Please note that I don't take on any new PhD students at the moment.
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Dissertation Projects
  • This year we are working together with Nottingham City Council's Transport Strategy Department on some Smart City projects. The ultimate goal will be to create something similar to smartCAMBRIDGE program. On the way to this, there will be several proof-of-principle studies to test ideas. If you are a bright MSc student and on the lookout for an interesting project and keen to conduct one of these proof-of-principle studies, please get in touch with me.

  • In recent years I had several dissertation students working on a Java-based Agent-Based Simulation toolkit for Social Simulation. The next step will be to create an editor for state machine diagrams (drawing them using drag/drop; error check; translation into code)
Dissertation Project Ideas
A list of project ideas that require some further thoughts and discussions.
  • Improving "code2uml", a tool for generating UML class diagrams from java .class and .jar files. See here for more.
  • [Taken] Replicating James Lovelock's Daisy World (A Self-Organising Biosphere). See here for more.
  • [Taken] Improving AI Decision Modelling through Utility Theory. See here for more.
  • [Taken] Fuzzy Logic for Social Simulation: Using Juzzy from within AnyLogic. See here for more.
  • Develop Your Own Simulator for Discrete-Event Systems from scratch. See here for more.
  • Drivers' En-Route Divergence Behavior Modeling Using the E-BDI Framework. See here for more.
  • Android App for Modelling the Dynamics of "My Citations" in Google Scholar
  • [Taken] Building a Computer Game with Advanced Fuzzy Logic Decision Making Embedded
A Choice of Previous Dissertation Projects (use these for inspiration)
The Digital Occupant
Monitoring the uptake of new equipment in private homes has often some ethical issues (intrusion of privacy) and is also quite cost intensive. We were interested in exploring the opportunities of using digital occupant for such tests. The digital occupant (individual / group) could be used for testing and calibrating newly developed devices (e.g. smart meters) that are part of the house of the future. This way of testing is non-intrusive and avoids the ethical issues that people might have when doing research with humans in the loop. In this project, the student's job was to explore existing solutions and then to build his own digital occupant and test environment using agent-based modelling and simulation.
Improving Road Safety for Lorry Drivers through Data Analytics and Agent-Based Simulation
This project was jointly supervised by me, Dr Grazziela Figueredo and Professor Bob John.
The student's project was linked to a bigger research project that is aiming to understand and improve road safety for lorry drivers around London through data analytics and agent-based simulation. Lorry data regarding vehicle tracking, telematics and weather conditions have been gathered throughout a period of three months. The collected information includes incidents such as lorry harsh cornering, harsh braking and speeding. In this project the student's job was to fuse and analyse the data and determine those areas in London of high danger for drivers and their causes. He was also asked to come up with stereotypes of lorry drivers based on the available data.
The Elephant Welfare Project
The idea for this project came from a discussion I had with Lisa Yon from the Vet School. She is interested in studying attraction to or repulsion from physical and social features of the enclosure for zoo elephants, with a view to identifying those elements of their environment which are particularly important to the elephants. In order to study the complexity of social and physical interactions between elephants and with their environment I proposed to employ simulation. A simulation method often used when the focus is on modelling individuals and their interactions is agent-based modelling and simulation. There are different ways of defining such agent-based models and each research field has its preferred way of modelling. Behavioural animal models are usually formulated using equations that are based on theories and qualitative observations and empirical data is used to validate these models. In this project, the student's job was to test a new approach using Finite State Machine diagrams together with social theories to define the elephant agents and their behaviour.
Energy-Efficient Data Forwarding in Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks
This project was jointly supervised by me and Dr Sameh Zakhary.
A typical Mobile Wireless Sensor Networks (MWSN) consists of a number of mobile nodes, and each node represents a small device (sensor) that has limited computing and storage capabilities. These sensors are capable of measuring their environment and reporting back various events (e.g. temperature, pressure, GPS location and humidity) to one or more base station(s) that can either be static or mobile. Many protocols have been developed to enable nodes to become autonomous acting as an independent agent to transmit their own data, as well as to collaborate with each other to move data around the network. As sensors have limited energy and storage capacity, each sensor aims to get as many events reported back to the base station as possible with the least cost. Also, sensors maintain collaborating with each other to prolong the lifetime of the whole network. In this project, the student's job was to develop an agent-based model for forwarding information between nodes to facilitate communication in MWSN, and compare its performance to existing solutions such as epidemic routing. As a case study we used an animal movement monitoring scenario, where we wanted to test how quickly the two different forwarding protocols allow a veterinary to respond to stress signals sent from sensors mounted on the animals (e.g., when one animal gets ill or insured) and how to best to schedule the doctor's visits to do routine health checks on animals.
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PhD Students
PhD Students: Main Supervisor
  • James Hey [email]
    • Urban Social Simulation in the Context of Sustainability

  • Kwabena Amponsah [email]
    • Distributed Computing and Optimisation of Complex Urban Systems

  • Jonathan Thaler [email]
    • Functional Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation [website]

  • Olusola Faboya [email]
    • The Use of Object Oriented Agent-Based Social Simulation to Stimulate Transport Mode Shift of People

PhD Students: Additional Supervisor
  • Alexandra Cristina Dediu
    • Office space allocation problem: human computation and simulation approach

  • Shadab Mashuk
    • Application of indoor positioning to understand building energy consumption using an occupancy model

  • Tim Whiteley
    • Integrated whole system modelling and optimisation of city resource flows

  • Kunpeng Wang (writing up)
    • Multi-scale model integration for the large-scale analysis of complex urban energy system

  • James Burnett (writing up)
    • What can user data relating to proximity and orientation tell us about real-world vs. simulation for interactive content delivery

  • Felix Osebor (writing up)
    • Sustainable urban mobility: A modelling framework for cities in rapidly developing countries

  • Xia Li (writing up)
    • Port operation evaluation with simulation and fuzzy based multi-stakeholder multi-criteria decision analysis

PhD Students: Advisor
  • Ashley Lewis
    • Interdisciplinary approaches to assessing urban sustainability: An ethnographic study of interdisciplinarity in practice.

PhD Completions
  • Dr Sudhir Venkatesan
    • A Framework for Multi-Method Simulation of Antiviral Treatment for A(H1N1) Pandemic Influenza

  • Dr Tuong Vu
    • A Software Engineering Approach for Agent-Based Modelling of Public Goods Games

  • Dr Jacob Chapman
    • Multi-agent stochastic simulation of occupants' comfort and behaviour

  • Dr Mazlina Abdul Majid
    • Human behaviour modelling: An investigation using traditional discrete event and combined discrete event and agent-based simulation

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Tips for Tutees
During the personal tutee meetings I promise many of you to send links to further information. I thought that these links might also be useful for all other tutees (at least at some point in your student life). So I am collecting these links and post them below. I hope you find this useful.
UoN Essentials
  • UoN CompSci School [url]
  • UoN CompSci School Staff [url]
  • UoN CompSci School Courses [url]
  • UoN Programme Specification Catalogue (Course Details and Rules) [url]
  • UoN Module Specification Catalogue [url]
  • UoN CompSci UG + PGT + PhD + Project Handbooks (internal access only) [url]
  • UoN Quality Manual [url]
  • UoN Moodle [url]
  • Document with useful links and contacts [url]
Useful links for all kind of topics related to student life
  • UoN: Studying Effectively [url]
  • UoN GradSchool: Wellbeing Resources [url]
  • UoN Counselling Services: Home [url]
  • UoN Counselling Services: Self Help Resources [pdf]
Some Wisdom for Life
  • "Where Is The Love?" Lyrics for the song by the BLACK EYED PEAS [url] (and the video [url])
  • "Imagine" Lyrics for the song by JOHN LENNON [url] (and the video [url])
Learning Resources
  • Bucky's Room: Learn to Program: [url]
  • Yet Another Insignificant ... Programming Notes (Lecture Notes by Chua Hock-Chuan) [url] {hot tip}
  • LearnCPP - Tutorials to help you master C++ and Object Oriented Programming [url]
  • Justin Zobel (2015) Writing for Computer Science - 3e [url]
  • "Head First" Series [url] {hot tip}
  • UoN GradSchool: Funding Opportunities [url]
  • UoN Doctoral Training Programmes [url]
  • UoN International Office: International Students - Scholarships [url]
  • Alternative Guide to Postgraduate funding (through grants from charity) [url]
PhDs and Jobs
  • PhD Places and Academic Jobs ( [url]
  • Find a PhD [url]
Career and Internships
  • Digital Catapult Centre London - Paid Summer Internships [url]
  • UoN Careers Service: Book a Careers Appointment [url]
  • UoN Careers Service: Careers Timetable (what to consider at each stage of your studies) [url]
  • Bright Network (for students from Russell Group Universities) [url]
  • Indeed (jobs and internships) [url]
  • Work in Start-Ups (short notice internships; high success rate): jobs [url]: internships [url] {hot tip}
  • Graduate Talent Pool (government website for finding internships) [url]
  • UoN Careers Service: Internships and Placement Vacancies [url]
  • UoN Careers Service: Booklet - Becoming a Global Graduate [url]
  • GigaJob: One of the biggest job sites worldwide (and free to use:) [url] {hot tip}
Student Exchange Programs (not only for international students)
  • UoN Main: Study Abroad [url] {hot tip}
Dissertation and Group Project
  • Solent Uni: Your Online Guide to Becoming a Better Learner [url] {hot tip}
  • Solent Uni: Dissertation Proposals & Writing Dissertations [url]
  • Solent Uni: Time Management and Group Work [url]
  • UoN Library: Walliman (2013) Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide for Success [unloc]
  • Project and Dissertation Handbooks (requires login) [url]
  • Help for your Dissertation Project: "Learning Lab - Writing Skills" by RMIT University [url]
  • Help for your Dissertation Presentation: "Giving an Academic Talk" by Jonathan Shewchuk [url]
Misc (in responses to specific questions asked during tutorials)
  • UoN Student Services: Timetables [url]
  • UoN Student Services: Exam Periods [url]
  • UoN Student Services: Study Resources [url]
  • UoN Student Services: Time Management for Students - Tips and Tricks [url]
  • UoN Student Services: Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedures [url]
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