Rocco De Nicola

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

De Nicola is a professor of Computer Science at IMT Lucca. He has been full professor at Dipartimento di Sistemi e Informatica of Università di Firenze from 1995 till 2011, and at Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Informazione, Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’ from 1990 till 1995. Before that he was a full-time researcher at IEI-CNR in Pisa and worked at Edinburgh University and for Italtel in Milano and Olivetti in Pisa. He has been visiting professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and visiting scholar at Microsoft Research Cambridge. De Nicola graduated in Scienze dell’Informazione at Università di Pisa in 1978 and received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh (UK) in 1985.

At IMT, De Nicola is the director of the SysMA Research Unit, a member of Senato Accademico and the coordinator of the PhD program in Systems Science. De Nicola is also a member of Giunta Amministrativa (Executive Committee) of CINI, the deputy director of CINI National Laboratory for Cybersecurity and the director of Cybersecurity Competence Center of Tuscany (C3T).

De Nicola is a fellow of EATCS, is listed among Thomson ISI-cited researchers in the world (ISI HiglyCited) and is a member of the Academia Europaea, of Gruppo 2003 and of Working Group 2.2 and 1.9 of the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). In 2005 he was appointed Commendatore della Republica (Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic) by the President of Italian Republic. He is or has been member of advisory boards of international research institutions and principal investigator for many research projects funded by EU, MIUR, CNR, Regione Toscana and private companies.


The research of De Nicola is concerned with the foundations of distributed computing, the formal specification and checking of qualitative and quantitative properties of systems, and the protection of distributed systems and computer networks. Current research concentrate 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 and associate editor for Mathematical Structures in Computer Science (Cambridge University Press), Springer Nature in Computer Science and Electronics Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science.

Selected Publication

  • 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.
  • 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.