Research Centre and Groups

Research Centre and Groups

The Computer Science and Creative Technologies Conference 2019 is hosted by a collection of its constituting research centres and groups from The University of the West of England.

Computer Science Research Centre

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The Computer Science Research Centre (CSRC) is comprised of active researchers based at UWE, covering a range of disciplines across the field of computer science. The CSRC groups these areas into the following core themes which reflect the work of many of its members.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence research within CSRC is concerned with the development and application of adaptive computing techniques. We have a long history of AI research, with the first publications and projects appearing in the early 80’s.

Members carry out internationally recognised research in a number of areas, with a strong emphasis on evolutionary computation. Our approach is to combine theoretical research with practical applications, based on collaborative projects with other academic institutions, governmental bodies (such as Office for National Statistics, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory) and industrial organisations.

Current funders include the EU, Innovate UK and DSTL, as well as local business sponsoring PhD’s, with projects ranging from:

Cyber Security

The cyber security theme of CSRC explore and develop novel research to better protect and defend ourselves in the modern technological world. We are interested in all aspects of cyber, ranging from computer and network security, security of mobile applications and devices, through to IoT sensor networks and critical national infrastructure. We explore human aspects of security, including user privacy, online security, and human-computer interaction, through to identifying insider threat behaviours, assessing information risks, and how to visualise and inform users of cyber threats. We work to understand new technological developments such as smart homes and machine learning, to identify their vulnerabilities and how attackers could exploit these in real-world applications. We have worked with many UK SMEs both locally and nationally to develop research initiatives, including funded PhD studentships and KTPs. We also work closely with the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit and other law enforcement groups. Our research has been applied in the aerospace and military sectors.

Our research informs our teaching, including that of both our undergraduate BSc Forensic Computing and Security programme, and our MSc Cyber Security programme, that has received provisional certification from the National Cyber Security Centre. We continue to work with government agencies, including the National Cyber Security Centre, to ensure that our research and teaching of cyber security remains relevant and has impact to the challenges we face in our world today.

Smart Cities

The smart city theme performs applied research in cities. This includes stakeholder engagement and requirements management, city data governance, security and privacy, smart city applications development using distributed technologies e.g., Cloud, Edge, Blockchain, piloting and application evaluation. Our main areas of interest include but are not limited to citizen participation in open governance; SoS based cross-thematic data analysis and visualisation, service chaining and automation; social network analysis.

An example of recent projects is Smarticipate project funded by European Commission’s H2020 programme that enables co-creating the future of cities by enabling citizen participation through online interactive and dynamic data analysis, visualisation and communication.

Data Science

This theme covers a range of topics, including big data architecture, data integration and record linkage, data analytics, graph mining and social network analysis, information extraction and text analysis, knowledge management, and data governance. Our recent research has, in particular, focused on health, consumer, business, administrative, social media/Web, structured and unstructured data applications and privacy preservation. Current examples of our externally funded projects include an EU H2020 DEVELOP project on analysing workplace social networks to assess the social capital profiles of individual employees in the networks and making recommendations on improving their social capital profiles for career development.

Physical Computing

The Physical computing theme currently focuses on heterogeneous systems incorporating sensors, hardware acceleration techniques and research in programming languages. This research explores the application of challenging constraints such as extremely low power consumption, parallelization of Signal Processing and Hard Real-time systems and applies emerging Computer Science techniques can be leveraged to provide improvements in functionality and usability.

CSRC Physical Computing is working with Altered Carbon Ltd. on the development of low powered graphene based sensors.

Creative Technologies Lab

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Graphics, Visualisation and Games

Creating and applying novel graphical processing algorithms to enhance visual imagery and to create virtual environments. A key focus of this theme is serious games and immersive realities (VR, AR and MR), leveraging the efficiencies of games technologies to develop interactive visualisations for scientific and artistic contexts.

Media Interaction and Digital Art

Focussing centrally on artistic and human factors, this theme blends technology and the social sciences to explore user-centred approaches to interaction design and aesthetics. Adopting rigorous design and evaluation methods to create novel and interactive systems with impact, the CT Lab produces innovative interactive technology and art that has appeared at premier cultural venues throughout the world.

Music and Audio

Combining traditional and experimental compositional approaches this theme explores the role of cutting-edge technology in the support of music composition and performance. A key focus of this research is the use of generative and artificial intelligence for developing of novel interfaces and algorithms for musical expression and immersion.

#SWOYO is up for the @RoyalPhilSoc Learning & Participation award! Everything crossed at our end!

— Open Up Music (@openupmusic) May 9, 2017

Unconventional Computing Lab

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Unconventional computing is a niche for interdisciplinary science, a cross-breed of computer science, physics, mathematics, chemistry, electronic engineering, biology, materials science and nanotechnology. The aims are to uncover and exploit principles and mechanisms of information processing in, and functional properties of, physical, chemical and living systems to develop efficient algorithms, design optimal architectures and manufacture working prototypes of future and emergent computing devices.