About the Institute

Digital Futures Institute

The Digital Futures Institute (DFI) under the School of Computing conducts research on a wide range of topics ranging from Computer Science to Computer Games.

Our main research areas include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Interactive Systems, Formal Methods, Machine Intelligence, Software Engineering, Programming Languages, Algorithmic Game Theory, Computer Games and Animation, and so on. Our research also has strong involvement in Teesside University Grand Challenge themes such as Resilient and Secure Societies, Digital and Creative Economy, Health and Wellbeing, Energy and Environment, Learning for the 21st Century.

Research strengths lie within the following four research themes:

Formal Methods and Programming Research

The research conducted by the formal methods and programming research team covers a wide range of topics in software engineering and programming languages.

Our areas of work include programming theories and semantics, formal specification and verification, advanced program logics, program analysis and refinement, interactive theorem proving, reversible computing and cyber-physical systems.

The aim and vision of our research is to enable and support the construction of reliable, safe, and secure software systems. For this, we apply mathematically-founded techniques to the specification, modelling, verification and validation of software and systems.

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Incentives and Computation

Game Theory aims to mathematically model behaviour in strategic situations, or games, in which an individual's success in making choices depends on the choices of others. Algorithmic Game Theory deals with the complex issues at the intersection of incentives and computation. The principal questions of interest here are:

  • Can we design incentive-compatible protocols to realign the objectives of selfish agents with those of the designers?
  • What happens when we let the selfish agents play the protocol?
  • Which strategic behaviours emerge from populations of selfish agents and how is it possible to promote the emergence of desirable behaviours?

The answers to these questions require the study of concepts developed by game theorists including mechanism design and stable states (equilibria).

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Intelligent Virtual Environments

Our Research investigates the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques for New Media and interactive systems. We are more specifically interested in Human-Centred Multimedia, and Human-centred Interfaces.

Our application areas are mostly in Entertainment Computing, with some work in Health Informatics. We are best known for our work in Interactive Storytelling, but we are also active in Multimodal Interfaces and in Document Engineering.

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Machine Intelligence

The Machine Intelligence team conducts theoretical and experimental research in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital computer games and big data. Within these areas, the group pursues real-world applications to problems in planning, serious games, social networks, recommendation, sentiment analysis, bioinformatics, network and security.

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