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The Fifth Warwick Empirical Modelling Bulletin (WEB-EM-5) / 2008-9

Abermule Railway Station: Agent-Oriented Task-Centric Empirical Modelling     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

This paper presents and discusses an approach to modelling the situation at the Abermule Train Station immediately leading up to the train disaster of 1921. The incident itself is summarised and a modelling approach introduced and presented that is based on the principles behind Empirical Modelling (EM) and yet also around the notion of tasks. A corresponding model, built with EM software tools, is introduced and referenced throughout. The model itself, and the overall approach are evaluated and some comparisons with previous work in the field are included. Significantly, the appropriateness and position of such a task-centric modelling approach within the seemingly non goal-oriented empirical mindset is addressed. Finally, the suitability of current EM tools for such an approach is assessed and some suggestions proposed.

An Investigation into the Tuition of Music Theory using Empirical Modelling     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

Music theory is a subject that is often thought essential to the learning of a musical instrument, but is fraught with complexities, contradictions and subjective thought. The human ear is often not able to accurately discern pitch at a level necessary for a fluent understanding of harmony at the beginning of tuition, making it harder to gain understanding of the concepts involved. This paper explores using Empirical Modelling to create an open-ended visualisation environment for the tuition of basic music theory, in order to aid general musical understanding.

An Empirical Modelling Approach to Self-Adjusting Environmental Vehicle Reversing Alarms     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) estimates that 25% of all work-related road deaths are caused by reversing vehicles (Brake - the Road Safety Charity). This paper uses an Empirical Modelling (EM) approach to analyse techniques by which vehicle reversing alarms can be “smarter”. Beneficiaries of the techniques include the driver, pedestrians and nearby residents. An original EM model is created in order to illustrate how Empirical Modelling is helpful in this context to educate users as to how a “smarter” vehicle reversing alarm works.

Reactive Search and Rescue Planning     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

This paper looks at a generic natural disaster scenario where a number of survivors are scattered over a geographical area requiring a coordinated helicopter search and rescue effort. It aims to show that an Empirical Modelling approach to coordinating this is appropriate due to the scenario being dynamic (i.e. reports of new survivors) and changes can be unexpected (e.g. a building collapse requiring some survivors to be high priority) requiring human intervention to the model. Such changes should affect the search and rescue strategy accordingly. The suitability of dependency for affecting these changes is investigated.

Furthering the Application of Empirical Modelling in Teaching Human Biology     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

This paper primarily deals with the potential of using Empirical Modelling (EM) as a tool to aid Biology students in their learning about human organ functionality. It extends previous work done on the subject. An EM model of the kidney’s internal workings is referenced throughout to support the EM ideas. It is concluded that there are many dependencies in the human body that are heavily involved within human organ functionality and EM is a very useful tool to better explain these functionalities. It is also found that the constituents of the blood provide a perfect universal base for exploring the dependencies between these organs.

What Empirical Modelling tools should look like     [Paper (PDF Document), Model (ZIP or other archive)]

I discuss some of the problems with existing Empirical Modelling tools from the perspective of a new user coming from a programming background; most notably the claim that the system of multiple notations for different tasks is confusing. I make some proposals for an object­-based definitive notation which can be extended without re­introducing the same problems.