Nancy Davis Griffeth

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Nancy Davis Griffeth
ResidenceNew Jersey
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materHarvard University,
Michigan State, (masters),
University of Chicago, Ph.D.
Known forNetwork systems
ChildrenValerie Griffeth
Stephen Griffeth
AwardsTop 100 Women in Computing from McGraw-Hill (1995)[1]
Cisco Systems Award (2007, 2008)[2]
Scientific career
FieldsComputer Science
InstitutionsLehman College

Nancy Davis Griffeth (born October 26, 1945) is an American computer scientist notable for approaches to the feature interaction problem.[3] In 2014, she is a professor at Lehman College of The City University of New York and is modelling biological systems in computational biology.

Early life[edit]

Griffeth was born in Oak Park, Illinois and lived in Laurel, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee as a child, she received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, a master's degree from Michigan State University, and a PhD degree from the University of Chicago.


Griffeth did seminal work in the feature interaction problem as a founding organizer of the feature interaction workshops[4][5] and co-author of one of the most cited papers in feature interactions, "A Feature Interaction Benchmark for IN and Beyond.[6]" The feature interaction problem is a software problem that arises when one feature interacts with another in such a way that it changes what the feature does. This can cause serious issues for developers and users of the software; the problem was first documented as features were added to telecommunications systems. If new features on a telecommunications network were either undetected or unwanted, they could cause confusion and dissatisfaction among customers if not handled properly.

Griffeth also researched the related problem of how to test networks to see how well they work together, called "interoperability", she worked at the Next Generation Networking Lab at Lucent Technologies where she designed and built tools to test interoperability of Voice-over-IP networks, which included conformance testing for MeGaCo media gateways and controllers. For this purpose, she also researched how to model protocols.[7]

In addition, she studied virtual node layers regarding Mobile Ad Hoc Networks or MANETs.[8] In the 1990s, she patented methods to protect databases against hackers trying to deduce confidential attributes,[9] her research has included distributed databases, simulations, concurrency and recovery controls, database design issues, performance modeling, and other issues.[10][11][12][13]


From 2010 to 2014 Griffeth directed workshops on computational biology, funded by the National Science Foundation Expedition in Computing "Computational Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems." Seventy-eight undergraduate students were trained in computational biology methods and tools and executed research projects on atrial fibrillation and pancreatic cancer.


Griffeth received the Top 100 Women in Computing award from McGraw-Hill in 1995 for her work in feature interactions in telecommunications systems, distributed systems, and databases,[1] she received awards in 2007 and 2008 from Cisco Systems for work on ad-hoc networks.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Griffeth married engineer and author Bill Griffeth and is the mother of American rugby athlete Valerie Griffeth, and the professor of mathematics at Chile's University of Talca, Dr. Stephen Griffeth.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "Top 100 Women in Computing for 1996 Honored by The McGraw-Hill Companies". Business Wire. December 5, 1995. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ a b Award Recipients, Cisco Systems [1], Accessed Jan. 5, 2014
  3. ^ Computer, Volume:26 Issue: 8, Aug. 1993, Pages 14-18, Extending telecommunications systems: the feature-interaction problem, Accessed Jan. 5, 2014, 10.1109/2.223538
  4. ^ 7th Feature Interaction Workshop, [2], accessed August 19, 2014
  5. ^ Jeannette M. Wing, Jim Woodcock, Jim Davies (editors)m, FM '99 – Formal Methods, September 1999, Springer Publishing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Accessed Jan. 5, 2014, “...Nancy Griffeth et al. Organized the first feature interaction detection tool contest...”
  6. ^ Cameron, E.J., N.D. Griffeth, Y.-J. Lin, M.E. Nilson, W.K. Schnure, and H. Velthuijsen (March 1993). "A feature interaction benchmark for IN and beyond". IEEE Communications Magazine. 31 (3): 64–69. CiteSeerX doi:10.1109/35.199613.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Nancy Griffeth, Ruibing Hao, David Lee, and Rakesh Sinha. Integrated system interoperability testing with applications to VOIP. In Proceedings of FORTE/PSTV 2000, Pisa, Italy, October 2000; also in IEEE/ACM Trans. Netw., 12(5):823–836, 2004
  8. ^ Jiang Wu, Nancy Griffeth, Nancy Lynch, Calvin Newport, Ralph Droms Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 09-July 11, ISBN 978-0-7695-3698-9, Simulating Fixed Virtual Nodes for Adapting Wireline Protocols to MANET, Accessed Jan. 5, 2014, "...and that simple wireline protocols can be deployed on the infrastructure, thereby taming the difficulties inherent in MANET setting..."
  9. ^ Justia Patents, 1993-1997, Bell Communications Research, Inc. (assignee), Patents by Inventor Nancy D. Griffeth, Accessed Jan. 5, 2014, "...Method for resolving conflicts among distributed entities through the generation of counter proposals by transversing a goal hierarchy with acceptable, unacceptable, and indeterminate nodes Patent number: 5504837 ... Protecting confidential information in a database for enabling targeted advertising in a communications network -- Patent number: 5614927 ..."
  10. ^ Constantinos Djouvas and Nancy Griffeth. Experimental method for testing networks. In Proceedings of SERP’05 - The 2005 International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice, June 2005
  11. ^ Constantinos Djouvas, Nancy Griffeth, and Nancy Lynch. Using Self-Similarity to Increase Network Testing Effectiveness, September 2005
  12. ^ Nancy Griffeth, Yuri Cantor, and Constantinos Djouvas, "Testing a Network by Inferring its State Machine from Network Traces", in International Conference on Software Engineering Advances, ICSEA 2006.
  13. ^ Constantinos Djouvas, Nancy D. Griffeth, Nancy A. Lynch. "Testing Self-Similar Networks," electronically published in Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, 2006

External links[edit]