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Research Fellows Directory

Xin Yao

Professor Xin Yao FIEEE

Research Fellow


University of Birmingham

Research summary

Natural computation is the study of computational systems that use ideas and

draw inspiration from natural systems, where a range of techniques and methods

are studied for dealing with large, complex, uncertain and dynamic problems, in

a distributed and decentralised fashion. So far my research has centred around

evolutionary computation and ensemble learning. It has led to novel algorithms

to solve effectively complex nonlinear problems with constraints, e.g., those

problems occurred in software project scheduling and handover in a distributed

smart camera network. Evolutionary computation techniques have also been used

with success in knowledge discovery from noisy data in a changing environment.

In particular, multi-objective learning has been shown to be able to produce

highly competitive learners through simulated evolution and ensemble learning.

There are many open research questions in natural computation to be answered,

especially the foundations underlying different nature inspired systems. My

future research focuses on two major issues. (a) What are most appropriate

mathematical and computational frameworks for modelling natural systems such

that we can gain deep understanding of such systems? (b) How and when can a

nature inspired computing system outperform an existing system and why? Built

upon this research and new understanding, novel nature inspired computing

systems will be developed for tackling large and complex problems in dynamic

and uncertain environments. Such problems include autonomous management of

mobile communication networks, where nodes may be added or removed at any

time and failures may happen at any node any time, optimisation of complex

transportation networks consisting of different vehicles as well as people,

self-learning of autonomous systems in an unknown environment, energy

consumption monitoring and management in a modern city, etc.

Grants awarded

Foundations and Applications of Nature Inspired Computing Systems

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Aug 2012 - Aug 2017

Value: £50,000