The Cognitive Computation research group aims to develop better computational techniques (such as for pattern recognition and the control of autonomous systems) from studying animal nervous systems as well as other biologically based and naturally occuring systems. Key application areas include
The group has strong external academic links, both within the UK (Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leicester, Newcastle, Strathclyde, York and others), as well as internationally (Harvard, MIT, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania, TU Munich). Industrial collaborators include Industrial Systems & Control Ltd, SciSys Ltd. and Sitekit Solutions Ltd. The UK Node of the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF) is coordinated by Leslie Smith.
Extracting information and meaning from natural language text is central to a wide variety of computer applications, ranging from social media opinion mining to the processing of patient health-care records. Sentic Computing, pioneered in the CogComp group, underpins a unique set of related tools for incorporating emotion and sentiment analysis in natural language processing.
By understanding the control processes performed in the brain, by such areas as the basal ganglia that are intimately involved in motor control, we aim to develop better algorithms for the control of autonomous vehicles. This work is part of wider interests in the study of complex adaptive systems.
Members of the group are interested in modelling neuronal microcircuits from the subsynaptic to the network level, including learning and adaption, studying low levels of the auditory system, and understanding what neurons communicate to each other. One application area is the use of hardware implementations of auditory system function in active microphones for sound separation and localisation. We are involved in developing neuroinformatics tools to help neuroscience research, such as improved spike sorting algorithms.
One focus is on the development of new evolutionary computation (EC) algorithms with an emphasis on applications in the bio-sciences. We have applied this approach to areas as diverse as use of bio-control agents in mushroom farming and optimal scheduling of chemotherapy treatment to maximise impact and minimise side effects.