High-impact interdisciplinary computer science research with applications in healthcare, security and urbanisation.
The Informatics Research Centre is an interdisciplinary hub, conducting leading work on fundamental and applied computer science.
Our Centre is characterised by its distinctive mix of expertise, research strengths and interdisciplinary activities. We combine top-quality foundational work with a portfolio of threads that reach out to make significant contributions in important areas. Our over-arching aim is to address societal challenges, and our research has impact in significant domains such as healthcare, future cities, the digital economy, safety and security.
We are supported by funding from the European Union, the Research Councils and other government agencies including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council and the Food and Environment Research Agency, Innovate UK, charities such as the Wellcome Trust, and professional bodies such as the Royal Academy of Engineering. We also have excellent links with industrial partners, and our research-driven enterprise activity is evidenced by a significant number of active Knowledge Transfer Partnerships.
Our founding principles are to be interdisciplinary, applied, rigorous, open, collaborative and outward facing. We understand that teaching, research, enterprise and engagement are all central to our mission to make a positive difference to society and the world around us.
Our research in complex systems focuses on theoretical and synthetic biology, artificial life, bio-inspiration and other "novel" forms of computing. We rely on computational methods such as agent-based modelling and simulation, and apply our expertise to problems in healthcare, crowd science and swarm robotics—asking in particular how “emergent” collective behaviour can be guided and improved. One main paradigm, “morphogenetic engineering”, draws from multicellular development and insect constructions to design agents capable of self-assembling into functional architectures without central planning, with applications in domains such as the Internet of Things, smart energy grids, or disaster response coordination.
Research in intelligent systems together a wide range of fields in contemporary areas of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. The focus of our interests and outputs is directed to the computation and elicitation of information, knowledge representation, the extraction of consistent information from collected facts, verification of the correctness of information, and the development of real-world applications and software development. We use a wide range of mathematical and computational models, algorithms and techniques. Our mission is to conduct world-leading research, collaborate with other institutions both nationally and internationally, and to translate the results of our research into industrial applications.
Our research focuses on the development of novel methods and solutions to address fundamental challenges in computer networks and distributed systems, and on issues associated with data-centric computing/data intensive (big data) computing. This includes (1) Intelligent management and optimisation of networks and distributed systems (e.g. cloud/Grid/Service-oriented computing/Internet of Things), (2) both fundamental and applied research in data-intensive computing (i.e. big data processing and analytics/data mining) with applications in different domains (e.g. health, food, energy, cybersecurity, smart cities), (3) network security and computer forensics, (4) computational methods based on self-organizing system models, and assessment of emergent risks arising from globally distributed systems interaction.
Recent work in sensory computation, in collaboration with colleagues in Healthcare Sciences, concerns the imaging and modelling of human physiological systems such as muscles. Our expertise is applied to the extraction of information about muscle movements from real-time video, and our research has potential applications in the treatment of spinal injury, neurological disease, pain injury, Alzheimer's and possibly stroke. Work on medical imaging and virtual reality encompasses the visualisation of complex data sets and 3D modelling of embryos, MRI image analysis, facial animation and modelling, and the identification of diabetic foot ulcers.