From Model Checking to Markov Chains on the Brain: A Poster

This weekend, I will present a poster at a Mathematics and Physical Life Sciences Symposium, celebrating my college's 700th year. The poster provides a broad overview of probabilistic model checking. I felt that it might be useful to post references and further reading on this website to give interested readers somewhere to look next.

The poster and its creation

Download a PDF of the poster here.


I created the poster using the free and open source software Inkscape. I used LaTeX for one formula in the poster, and I used Graphviz (or Graphfiz, as I like to think of it) for the transition system diagrams.

I had not used Inkscape before, but I found it fairly easy to get started with. I appeciated the control it gave me over the layout of the poster, and the fact that everything is in vector format was really nice because I was able to scale things in different ways without worrying about how they'd end up looking next to each other. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to make a poster but isn't sure what software to use for it. I used this tutorial to get the basics of layout and text, which was enough to get me started on the poster. For an example of a really cool academic poster made in Inkscape (with some discussion of how it was designed and made, too), see here.

My experience of Graphviz was that it is quicker to use than Tikz, but doesn't always produce as nice a result. However, it is much easier to get a diagram in .svg format from Graphviz than Tikz (which can produce such files but requires a few hoops to be jumped through first).

Further reading

Thanks to Julie Lee and Anna Carlile for their advice while I was making the poster, and to Professor James Worrell for supervising me on my model checking related project!

Please note: I have been updating this post regularly since first posting it, and it is prone to further change!