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The Ninth Warwick Empirical Modelling Bulletin (WEB-EM-9) / 2012-13

Empirical Modelling as an Experimental Problem Solving Application [Paper-5 (PDF Document), Model-5 (ZIP or other archive)]

Sarah Marshall

In this paper we evaluate the benefits of using Empirical Modelling (EM) as a framework for problem solving and the study of problem solving methods. The result of this project was the creation of a number of small models that demonstrate the capabilities of EM in educating users in general rules of problem solving. Each of these models tackled a different problem whose solution involves the use of these guidelines. We also examine the JS-EDEN environment with regard to problem construction and flexibility of solutions. We find that, whilst it has limitations, the JS-EDEN environment and EM are intuitive paradigms for examining problem via models and in which to teach problem solving techniques.

Uses of Empirical Modelling in driver education [Paper-6 (PDF Document), Model-4 (ZIP or other archive)]

Robin Janssens

Empirical Modelling is a novel paradigm of thinking about learning based on constructivist ideas. Through observation a modeller can build a computerised construal that represents their understanding of a real-world artefact. Through the modelling process and experimentation on an object a modeller or
user of a model will gain knowledge. This paper looks at the issues with EM and related tools and how they can be used to educate. A specific modelling study of a roundabout scenario is proposed where aspiring drivers could experience a roundabout on the computer and experiment with the modifications of certain observables. The driver may then feel more confident when they take to the road as they already have gained some experiential knowledge in this particular domain.

Empirical Modelling: River Crossing Problem [Paper-4 (PDF Document), Model-6 (ZIP or other archive)]

Adam Riley

This report will detail the Empyrical Modelling aspects of the River Crossing model. This model has been developed to demonstrate the
links between discrete logical problems and the use of graph theory as a solution to such problems. By using the EM environment it was
possible to merge these two ideas into a single, graphical format, such that users may more fully comprehend their relationships.

Modelling Mechanics and Motion with Definitive Scripts [Paper-5 (PDF Document), Model-5 (ZIP or other archive)]

David Walton

Definitive scripts provide a powerful and intuitive way to express dependencies between observables, using definitions. A definition connects
a number of observables, in much the way that links, both tangible and theoretical, connect physical systems. This paper investigates the connection between physical systems and definitive scripts further through the development of a number of empirical models using the JS-EDEN tool.
The suitability of definitive scripts for modelling physical systems will be discussed in more detail, and finally potential applications and extensions
of such models will be outlined.

Modelling the positioning of players in a five-a-side Football game [Paper-5 (PDF Document), Model-5 (ZIP or other archive)]

Amit Shah

Five-a-side football is a common sport, but has seen little development in terms of strategies to be played, in particular with player formations. In this paper we take a look at the Empirical Modelling approach to building a model that allows for the interaction of players, to be able to view their optimal position in the game.

Empirical Modelling of Wireless Sensor Networks [Paper-3(PDF Document), Model-7 (ZIP or other archive)]

Joseph Yarnall

The focus of this paper is to study the techniques by which a Wireless Sensor Networks arrangement in a physical environment[1] can impact on the effectiveness of message propagation within the network. The model will be created in JS-Eden[4] and will also explore the effectiveness of this system for empirical modeling. The purpose of the EM model[3] created is twofold. Firstly, it is to explore the EM approach and the perceived benefits and drawbacks of it. Secondly, the model can be used as an educational tool to teach people the basics of a Wireless Sensor Network in an experiential way.

Creating an interactive learning environment powered by a JS-EDEN model to aid in the understanding of vectors [Paper-7 (PDF Document), Model-3 (ZIP or other archive)]

Greg Corbett

This paper presents and discusses “A System for Teaching” (AST), a JS-EDEN model designed to aid in the understanding of vectors, an A-Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics topic. The paper will discuss how Empirical Modelling (EM) techniques and tools can enrich the learning of vectors through interaction and guided discovery, such offering a richer web-like learning structure when compare to other programs written in an imperative language [1]. The paper will also touch upon how these techniques can be applied to other areas of mathematics and indeed, all areas of school education. It will also discuss how AST has gained insight from the methodologies behind sports coaching, as this is often, if not exclusively, an interactive process between the coach and the learner.

JS-EDEN-SVG: Extending the range and capability of JS-EDEN observables [Paper-6 (PDF Document), Model-4 (ZIP or other archive)]

Bernard Sexton

This project considers an SVG implementation of the JS-EDEN 1 environment in pursuit of enhancing the notion of communicable representation or construal conveyed by models defined in the browser environment. The motivation for doing this is grounded in improving how models are construed by the user through improvements of and modifications to artefact representation in JS-EDEN. The identification of differences between the current HTML5 implementation and an SVG variant is then highlighted by modelling an existing JS-EDEN project to identify how artefact representation affects the overall construal of a model and how the future development of JS-EDEN benefits from the use of standardised and widely available tools.

Modelling a player's logical actions through the game "Hunt The Wumpus" [Paper-4 (PDF Document), Model-6 (ZIP or other archive)]

Stefania Papaconstantinou

The aim of this report is to give an introduction to the "Hunt The Wumpus" game and discuss observed results gained from modelling the game in JS-Eden after studying a model already implemented in Eden by G. Cole [1]. The game is studied for Articial Intelligence purposes as its complexity combined with its set environment make modelling the player's approach very interesting. The game environment consists of a static game map, but the player has little knowledge about the other agents in the game.

Analysis of Bret Victor’s principle and its application for Empirical Modelling [Paper-7 (PDF Document), Model-3 (ZIP or other archive)]

Hoang Long Tran

Bret Victor, who gave a presentation at CUSEC 2012, described his brilliant principle of programming interface. This shares a lot of similarities with current Empirical Modelling processes and he described a lot of features that would be very useful for Empirical Modelling to have. Motivated by this fact, this paper analyses his presentation, and suggest ways of implementing these features to extend current Empirical Modelling tools in order to accommodate more interesting ideas.

Utilising The EM Conceptual Framework in The Study of Targeted Advertising [Paper-4 (PDF Document), Model-6 (ZIP or other archive)]

Judy Palimonka

Targeted Advertising (TA) facilitates the process of adapting online adverts to users interests based on their past online activity. The process of creating targeted advertisements can be easily accounted for by defining a few of the core concepts and indicating the relationships between them. The process itself is however very implicit, therefore despite its simplicity, the public often seems to misunderstand the core ideas in TA or makes incorrect assumptions which may rise unnecessary concerns, create misconceptions and cause the misinformation in the Internet and public awareness. Users have limited understanding of web technologies and there are also limitations to what browsers can reveal with regards to the TA activities performed in the background. This paper will discuss the suitability of the EM framework for presenting this type of problems with the EM model developed specifically for this project in JS-EDEN. The model will allow for developing a construal of TA’s by showing how the concepts are involved in processes being part of ad targeting. This EM artefact will also help the modeller visualise what happens when we decide to block trackers and indicate the impact of blocking on the information collected by the firms following user as well as the information being displayed by the website. We hope that the knowledge gained during the interaction will allow develop the understanding of TA which will eventually let the modeller take a stand on the privacy related issues.