Full Professor

Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo




Giovanna Di Marzo Serugendo



1996-1999:               Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL)

Ph.D. in Computer Science - Software Engineering (1999): "Stepwise Refinement of Formal Specifications Based on Logical Formulae: from CO-OPN/2 specifications to Java programs"

1987-1994:               University of Geneva, Faculty of Science

M.Sc. in Mathematics (1993)    Domain: Numerical analysis.

M.Sc. in Computer Science (1994) Domain: Software Engineering.


personal data

Nationalities:             Italy, Switzerland

Birth:                         June 12th, 1966

E-mail:                       Giovanna. Dimarzo at unige.ch

French, Italian:          Mother tongues

English:                      Good

German:                    Fair




2010-:                        University of Geneva - Fac. of Social and Economic Science  - ISS
                                  Full Professor, Director of Institute of Services Science,
                                  Program Director—MSc in Management—option Services Science

2006-2010:               Birkbeck College - School of Computer Science and Information Systems

                                  Lecturer, Senior Lecturer

2004-2005:               University of Luxembourg - Software Engineering Competence Center

                                  Senior Researcher

2002-2004:               University of Geneva - Centre Universitaire d'Informatique - OSG

                                  Lecturer/Senior Researcher

2000-2001:               CERN - IT Division

                                  Scientific Associate (Fellow)

1999:                         University of Geneva - Centre Universitaire d'Informatique - TiOS


1996-1999:               EPFL - Computer Science Department - Software Engineering Laboratory

                                  Research Assistant - Ph.D. Student

1993-1996:               University of Geneva - Centre Universitaire d'Informatique - TiOS

                                  Research Assistant



research activities

2010-2013                SAPERE—Self-Aware Pervasive Service Ecosystems

The objective of the EU funded SAPERE project is the development of a highly-innovative theoretical and practical framework for the decentralized deployment and execution of self-aware and adaptive services for future and emerging pervasive network scenarios.

2006-:                       Dynamically resilient Systems

This research aims at providing a service-oriented architecture enforcing resilience policies at run time based on available and permanently updated metadata.

2006-2008:               Resist

I joined the EU Resist Network of Excellence as an affiliated member. My main activity in this project is to participate to the Res-Ex working group focusing on mechanisms supporting resilience explicit computing.

2002-:                       Self-Organising Applications

Hovering Information (2007-)   
Hovering information is a new concept denoting information that stays attached to a specific geographical location rather than to a specific host. As a result, when deployed over a mobile set of peers, hovering information than "hovers" from host to host in order to remain attached to its location. This project is concerned with the development of corresponding algorithms and determination of appropriate models to verify them.

Self-Organising Industrial Assembly Systems (2007-)
This project applies self-organizing principles to assembly systems: modules and product parts to be assembled organize together (among others, choose their coalition partners, their location and monitor themselves) in order to easily and quickly produce a new or reconfigured assembly system each time a new product order arrives or each time a failure or weakness arises in the current assembly system.

Specification Carrying Code
This project proposes the notion of Specification Carrying Code as a basic interaction mechanism which allows entities to adapt/understand unknown peers. Interactions between entities occur through a service-oriented architecture, and are exclusively based on an exchange of capabilities expressed using a formal specification conveying the semantics of the proposed services.  In this framework, I am leading the Engineering Self-Organising Applications project, funded by FNRS grant (21-68026.02). This research aims at enabling two or more programs, which do not know each other, to discover each other capabilities by exchanging formal specifications and proofs (2002-2004)

AgentLink III Technical Forum on Self-Organisation in MAS

I was co-chairing the AgentLink III Technical Forum Group on Self-Organisation in Multi-Agent Systems (MAS), whose scopes are to group together the computing science research community working on self-organisation and emergent behavior, and to establish and enhance links with other disciplines (2004-2005).

                                  ESOA Working Group

Self-organising applications (SOAs) are typically based on several interacting software components that can act autonomously and in collaboration with each other, and with no central entity. Such applications include pervasive or wireless applications, as well as those to be deployed on a Grid or a P2P network, possibly relying on agents or mobile agents. In the framework of the AgentCities.NET   project (IST-2000-28384), I am chairing the ESOA: Engineering Self-Organising Applications   working group, whose goal is to explore some of the challenging issues SOAs raise in the Agentcities environment. (2002-2003)


2002-2005:             Trust / Agents

Security founded on the notion of Trust
I was involved in the IST project (IST-2001-32486) "
SECURE: Secure Environments for Collaboration among Ubiquitous Roaming Entities ". It aims to develop formal security models for large scale systems based on the notion of trust. My work includes the validation of the approach in the context of the formal model.  (2002-2004)

2004-2005:               FIDJI

I was in charge of directing the production of a book describing the research activities realised in the framework of the Luxembourg funded FIDJI project. The book proposes a pragmatic approach intended to fill in the divide which lies between architects, designers and developers, and covers software engineering activities from analysis to development.

2004-2005:               INTEROP

European Master in Interoperability
In the framework of the EU-funded
INTEROP Network of Excellence (IST-1-508011), I am  in charge of designing a Research Master in Interoperability for Networked Enterprises Applications and Software at the European level.

2002-2004:               Unanticipated Software Evolution

In the framework of unanticipated software evolution, I investigate the means to allow run- time software evolution of code, not anticipated at design time. I am currently proposing a service architecture based on interactions occurring through anonymous and asynchronous communication, and syntactic service description, without relying on the notion of APIs.

2000-2001 :              CERN Projects - "ALICE Experiment "

Formal Specification of ALICE DAQ
In the framework of the ALICE collaboration, I formally specified and simulate the whole functionality of the Data Acquisition System (DAQ) of the ALICE high energy physics experiment. I used the Foresight tool, which enables to define the formal specification and to simulate it.

1999-2001:               Formal Methods: Real-time

Real-time synchronized Petri nets

This work is conducted in collaboration with EPFL, the Politecnico di Milano (Italy), and Luxembourg University of Applied Science. It is dedicated to the definition of a class of high level Petri nets (with inhibitor arcs, and synchronization among Petri nets) with real-time constraints attached to transitions as relative time intervals. My work consists in defining the whole syntax and (strong time) semantics of these nets (1999-2001).

1994-1999:               Formal Methods: Petri nets

Concurrent Object-Oriented Petri nets (CO-OPN)

This project studied the formal development and validation of distributed systems using CO-OPN (Concurrent Object-Oriented Petri nets). My work included the specification of distributed systems using CO-OPN, the application of CO-OPN to mobile agents, the use of category theory for defining the semantics of CO-OPN, and the definition of a theory of refinement for CO-OPN. It was funded by FNRS Project (21.32286.91) " Formal Methods for Concurrency " (1994-1999).

Stepwise refinement of formal specifications based on contracts
In the framework of my Ph.D., I defined a theory of stepwise refinement of formal specifications that makes use of logical properties (contract), in order to formally assert that a refinement step is correct. I applied the theory to CO-OPN specifications (1996-1999).
This theory of refinement is currently being applied in the
FIDJI project undertaken at the Luxembourg University of Applied Science.

Multi-threaded Transactions
This work was dedicated to the definition of a formal language, called COALA, for expressing systems built using Coordinated Atomic Actions (multi-threaded transactions). The semantics of this language is defined using a  high level class of Petri nets.  I participated actively to the formal definition of Coordinated Atomic Actions, and to the elaboration of the syntax of COALA. This work was part of the  ESPRIT Project (20072) " Design For Validation (DeVa) ". It has been realised in collaboration with people from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) and EFPL (1996-1998).

1993-2001:               Mobile Agents

Mobile Agents—This project investigated both the specification of systems built with messengers (a kind of mobile agents), as well as the use of messengers for implementing distributed systems. During this project, I participated in establishing messengers as a kind of mobile agents, as well as in positioning messengers wrt other mobile agents environments.  In addition, I performed an analysis of several formal languages, and investigated their suitability for expressing mobile agents. I participated as well to the description of the building of some distributed systems with messengers. This work was funded by the FNRS Project (2000-0400631.94) " Communication Messengers as a Basis for Distributed Algorithms (Theory and Implementation) " (1994-1996).

ComScript- The aim of the ComScript Project was twofold: it provided a platform for the dynamic (re)configuration of protocol stacks and offered at the same time a language for the implementation of distributed applications.  My work consisted in the implementation of protocol stacks within the ComScript environment. It was part of the FNRS Project (21-31121.91) " ComScript - a Generic Platform for Heterogeneous Communications Protocol Architectures " (1993-1994).


scientific activities   

task force / working groups                   

IEEE ETTC Organic Computing Task Force - Member

IEEE CIS Standards Committee—Task Force in Terminology and Taxonomy—Member

ERCIM SERENE Working Group

editorial board activities

Editor-in-chief: ACM Transactions on Autonomous Adaptive Systems (TAAS) - First Issue Fall 2006

Editorial Board Member: Multiagent and Grid Systems - An International Journal. ISSN: 1574-1702.

Editorial Board Member: International Journal of Intelligent Information and Database Systems. InderScience. First issue Spring 2007.

organising committees

Steering Committee Chair: IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SAS0’11-SASO-12)

General chair: ACM ERCIM SERENE 2010 workshop

Track co-chair: International Symposium on Stabilization, Safety and Security of Distributed Systems (SSS'09)

Conference co-chair: IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SASO'09)

Conference co-chair: IEEE International Conference on Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous and Trustworthy Computing (SUTC'08)

Workshop co-chair: Second IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SASO'08)

Program co-chair: First IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self-Organizing Systems (SASO'07)

Program co-chair: IEEE International Conference on Sensor Networks, Ubiquitous and Trustworthy Computing (SUTC'06)

Multi-Agents for Modeling Complex Systems workshop (MA4CS'05, MA4CS'06, MA4CS'07)

Engineering with Complexity and Emergence Workshop (ECE'05)

Engineering Self-Organising Applications Workshop (ESOA'03, ESOA'04, ESOA'05)

Doctoral Symposium chair - Interoperability of Enterprise Software and Applications (I-ESA'05, I'ESA'06)

program committees

Full List



Full list



Projects funded by the Luxembourg government

Projects funded by the Swiss government (COST)

Projects funded by the UK government (EPSRC)

Projects funded by the Netherlands (NWO)

additional activities

AgentLink III - University of Geneva Contact Point (2004-2006)

International Collaborator on a project funded by the Greek Government (PENED program)

invited talks

Hovering Information—Infrastructureless spatial storage. University of Delft. November 2010.

Designing Self-Organization for Evolvable Assembly Systems. FESTO Industrial Symposium on Advanced Automation 2008. Stuttgart. November 2008.

Hovering Informationn - Self-Organising Information that finds its own storage. Asian University. Taichung, Taipei. June 2008.

Hovering Information. School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, Artificial Intelligence and Natural Computation Series. November 2007.

A Generic Framework for the Engineering of Self-Adaptive and Self-Organising Systems. RISE'07. Luxembourg. November 2007. (slides)

Self-Organisation and Emergence in Multi-Agent Systems. Invited Speaker. Symposium on Organic Computing. Berlin. February 2007. (slides)

A Service-Oriented Infrastructure for Adaptive Systems Based on Specification-Carrying Code. EUMAS'06. Lisbon, December 2006. (slides)

Semantic Interoperability in Service-Oriented Computing. First Tuesday on Interoperability. Geneva. June 2005. (slides)

About Self-Organisation, Emergent Behaviour, and Self-Management. Panel. SelfMan'05 Workshop. Nice, May 2005 (slides)

Engineering Emergent Behaviour: A Vision. Invited Talk. MABS'03. Melbourne. July 2003. (slides)

SECURE Applications Scenario. Global Computing Workshop. Rovereto. March 2003. (slides)

Designing Fault-Tolerant Mobile Systems. Keynote Speaker. FIDJI'02. Luxembourg. November 2002. (slides)

CO-OPN: Concurrent Object-Oriented Petri Nets. Lisbon. September 2002. ( slides )

Grilles de Calculs et Réseaux Pair-à-Pair. Les jeudis de l'IST. Luxembourg. May 2002. (slides)

awards and honours

Editor-in-Chief, ACM Transactions on Autonomous Adaptive Systems

Nomination for Descartes Prize 2003

CERN fellowship (1999)



teaching activities

summer schools / doctoral schools      

February 2009 - DECOI - International Summer School on Collective Intelligence and Evolution

September 2008 - PERADA Summer School

April 2008 - Pisa Doctoral School - Self-Adaptive and Self-Organising Systems

University of Geneva teaching

2010-:       Contextualisation et Qualité des Services / 3rd year BSc course

2010-:       Bases de données / 2nd year BSc Course

2010-:       Social and Legal Issues in Informatics / 1st year MSc course

2010-:       Services Foundation / 1st year MSc Course



Past teaching

2006-:              Adaptive Systems / 3rd-4th year course

Ph.D Students

Akla-Esso Tchao. Context-Aware Systems. PhD in Information Systems. Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Geneva. Expected 2015.

A. A. Villalba Castro. Hovering Information. PhD in Information Systems. Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Geneva, Expected 2011.

R. Frei. Self-Organising Assembly Systems. PhD Thesis. Joint Birkbeck—Uninova, March 2010.

M. Oriol: "An Approach to the Dynamic Evolution of Software Systems". PhD in Information Sysems. Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, University of Geneva, 2004.


externally funded research programs

SAPERE—Self-Aware Pervasive Service Ecosystems EU project. FP7-ICT-2009.8.5 (2010-2013)

Royal Society Conference Grant (2008)

PerAda Research Exchange (2008)

"A Social Semantic Infrastructure supporting Ambient Intelligence". Swiss SNF project 200020-105476/1. (2004-2005)

"Engineering Self-Organising Applications". Swiss SNF project 21-68026.02. (2002-2004)

"Communication Messengers as a Basis for Distributed Algorithms (Theory and Implementation)" Swiss SNF Project 2000-0400631.94 and its follow-up. (1994-1996)

"ISACOM - Intelligent Scheduling Algorithms with COmmunication Messengers". Swiss SNF Project 21-43370.95.(1995)