Rocco De Nicola

+39 0583 4326594
IMT School for Advanced Studies Piazza San Francesco, 19 55100 Lucca (Italy)

De Nicola graduated in “Scienze dell’Informazione” at Università di Pisa in 1978 and received a Ph.D. in “Computer Science” at the University of Edinburgh (UK) in 1985. De Nicola is full professor of “Computer Science” at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca. From 1995 until 2011, he was full professor at Dipartimento di Sistemi e Informatica, Università di Firenze, and, from 1990 until 1995, at Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”. Previously, he was a full-time researcher at IEI-CNR in Pisa and worked at Edinburgh University, Italtel in Milano and Olivetti in Pisa. He also has been visiting professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and visiting scholar at Microsoft Research Cambridge. Rector of the IMT School since November 1st, 2021, De Nicola has also served as a member of the School’s Academic Senate and Board of Governors.

A fellow of EATCS, De Nicola is listed among Thomson ISI’s World Cited Researchers (ISI HiglyCited) and is also a member of Academia Europaea, Gruppo 2003 and Working Group 2.2 and 1.9 of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). In 2005 he was appointed as ‘Commendatore della Repubblica’ (Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) by the President of the Republic of Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.

De Nicola is the deputy director of CINI National Laboratory for Cybersecurity and the director of Cybersecurity Competence Center of Tuscany (C3T). He is also Coordinator of the National Ph.D. Program in Cybersecurity (Ph.D. CySec) and a member of the Board of Directors of the SERICS (SEcurity and RIghts In the CyberSpace) Foundation.

During his academic career, De Nicola has been member of several advisory boards of international research institutions and has served as Principal Investigator for numerous research projects funded by the EU, MUR, CNR, Tuscany Region and private companies.


De Nicola’s research concerns the foundations of distributed computing, formal specification and verification of qualitative and quantitative properties of systems, and protection of distributed systems and computer networks. Current research focuses on:

  • Models and Languages for Open Distributed Systems
  • Specification of Qualitative and Quantitative Properties of Distributed Systems
  • Cybersecurity
  • Social Media and Fake news

De Nicola is the author of more than 250 publications in international journals or books with international editors, has been “invited speaker” at international conferences and schools, and “program chair” and member of program committees of many international conferences. On these topics, De Nicola collaborates with researchers from many national and international institutions and is the author of more than 250 publications in international refereed journals and conference proceedings. De Nicola has also edited books and special issues of journals and the white book: The Future of Cybersecurity in Italy: Projects and Actions to better defend Italy from cyber attacks (available also in Italian).

Currently, De Nicola is the editor-in-chief of the ‘Journal on Logical and Algebraic Methods in Programming’ published by Elsevier, associate editor for ‘Journal Mathematical Structures in Computer Science’ (Cambridge University Press), editor of ‘Journal Electronics Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science’ and editor of the ‘Journal Computer Science’ (Springer Nature Computer Science). He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Federated Conferences on Distributed Computing Techniques (DISCOTEC), the International Conference on Coordination Models and Languages (COORDINATION), the International Conference on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM).

Selected Publication

  • L. Di Stefano, R. De Nicola, Omar Inverso : Verification of Distributed Systems via Sequential Emulation. ACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol. 31(3): 37:1-37:41 (2022).
  • S. Soderi, R. De Nicola, 6G Networks Physical Layer Security Using RGB Visible Light Communications. IEEE Access 10: 5482-5496 (2022).
  • G. Caldarelli, R. De Nicola, M. Petrocchi, M. Pratelli , F. Saracco: Flow of online misinformation during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. EPJ Data Sci. 10(1): 34 (2021).
  • R. De Nicola, G.L. Ferrari, R. Pugliese, F. Tiezzi: A formal approach to the engineering of domain-specific distributed systems. J. Log. Algebraic Methods Program. 111: 100511 (2020)
  • R. De Nicola, L. Di Stefano, O. Inverso: Multi-agent systems with virtual stigmergy. Science of Computer Programming, Volume 187, February 2020. Elsevier 2020.
  • G. Caldarelli, R. De Nicola, F. Del Vigna, M. Petrocchi, F. Saracco: The role of bot squads in the political propaganda on Twitter. Communications Physics 3 (1), 81 (2020).
  • Y. Abd Alrahman, R. De Nicola, M. Loreti: A calculus for collective-adaptive systems and its behavioural theory. Information and Computation, vol. 268, Elsevier 2019.
  • R. Brundo Uriarte, R. De Nicola, V. Scoca, F. Tiezzi: Defining and guaranteeing dynamic service levels in clouds. In Future Generation Computer Systems, Volume 99, October 2019, Pages 27-40, Elsevier 2019.
  • R. Brundo Uriarte, R. De Nicola Blockchain-Based Decentralized Cloud/Fog Solutions: Challenges, Opportunities, and Standards. IEEE Communications Standards Magazine, vol. 2, p. 22-28, IEEE 2018.
  • M. Boreale, R. Bruni, R. De Nicola, M. Loreti. Sessions and Pipelines for Structured Service Programming, Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, Cambridge University Press, 25: 666-709, 2015.
  • R. De Nicola, M. Loreti, R. Pugliese, F. Tiezzi A Formal Approach to Autonomic Systems Programming: The SCEL Language. ACM transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems 9(7), 2014.
  • M. Bernardo, R. De Nicola, M. Loreti: A uniform framework for modeling nondeterministic, probabilistic, stochastic, or mixed processes and their behavioral equivalences. Information and Computation 225: 29-82, 2013.
  • R. De Nicola, D. Latella, M. Loreti, and M. Massink. A Uniform Definition of Stochastic Process Calculi, ACM Computing Surveys , 46(1): 5 (2013)
  • M. Boreale, R. De Nicola, and R. Pugliese. Proof techniques for cryptographic processes. SIAM Journal on Computing 31 (3), 947-986, 2001
  • F. Corradini, R. De Nicola, and A. Labella. Models of nondeterministic regular expressions. Journal of Computer and System Sciences, 59(3):412–449, 1999.
  • R. De Nicola, Gian Luigi Ferrari, and Rosario Pugliese. Klaim: A kernel language for agents interaction and mobility. IEEE Trans. Software Eng., 24(5):315–330, 1998.
  • R. De Nicola and Frits W. Vaandrager. Three logics for branching bisimulation. Journal of ACM, 42(2):458–487, 1995.
  • R. De Nicola, A. Fantechi, S. Gnesi, and G. Ristori. An action-based framework for verifying logical and behavioural properties of concurrent systems. Computer Networks and ISDN Systems, 25(7):761–778, 1993.
  • P. Degano, R. De Nicola, and U. Montanari. A distributed operational semantics for ccs based on condition/event systems. Acta Informatica, 26(1/2):59–91, 1988.
  • R. De Nicola. Extensional Equivalences for Transition Systems. Acta Informatica, 24(2):211-237, 1987.
  • R. De Nicola. Two complete axiom systems for a theory of communicating sequential processes. Information and Control, 64(1-3):136–172, 1985.
  • R. De Nicola and M. Hennessy. Testing equivalences for processes. Theoretical Computer Science, 34:83–133, 1984.