Module 12418 (2010)

Syllabus page 2010/2011

Nature Inspired Design

Level 4/M

Bob Hendley
10 credits in Semester 2

Links | Outline | Aims | Outcomes | Prerequisites | Teaching | Assessment | Books | Detailed Syllabus

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page. (The University module description has not yet been checked against the School's.)

Relevant Links


This module introduces the basic ideas of nature-inspired design techniques. Different algorithms and their applications will be presented. Similarities and differences between these techniques/algorithms and other classical techniques will be discussed whenever appropriate. The design domain ranges from architectural, engineering and graphics design to electronic circuit design and evolvable hardware. Examples of such techniques include evolution and knowledge discovery, circuit design by evolution, novel architectural design by evolution, creative design, interactive evolution, evolutionary graphics, knowledge extraction from evolution, extrinsic evolvable hardware, intrinsic evolvable hardware, on-line adaptation, and implementation issues.


The aims of this module are to:

  • introduce some of the fundamental techniques and principles in nature inspired design
  • investigate their strength, weakness, and potential applications

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to: Assessed by:
1demonstrate a good understanding of different nature-inspired design techniques and how they are applied to solve a real world problem Written Examination, Coursework
2demonstrate a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of nature-inspired and other traditional design techniques and how they are combined and used to produce an effective solution to a real world problem Written Examination, Coursework
3demonstrate an ability to research and analyse existing work in Nature Inspired Design Coursework

Restrictions, Prerequisites and Corequisites


May not be taken if 06-14410 (Nature Inspired Design (A)) has been taken previously.




06-12412 (Introduction to Neural Computation) (unless 06-19341 (Introduction to Natural Computation), 06-02360 Introduction to Neural Networks or equivalent has been taken previously); 06-22753 (Introduction to Evolutionary Computation) (unless 06-02411 (Evolutionary Computation) or equivalent has been taken previously)


Teaching Methods:

2 hrs lectures or tutorials per week

Contact Hours:



  • Sessional: 1.5 hr written examination (80%), coursework (20%)
  • Supplementary (where allowed): 1.5 hr written examination (80%) with the coursework mark carried forward (20%)

Recommended Books

TitleAuthor(s)Publisher, Date
Creative Evolutionary SystemsPeter J. Bentley and David W. Corne (eds.)Morgan Kaufmann, 2001
The Computational Beauty of NatureGary William FlakeMIT Press, 1998
Evolutionary Design by ComputersPeter J. BentleyMorgan Kaufmann, 1999

Detailed Syllabus

  1. Engineering Design and Optimisation
  2. Creative Design
  3. Evolutionary Art
  4. Artificial Life and Cellular Automata
  5. Lindenmayer Systems and Developmental Approaches
  6. Emergence
  7. Evolvable Hardware
  8. Artificial Immune Systems
  9. Molecular Design
  10. Music

Last updated: 4 October 2010

Source file: /internal/modules/COMSCI/2010/xml/12418.xml

Links | Outline | Aims | Outcomes | Prerequisites | Teaching | Assessment | Books | Detailed Syllabus