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About Empirical Modelling

This introductory page identifies key themes and resources that will be referred to during the module. Note that it is set up in such a way that all links open in a new webpage.

The EM webpage


  • Module webpage(s):
    • Lecture notes
    • Lab session documentation
    • Module forum
    • Assessment: coursework and examination
    • Administrative details
  • Publications
  • Models
  • Tools
  • Additional resources in the /dcs/emp/empublic/ directory on the DCS linux system

Some orientation ...

EM proposes a new conceptual framework for computing based on principles and tools for making 'construals'. A construal is an interactive artefact that is developed as an integral aspect of learning about a domain. EM builds on established concepts and tools, such as declarative programming and spreadsheets, but adopts a fundamentally different perspective from the classical theory of computation. Whereas programs prescribe automatic behaviour optimised for specific uses and goals, EM construals embody counterparts of patterns of observation, dependency and agency that are experienced in the application domain. Identifying and engineering such patterns, which are more primitive than the comprehensive behaviours to be preconceived in conventional programming, is the basis for an alternative mode of software development. EM construals are as open to live interaction and interpretation as the real-world artefacts we encounter moment-by-moment in our experience. At the discretion of the modeller, they can be configured to realise a specific behaviour and used like a traditional computer program, but in such a way that this behaviour can always be suspended and subverted through reinterpretation.

In the spirit of EM ...

Application areas ...

  • Learning - see e.g. EM paper 096
  • Concurrency - see e.g. EM paper 017
  • Software development / programming - see e.g. EM paper 121
  • Human Computing - see e.g. EM paper 082

For an excellent broad overview of EM ranging from philosophical to practical aspects see Karl King's MSc dissertation "Uncovering Empirical Modelling".