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CS405 - Introduction to Empirical Modelling 2010/11


The key themes of the module are summarised in the description of computer science taught modules. The way in which these themes are developed varies from year to year, as can be seen from the previous CS405 webpages to which links are given below. Much of the material by way of papers and models discussed in the module is drawn from the Empirical Modelling website. Most of the models in the projects archive were developed using variants of the well-established EDEN interpreter, as documented under the Software link on the left of this page. Last year, a variant of the EDEN interpreter, devised by Nick Pope, was also deployed in the module: this has subsequently been further developed as a research prototype for a radically new EM tool to be called CADENCE. For 2010-11, both EDEN and CADENCE will be used in the labs and lectures. CADENCE opens up new opportunities for Empirical Modelling projects that address issues that have proved problematic with EDEN. Some familiarity with EDEN is a prerequisite for understanding the material to be presented in the module, but either CADENCE, or EDEN, or both can be used in the assessed work submission.


For 2010-11, CS405 will run in Term 1, weeks 1-10:

  • Lecture: Monday 12 noon in CS101
  • Lab Session: Tuesday 11 am - 1 pm in CS101/CS001
  • Lecture: Thursday 12 noon in CS101

Dr Charles Care, Senior Software Engineer, British Telecom and an Associate Fellow in the Computer Science department, will give a guest lecture on Thursday December 2nd on the theme of Empirical Modelling and the challenges of Enterprise Architecture. Charles's technical interests include the semantic web, enterprise meta-data repositories, Empirical Modelling, software development, and integration technologies. He is also a historian of computing, and has recently published a book on the history of analogue computing.

Remember the module forum

Previous material 2005-6, 2006-7, 2007-8, 2008-9 and 2009-10 is available for those interested. The current CS405 page is here.

See also:
The First Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM
The Second Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM
The Third Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM
The Fourth Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM
The Fifth Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM

Download the tkeden tool (version 1.73 is now the default on the departmental Linux system and is available for download for Windows and Mac from the EM website). This tool will be extensively used for demonstration purposes in lectures and in the lab sessions. The Cadence tool exists as a research prototype that will also be introduced in the labs and lectures; it will be subject to develop as the module progresses.

If you are an MSc student interested in helping us to enhance the Cadence tool for your Dissertation Project, please let Dr Beynon know. There is scope for several different projects relating to this theme, some of which are less technical than others. Your MSc project must be individual, but some cross-project teamwork could be helpful.


The coursework takes the form of a submission of a paper and an accompanying modelling exercise to the Seventh Warwick Electronic Bulletin on EM (WEB-EM-7). The deadline for this submission is now 12 noon on Tuesday 1st February 2011 in week 3 of Term 2. You will be able to choose the theme of your submission subject to approval of an abstract and proposal for an associated modelling study to be submitted by 12 noon on Wednesday 24th November (week 8). Full details of the coursework submission process are available here.

Provisional marks for the WEB-EM-7 submissions have now been returned in all but one or two instances where there are unresolved issues in processing your submissions. Some general feedback can be found here.


The coursework and the examination contribute 50% to the final mark for the module. The format of the CS405 exam for 2010-11 will be unchanged: Question 1 is a compulsory question, and you must answer two questions out of the other four. You will have 3 hours to answer the paper. This year's paper will be marked out of 50 (question 1 will carry 20 marks, and questions 2, 3, 4 and 5 will carry 15 marks). Previous exam papers are available online from the Warwick Exam Papers archive.

Notes to guide you in your revision for the CS405 examination on Friday morning May 27th 2011 can be found here.


Lecture 1 - Reflecting on Lab 1 (7th October)
(PDF document) Lecture text: Introduction to EDEN from a practical perspective
(PDF document) Handout: CADENCE in context auxiliary slides
(Note the corrections to the DASM extracts from the Stargate model)

Lecture 2 - More about Cadence for EM (11th October)
(PDF document) Handout: Going beyond classical programming
(PDF document) Handout: John Dewey (1916) on experience
LINKScripts for first version of cartoonstargate construal:
cartoonstargate0.d, rotring.e, stargatedial.e

Lecture 3 - EM orientation (14th October)
(PDF document) Handout: Background information for studying CS405

Lecture 4 - Inteligence: artificial and real (18th October)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: What is CS? - an EM perspective
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Intelligence - artificial and real
(PDF document) Handout: A Mensa problem with commentary extracted from EM paper #50
LINKDemonstration of construal in a commonsense context based on EM model liftBeynon2003

Lecture 5 - Modelling with definitive scripts (21st October)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Modelling with definitive scripts
(PDF document) Handout: Notes on definitive notations as cited in Handout for Lecture 3
LINKDiscussion of Lab 3 exercise based on EM model cabinetdigitpresBeynon2007

Lecture 6 - Introduction to EDEN (25th October)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Introduction to EDEN from a practical perspective
LINKFurther discussion of Lab 3 exercise based on EM model cabinetdigitpresBeynon2007

Lecture 7 - EM and Constructionism (28th October)
(PDF document) Handout: Introduction to constructionism
(PDF document) Handout: Programming and constructionism: Logo revisited
LINKOnline model: logoparserRoe2002 (to be interpreted with tkeden-1.49 on Linux or tkeden-1.46 on Windows)
(PDF Document) Slides Computer Support for Constructionism in Context (PowerPoint from a tkeden presentation)

Lecture 8 - EM vs Programming with Dependency (1st November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Epistemological Pluralism: Turkle and Papert
LINKOnline model: oxoGardner1999
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Dependency by definition in Imagine-d Logo - EDEN presentation
LINKOnline paper: Dependency by definition in Imagine-d Logo: applications and implications

Lecture 9 - Computing as construction? (4th November)
(PDF document) Viewing computing as construction: A personal construal of modes in the vi editor
(PDF   document) Ben-Ari on Constructivism in Computer Science education
A study in personal construal: the "vi editor modes" model

Lecture 10 - Programming from an Empirical Modelling perspective (8th November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: EM and programming: states, processes and semantics (slides 1-12)
LINKOnline model: jugsBeynon2008

Lecture 11 - Programming from an Empirical Modelling perspective (11th November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: EM and declarative programming (slides 13-24)
LINKOnline model: oxoJoy1994
(PDF document) Literate program with commentary: 3-Dimensional Noughts-and-Crosses in Miranda
(PDF document) Lecture notes: Notes on a functional program to play 3-D Noughts-and-Crosses

Lecture 12 - Rethinking Programming (15th November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: EM and classical programming and sw development (slides 1-9)
(PDF Document) Lecture slides: Rethinking programming: modelling heapsort as a case study
(PDF Document) Supplementary slides: Heapsort auxiliary slides
(PDF Document) Handout: Heapsort model interactions (use with reference to heapsortBeynon2008)
LINKOnline model: heapsortBeynon2008
LINKOnline paper: Rethinking Programming

Lecture 13 - Formal specification: an observation-oriented perspective (18th November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: EM and objects and dependency, logic and experience (slides 10-30)
LINKOnline model: heapsortextendRun-bol2001
(PDF Document) Handout: Morals of the heapsorting exercise
LINKOnline paper: Formal specification from an observation-oriented perspective

Lecture 14 - Beyond single-agent modelling (22nd November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Towards a conceptual framework for general computing applications
LINKOnline model: cubesymWong2001
(PDF document) Lecture slides: EM for concurrency: an overview and an agenda

Lecture 15 - Multi-agent construal (25th November)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Construals in multi-agent systems
LINKOnline model: antnavigationKeer2010
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Notes on the ant navigation model

LINKOnline video: The Amazing Cataglyphis Ant

Lecture 16 - Introducing the LSD notation (29th November)
(PDF document) Handout: LSD for domain analysis and description (EM for concurrency Lecture 4)
LINKLSD examples online: Catflaps: a comparative study
LINKLSD examples: Animating the train arrival-departure account (see ~wmb/public/projects/simulations/train)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: The LSD notation and the ODA framework

Lecture 17 - Guest lecture: Charles Care, BT (2nd December)
(PDF document) Handout: Empirical Modelling and the challenges of Enterprise Architecture

Lecture 18 - The Abstract Definitive Machine (6th December)
(PDF document) Handout: LSD and the ADM (EM for concurrency Lecture 5)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: The Abstract Definitive Machine

Lecture 19 - EM for Systems Development (7th December)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Empirical Modelling for Systems Development
LINKOnline model: digitalwatchFischer1999
LINKOnline model: railwayBeynon2006
(PDF document) Handout: Lind and McCarthy on agent-oriented sw engineering
LINKPapers by Brooks, Harel and Lind as cited in Additional Resources
LINKOnline model: digitalwatchRoe2001

Lecture 20 - Cadence, Doste, EDEN and epilogue (9th December)
(PDF document) Lecture slides: Empirical Modelling with Cadence, Doste and EDEN


      For background information on UNIX, please consult Chapter 4 Getting Started in the online version of "Introducing UNIX and Linux", and other relevant teaching material.