2004 - 2005 Programme

Programme Summary

Date Event
4th Oct 2004 Water Systems (flow rates and reconcilliation)
1st Nov 2004 Artificial Intelligence and its impact on software engineering
6th Dec 2004 Christmas Lecture - "Planning Ahead !"
10th Jan 2005 Building the 21st century Ordnance Survey : From Maps to Databases
7th Feb 2005 HCI Haptic Device Demo
7th Mar 2005 BCS Women
4th Apr 2005 Hosting Managed Services
9th May 2005 Freedom of Information Law and its impact on system design
6th Jun 2005 BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2005

Programme Detail

Water Systems (flow rates and reconciliation)

Date Monday 4th October 2004
Convenor Gordon Foulger
Speaker Alick MacGillivray

How Automated Data Reconciliation can Increase the Reliability of Measurements.

Over the last few years many companies in the UK have come under increasing pressure from regulatory bodies to improve the accuracy of data acquisition. This has meant large investment in new plant, data control systems and general data acquisition infrastructure. One cost effective way of increasing confidence in data accuracy is to use a technique known as data reconciliation.

The technique is best implemented as a computer program either as a stand alone application or by integrating validation code into an existing data control system and reconciling the data as it is acquired. In each of these cases the implementation may be broken down into several stages: system selection, formulation of conservation equations, pre-processing of measurements and uncertainties and reconciliation.

The reconciliation process requires two sets of inputs; the measured values and their associated uncertainties. Conservation equations are never strictly obeyed by the measurements. Reconciliation uses the principle of minimised error squares to calculate corrections to each of the measurements so that the modified values obey the equations. These modified values are subject to reduced uncertainties.

Use of the process has several important benefits to operators of industrial plant:

  • Reduced measurement uncertainty and increased reliability
  • Detection of instrument drift in many industrial applications
  • Targeting and prioritisation of equipment maintenance
  • Potentially very large financial savings
  • Compliance with industry regulators

Artificial Intelligence and its impact on software engineering

Date Monday 1st November 2004
Convenor Bill Milne
Speaker Dr Brian Lees (University of Paisley)

Will consider the nature of artificial intelligence from an engineering perspective, examine the interaction of artificial intelligence and software engineering, compare artificial intelligence and software engineering methods and discuss how artificial intelligence may usefully enhance more conventional software systems.

Dr Brian Lees is currently Reader in Applied Artificial Intelligence at the University of Paisley. His research interests include the application of artificial intelligence to education and engineering and has extensive experience of presenting his work internationally. He is also the organiser of the annual UK Case-Based Reasoning Workshop at the BCS Special Interest Group in Artificial Intelligence annual conference.


Christmas Lecture - "Planning Ahead !"

Date Monday 6th December 2004
Convenor Paul Goldfinch
Speaker Dr Derek Long (Reader in Computer & Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde)

Automated planning research has made some significant progress in the past few years. From planners capable of generating simple plans of up to a dozen steps, in less than a decade we have now achieved planners capable of producing complex plans, involving management of resources and time, consisting of hundreds of steps. In this talk, Dr Derek Long will discuss some of the techniques that have contributed to this dramatic progress and outline the ways in which this technology is playing roles in applications, from pipeline management to autonomous space landers.


Building the 21st century Ordnance Survey : From Maps to Databases

Date Monday 10th January 2005
Convenor Iain R. White
Speaker Ed Parsons, Chief Technology Officer, Director Ordnance Survey

80% of Ordnance Survey revenue comes from the supply of digital data, and increasingly the use of this information, in ways often hidden to the user, will impact all our lives. Discover the connections between Napoleon, missile submarines and your mobile phone with an explanation of the potential impact of location based services.


HCI Haptic Device Demo

Date Monday 7th February 2005
Convenor Pat Crawford
Speaker Dr Marilyn McGee and Dr Steven Wall (Glasgow University)

Last year, Stephen Brewster of Glasgow University's Multimodal Interaction Group treated us to a fascinating presentation on multimodal means of interacting with modern computing devices. Glasgow University's Multimodal Interaction Group is part of Glasgow Interactive Systems Group (GIST) and it is at the forefront of research into Haptic Computing.

This year, two of Professor Brewster's colleagues, Dr Marilyn McGee and Dr Steven Wall will demonstrate some of the devices that the team are working on. The group's research includes the use of earcons, three-dimensional sound and input by gesturing to communicate with computers.

For more information see the research pages of Dr Marilyn Rose McGee and the PDF version of her presentation.

Earcon Picture

Example hierarchy of earcons

Gesture Devices

Gesture Devices


BCS Women

Date Monday 7th March 2005
Convenor Pat Crawford
Speaker Dr Sue Black

Details to follow . . . .

For more information on the BCS Specialist Group that provides networking opportunities and support for all women working in IT around the world - see BCSWomen.


Hosting Managed Services

Date Monday 4th April 2005
Convenor Laurie Borthwick
Speaker Alan Lorimar

Freedom of Information Law and its impact on system design

Date Monday 9th May 2005
Convenor Sean Mackay
Speaker W Y (Bill) Milne

BCS Glasgow Branch AGM 2005

Date Monday 6th June 2005
Chair Pat Crawford