Introduction to Natural Computation (19341) 2012-2013

Level 2/I    10 Credits    Semester 1    Official syllabus page here


Natural computation is the study of systems in nature that lend themselves to a computational interpretation. This module provides an introduction to the field, emphasising common themes, principles and techniques. It lays the foundations for further advanced study of specific areas (such as neural networks and evolutionary algorithms).


The aims of this module are to:


A mark of zero is given for late submissions of weekly exercises. If you need an extension of the deadline due to a welfare reason, please email welfare.

====== Marks for weekly exercises available here! ======


===== If you would like to come to office hours, please email the corresponding lecturer/TA first. =====

Lecture Schedule

There are two lectures per week:

Download the lecture plan as a PDF file here.

# Date Topic Lecturer Notes
1 Wednesday 26/09/2012 Module introduction and examples Xin Yao pdf
2 Thursday 27/09/2012 Population and cellular automata Xin Yao pdf
3 Wednesday 03/10/2012 Firefly co-ordination Leandro Minku pdf
4 Thursday 04/10/2012 Ant colony optimisation Leandro Minku pdf
5 Wednesday 10/10/2012 Particle swarm optimisation Leandro Minku pdf
6 Thursday 11/10/2012 Applying particle swarm optimisation Leandro Minku pdf
7 Wednesday 17/10/2012 Self-organising maps Leandro Minku pdf
8 Thursday 18/10/2012 Perceptrons Leandro Minku pdf
9 Wednesday 24/10/2012 Feedforward neural networks Peter Lewis pdf
10 Thursday 25/10/2012 Games Peter Lewis pdf
11 Wednesday 31/10/2012 Market based control Peter Lewis pdf
12 Wednesday 01/11/2012 Elementary genetics and evolutionary algorithms Christine Zarges pdf
13 Thursday 08/11/2012 Tutorial Leandro Minku and Alberto Moraglio pdf
14 Wednesday 14/11/2012 Theory and application of evolutionary algorithms Alberto Moraglio pdf
15 Thursday 15/11/2012 Fruitfly for frequency assignment Alberto Moraglio pdf
16 Thursday 21/11/2012 Small worlds Alberto Moraglio pdf
17 Wednesday 22/11/2012 Propagation time in networks Alberto Moraglio pdf
18 Thursday 28/11/2012 Random boolean networks Alberto Moraglio pdf
19 Wednesday 29/11/2012 Artificial life Alberto Moraglio pdf
20 Thursday 05/12/2012 Fractals Alberto Moraglio pdf
21 Thursday 06/12/2012 Epidemiology Leandro Minku pdf
22 Thursday 25/04/2012 Revision Leandro Minku pdf

Assessed Exercises

In most weeks, there will be assessed exercises worthing 2% each. By doing these exercises, you will get feedback which will be very useful when it comes to the closed book examination. Please, hand them in to the CS Reception. A mark of zero is given for late submissions. If you need an extension of the deadline due to a welfare reason, please email welfare.

# Release Date Due Date Questions Answers
1 Thursday 27/09/2012 12 noon Wednesday 03/10/2012 pdfpdf
2 Thursday 04/10/2012 12 noon Wednesday 10/10/2012 pdf pdf
3 Thursday 11/10/2012 12 noon Wednesday 17/10/2012 pdfpdf
4 Thursday 18/10/2012 12 noon Wednesday 24/10/2012 pdf pdf
5 Thursday 01/11/2012 12 noon Friday 09/11/2012 pdf pdf
6 Thursday 08/11/2012 12 noon Wednesday 14/11/2012 pdf pdf
7 Thursday 15/11/2012 12 noon Wednesday 21/11/2012 pdf pdf
8 Thursday 22/11/2012 12 noon Wednesday 28/11/2012 pdf pdf
9 Thursday 29/11/2012 12 noon Wednesday 05/12/2012 pdf pdf

Assessed Coursework

There will be one piece of assessed coursework for the module, worth 12%.

A penalty of 5% will be imposed for each day that the coursework is late. For example, a mark of 67% would become 62% on day one, 57% on day two, and so on. There will also be a cut-off date, after which the mark for any late submission is zero. The cut-off date will be 7th December at 12 (noon).

Please find the slides for the tutorial on programming for the coursework here.

# Release Date Due date Coursework
1 Thursday 05/11/2012 12 noon 03/12/2012 pdf

Relevant Reading

The lecture slides are meant only as reminders of the content of the lectures. You are expected to make your own notes and also read around the topics covered. Items for further reading are listed on the final slide for each lecture.


We will update the links throughout the term.