School of Informatics

Foundations of Computation Impact

Examples of impact stemming from research conducted under the theme of Foundations of Computation.

Provable proof-of-stake protocol for new blockchain platform and cryptocurrency

Theoretical LFCS research into distributed ledger technology has led to Ouroboros, the first ever provably secure proof-of-stake protocol for use in blockchains. The work has been adopted by technology company IOHK to underpin the blockchain platform Cardano and associated cryptocurrency Cardano ADA, which has attracted more than 80,000 users and reached a market capitalisation of in excess of US$ 30 billion. Ouroboros has been further applied in the delivery public and economic services, with IOHK announcing partnerships with the national governments of Georgia, Ethiopia, and Mongolia.     

Graph databases strengthened by formal semantics for graph query languages

Research in LFCS has produced a formal semantics for the graph query language (GQL) Cypher which underpins the popular database management system Neo4j. The formal semantics produced by the LFCS team removed the possibility of ambiguities in implementations of Cypher that could lead to inconsistent query results. The research has led to the provision of stronger Cypher-driven products for Neo4j’s owner, Neo4j Inc, and its clients, who number thousands of organisations ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. The work has also informed the ISO decision to approve the creation of a GQL standard, ultimately setting the course for the wider relational database industry.

Effect handlers for improved software infrastructure

Researchers from LFCS have invented the Effect Handler programming construct and proved it to be a versatile, highly expressive programming abstraction. Effect Handlers have been adopted for software infrastructure by companies worldwide – including GitHub, Uber and Facebook – and have resulted in improved developer productivity and increased product performance for such businesses.


More detail of impact in other Informatics research themes can be found on the Research Impact page.

Informatics Research Impact