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CSC3423 : Biologically-inspired Computing

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jaume Bacardit
  • Teaching Assistant: Mr Chris Napier
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


1) To familiarise students with computational concepts and methods inspired by biological systems
2) To introduce the concepts of algorithm design for biologically inspired computing
3) To develop skills in biologically inspired algorithm design with an emphasis on solving real world problems
4) To understand the most appropriate types of algorithms for different data analysis problems and to introduce some of the most appropriate implementation strategies.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Brief introduction to biological systems and computational tasks of such systems.
2. Evolutionary Computation
3. Swarm Intelligence
4. Neural Networks
6. Cellular Automata and Artificial Life

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:3011:00Revision for end of Semester exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion211:0021:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion171:0017:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical101:0010:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study191:0019:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the basic material and the more advanced theoretical topics.
Practical sessions, mostly computer based, will give the student opportunity to build up skills in algorithm design development and implementation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25Coursework strategy proposal (2000 words)
Practical/lab report1M25Final coursework report (2000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam will test the knowledge of novel and existing biologically inspired algorithms.
The practical will test skills in algorithm design and solving real world problems.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 35%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 35%.

Reading Lists