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Chronological Review of EM Workshop at Burapha

Empirical Modelling Workshop at Burapha University (16–17 May 2013) : a Review

Chronological view

16th am :

Session 1: An orientation: that EM is concerned with integrating automatic and human processes, and that it is not focussed on programming, but is concerned with issues that come before, and around, programming. (E.g. construal, and concepts of observable, dependency, agency (ODA); making sense of a domain, assumptions of a context etc.) Resources: Slides from Session 1 which can be read in conjunction with the broader motivation for introducing EM outlined in a talk given at Birmingham University on May 2nd 2013.

Session 2: The tools DoNald (room modelling in the EM Presentation Environment), and JS-EDEN (Antony Harfield's version) - the Getting Started sequence, and the circles and rectangle game - were introduced. Resources: roomdemoShao2013 in the UsingEMPE folder, which uses the EDEN interpreter which you can download from here, together with Making Models with JS-EDEN and Getting Started with JS-EDEN.

16th pm :

Session 3: A JS-EDEN version of the Presentation Environment was used to describe the environment and contexts surrounding the JUGS construal. This served to emphasise a contrast between a functional view and an experiential view of a task or problem. More detail given on the conceptual framework of ODA through exploring the facilities offered by the emile version of JS-EDEN (e.g. displaying groups of observables, suited to a context, via regular expressions). Resources: Using the Chrome browser, run the emile variant of the JS-EDEN interpreter with the Projects link JUGS in JS-EDEN. (To set up the display, you need to press the Next Slide button, and may also need to select the JUGS button menu options from time to time to refresh the display.) The presentation also illustrated how dependency relations could be displayed using the Dependency Modelling Tool. For this purpose, you can use the Script Input interface to load a simple extract from the script for the JUGS construal.

Session 4: Introduction of the Nim game in the EMPE with two quite different representations of the game state and game play. More detailed introduction to the EDEN notations of donald, scout and eden and resources to support their use. Study of the file humanNim.e as homework. Resources: Consult presnimBurapha2013 in the UsingEMPE folder and the associated documentation. See also this Introduction to definitive notations and tkeden.

17th am :

Session 5: Review of the file humanNim.e followed by rapid overview of the Exercises 3 – 6. This included the blending of models, a mathematical treatment and proof of the Nim-Sum strategy, several interface issues, and the adapting of the representation to 1-2-4-8 style making the strategy easier to apply. Only the very last (7th) part of Exercise 6 was to write a Nim program. [This first part of the session was not as advertised on the webpage!] Resources: As for Session 4.

Session 6: Comparison of EM development with progressive evolution of a ‘guided walk’.
Pointers given to some previous workshop exercises loosely based on Sudoku–solving dependencies.
An account and demo-exercise in developing a staged construction of a colour version of Sudoku as an enhancement of the puzzle solving process. Resources: Slides for the introduction to the Sudoku Solving construal. See Parts 2 and 2b of the Burapha variant of a workshop on constructionism originally presented at the Constructionism 2010 conference. See also Antony Harfield's Colour Sudoku program, implemented in Flash.

17th pm :

Session 7: Introduced some illustration of a range of models developed in recent years including: modelling a mechanical integrator (planimeter), modelling a neural net used for prediction of accident severity, use of EM in the ‘tablets in schools’ project, a model of ant navigation, and a model of a complex railway accident.


Session 8: Final discussion of some questions from participants and some suggestions for further collaboration, also an invitation for any expressions of interest in new applications, or in help with tool development, or EM teaching in various modes. Resources: Reflections on issues raised in the course of the workshop and some key diagrams.