicing systems. BioSystems, 74:1-7, 2004.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú, M. Oswald, and Gy. Vaszil. P automata. In Gh. Paun, G. Rozenberg, and A. Salomaa, editors, The Oxford Handbook of Membrane Computing, chapter 6, pages 144-167. Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • E. Csuhaj-Varjú and Gy. Vaszil. Scattered context grammars generate any recursively enumerable language with two nonterminals. Information Processing Letters, 110(20):902-907, 2010.

For more information, see the publication database of the institute, or the personal pages of the members for their lists of publiations.