Category: Teaching Material

FYP 2016/17

Here are my projects for next year (from September 2016).  I am always happy to discuss projects and your ideas.  See my previous post on getting started.

MOBISIM combines mobile smartphone technology with agent based simulation.  The project will require you explore how simulations can execute on smart phones in the physical environment.  Importantly, a smart phone is able to detect movement in the local area and this capability can be used as part of the simulation.  Consumer behaviour in a retail space or patient behaviour in a hospital provides possible areas of investigation.  Students will have the opportunity to learn about agent based simulation and mobile sensing technology.

BLOCKSIM is a cyber-physical project that aims to link simple Lego building blocks with agent based simulation.  It is often difficult, especially for end users, to design models using current tools and techniques.  This project will allow an end-user to design a model with Lego before transformation into a computational model. Opportunities for 3D printing physical objects instead of or to augment Lego is a possibility. Students will have the opportunity to learn about agent based simulation and image analysis techniques.

VRSIM is a virtual reality project that requires you to develop an immersive interface for agent based simulation models.  Typical simulators use a simple grid of images, but VR could allow the user to enter, interrogate and adapt the model in a 3D world. A healthcare context may be explored, with people moving around a hospital environment.  Simulation can then be used to re-design new hospitals or wider systems including primary care. Students will have the opportunity to learn about agent based simulation and virtual reality technology.

DISTRIBUTED AGENT SIM is a project for students interested in more server side development (including protocols for software interoperation).  We currently have an agent based simulation platform that is web based (PHP) and easy to use.  The project aims to create a distributed simulation environment that is able to connect a number of separate, diverse simulations (e.g. infectious diseases and hospitals).  The project could also investigate how simulations can operate on a cloud platform. Students will learn about agent based simulation and messaging technologies.

FUTURE TRADING SIM is a project that explores a “design fiction” where we are all trading our own personal data footprints (purchases, movement, viewing/listening).  Agent based simulation can be used to understand possible futures, determine what is required for its growth and explore associated economic models.  A particular problem when simulating a future state is access to representative data.  Students will learn about agent based simulation and data trading.

ROBOSIM is a project that combines an online bot and agent based simulation.  How can online discussions gather data that is able to build better understanding of human behaviour?  One approach is to use this captured data as a basis for agent based modelling and simulation.  Students will learn about artificial intelligence (driving chatbot interaction) and agent based simulation approaches.

HEALTHSTRAT is a project that uses agent based simulation to build a health strategy game.  The game itself can explore local (e.g. hospital) or planetary health (see  The game will allow participant to learn more about healthcare strategy as well as testing new or adapted strategies.  Game design techniques can be used to interact with a simulation. Students will learn about agent based simulation, healthcare systems and strategy.

PICTAG is a project that captures pictures and comments from Art installations (or heritage locations).  The project will utilise visual and non-visual tagging (e.g. QR Codes, NFC or iBeacon) to track visitors and allow them to send media and comments.  The challenge of this project is the subsequent analysis and visualisation of contributions!  Heat maps, simulation, sentiment analysis, emotional tracking are all possible directions. Game design and/or social media techniques can also be used to construct a resulting virtual exhibit.

HEALTHVIZ is a project that extracts data from health “open-data” sites for use in new forms of visualisation (utilising underlying graph storage).  Most open data is in tabular format and not directly connected.  HCI techniques will used to design the visualisation and the user experience (UX).

MOBILE DISASTER MANAGEMENT is a project that aims to predict the needs of stakeholders in a disaster management scenario.  Open-data will be used to design,  build and drive a mobile app that support various response services.  The project can be more focused towards data analysis or mobile app design and usability.


Hadoop and Spark

A nice Hadoop tutorial – .  Moving on from a single test machine.  Next step is having a play around with spark – (nice way to kick start a spark cluster with Docker).

Which do you prefer? Why and what for?