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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I016643/1
Title: CICADA Cross-disciplinary Feasibility Account
Principal Investigator: Broomhead, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Higham, Professor NJ Barringer, Professor H Brown, Dr M
Shapiro, Dr JL Furber, Professor S B Wang, Professor H
Glendinning, Professor P Brooke, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mathematics
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2010 Ends: 31 March 2012 Value (£): 201,875
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Algebra & Geometry Biomechanics & Rehabilitation
Cells Chemical Structure
Control Engineering Design of Process systems
Numerical Analysis
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
26 Aug 2010 Cross-Disciplinary Feasibility Account 2010 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Manchester Centre for Interdisciplinary Dynamical and Computational Analysis (CICADA) is a collaboration between mathematicians, computer scientists and engineers. Many new ideas and new collaborations have been started which go beyond the original brief of CICADA, and several very novel approaches to important problems have been discovered. The purpose of this proposal is to develop resources which allow us to explore the feasibility of these new ideas in new areas. The resources included programmers to implement computational models, funds which allow CICADA to collaborate with new partners, pay for data collection and experiments to test the feasibility of the proposed approaches. There are five themes to be explored. Theme 1 is called tropical algebra of molecular processes . Tropical algebra is a branch of pure mathematics, applied in CICADA to analyse the timing of events in certain types (asynchronous) computer hardware. We have come to recognize that this formalism is equivalent to an algorithm used in molecular modelling. Therefore, we ask, can we use this approach to provide tools for modeling the timing of molecular processes within cells? If we can, will this lead to methods for summarizing the behaviour over ranges of conditions without having to simulate them all? This would have enormous implications for computational modeling.Theme 2 is about using mathematical and computational tools to model control of complex industrial processes. The aim for this feasibility project will be to set up a demonstrator project, in conjunction with the existing EPSRC project investigating energy efficiency, which is focussed on the analysis and optimizationof hybrid sub processes in paper making. This will involve both industrial trials as well as validatation by the pilot paper machine that exists at the University of Manchester. A number of machine trials need to be conducted to collect relevant data and test the control and optimization algorithms. The expected output will be an industrially-relevant case study involving both hybrid analysis and hybrid optimization. Theme 3 is called Models of the kinetics of human balance and falling . Falls are a cause of disability and even death amongst older people,and are caused by a number of different factors. Identifying strategies to help people avoid falling, or to fall more safely, would greatly improve older people's lives. Part of the CICADA project involved developing hybrid dynamical systems controllers for a walking humanoid robot. We found ourselves considering the complementary question to how do people walk; why do people fall? We are starting to develop models of how falling is perceived and reacted to by the human body using mathematical dynamical systems models and control, and plan to extend our models of control processes to walking robotics to develop strategies to help understand how falls can be prevented.Theme 4 is called Rank-order neural codes and balance . If we are trying to control the balance of a human or a robot, time is of the essence. How can spiking neurons do the real-time information processing to stabilize and balance an unstable system? Many neural systems use rank-order codes to encode information in terms of arrival times with the most important information arriving first. It is thought that this form of coding is used in certain neural systems; it is certainly the case that rank-order codes can be implemented using networks of bursting neurons. We will design a control system which using rank-order codes to see whether this principle can work. This may lead to a better understanding of neural coding as well as the origins of balance problems in humans. Theme 5 - Embedded adaptive systems must learn in changing environments. It is challenging to make a system which adapts to changes in the environment but does not learn noise. We will dynamical systems theory to develop new algorithms based on sound principles.
Key Findings
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk