ESM'2009, October 26-28, 2009, Holiday Inn Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom, Conference Keynotes


The keynote for this year's conference is

Professor Adrian Hopgood
Dean of the Faculty of Technology
De Montfort University
Leicester, United Kingdom

"Hybrid Systems: the Future of Artificial Intelligence?"

A wide range of techniques has emerged from the field of artificial intelligence including rules, frames, model-based reasoning, case-based reasoning, Bayesian updating, fuzzy logic, multiagent systems, swarm intelligence, genetic algorithms, and neural networks. They are all ingenious, practical, and useful in narrow contexts. It will be argued in this presentation that a truly intelligent system needs to draw on a variety of these approaches within a hybrid system. The blackboard model has re-emerged from its 1970s origins as a viable technique for achieving this. Several practical examples will be presented, ranging from the control of specialised manufacturing processes to the diagnosis of mouth cancer.


Professor Adrian Hopgood joined De Montfort University in 2007 as Dean of the Faculty of Technology, having previously worked for Nottingham Trent University and the Open University. He also has industrial experience with Telstra Research Laboratories in Melbourne , Australia and Systems Designers plc (now part of HP).

Adrian has published widely and his text book “Intelligent Systems for Engineers & Scientists ” is ranked as a bestseller. He is a visiting professor at the Open University, Fellow of the British Computer Society, Chartered Engineer, and a panelist for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). He holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Bristol.

Invited Speakers

Ken Kahn
Oxford University

The Modelling4All Project: A web-based modelling tool embedded in Web 2.0

The Modelling4All Project is building a web-based tool for constructing, running, visualising, analysing, and sharing agent-based models. These models can be constructed by non-experts by composing pre-built modular components called micro-behaviours. We are attempting to seed and nurture a Web 2.0 community to support modelling. Models, micro behaviours, lesson plans, tutorials, and other supporting material can be shared, discussed, reviewed, rated, and tagged.


Ken Kahn is a senior researcher at the Oxford University Computing Services and a researcher at the London Knowledge Lab. The focus of his research is making programming and computer modelling accessible to a wide audience. He is the creator of ToonTalk, a programming language used by young children. His earlier research at MIT, Uppsala University, and Xerox PARC was focused on AI and programming language design.

Simon Scarle
Warwick University

Putting a Heart into a Box: GPGPU simulation of a Cardiac Model on the XBox 360

The current generation of games consoles are, pretty much by definition, the most powerful “bangs per buck” computing hardware one can get. However, there is little published work which has actually used this type of hardware to produce useful research results. One exception is my recent paper using the XBox 360 to carry out electro-cardio dynamics simulations, recently published in the Computational Biology and Chemistry*. This I shall discuss in the broader context of using games consoles as an alternative HPC resource.

I shall also discuss the wider publicity generated by this paper, and highlight how games could be a very powerful tool in the Public Understanding of Science arena.
* Implications of the Turing Completeness of Reaction-Diffusion Models, informed by GPGPU simulations on an XBox 360: Cardiac Arrhythmias, Re-entry and the Halting Problem, S.Scarle, Computational Biology and Chemistry 33 253 (2009) Video presentation at:


Simon Scarle has had a diverse research career publishing papers on defects in semi-conductors, thin film delamination, ion motion in polymer hosts, Berne-Gay potential/boids model link and electro-cardio dynamics, before going to work for the Game Developer, Rare Ltd, part of Microsoft Games Studios. There he was the main programmer of a GPU based particle effects system. He is now the Senior Programmer for a Serious Games Project at the International Digital Laboratory, University of Warwick, which is developing a motion controlled game to teach children good nutrition and the worth of exercise.