100m boost in AI research will propel transformative innovations

£100m boost in AI research will propel transformative innovations – UKRI

We are delighted to participate in the National Edge AI Hub that is funded by UKRI. The Hub comprises 12 universities and numerous industry and public sector organisations. The vision of the Hub is to develop the underlying research to secure the edge of the network using Artifical Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML).

The St Andrews team led by Dr Blesson Varghese will develop fundamental research on making AI/ML algorithms and models to work on extremely small devices in challenging environments for critical decision making.

Dr Varghese said, “We are delighted to be a part of this national initiative and contribute to the vision of making Edge AI a reality for times when it is most needed – mitigating cyber threats on our digital infrastructure”.

Dr Varghese directs the Edge Computing Hub at the University of St Andrews.

AI Stay Day

The AI research theme members came together in an internal event on Tuesday 6 June. We discussed our latest projects, shared our insights and challenges, and brainstormed new ideas for future research. It was a great opportunity to connect with our colleagues and learn from each other.

We look forward to more opportunities to collaborate and grow as an AI group.

World-Leading PhD Scholarship in Health Informatics

A fully-funded PhD scholarship is available to support an exceptional student wishing to undertake doctoral research in health informatics, in particular looking at analysing and predicting disease trajectories of multimorbidity. This prestigious PhD scholarship is awarded by St Leonard’s Postgraduate College at the University of St Andrews and will be supervised by Dr Areti Manataki, Dr Katherine Keenan, Prof Colin McCowan and Dr Michail Papathomas. Applications must be received by 12 June 2023.

Further information, including how to apply, can be found at: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/fees-and-funding/scholarships/scholarships-catalogue/postgraduate-scholarships/world-leading-scholarship-04-computer-science-medicine-geography/

World-Leading PhD Scholarship: Personalised, Adaptive, Language-based Planner for next generation Robotics

A fully-funded PhD scholarship in Computer Science is available for a strong and motivated student wishing to work at the intersection of vision, large-language models, and robotic planning. This prestigious PhD scholarship is awarded by St Leonard’s Postgraduate College at the University of St Andrews and will be supervised by Dr Juan Ye, Dr Alice Toniolo, and Dr Kasim Terzic.

For more information, including how to apply, please see the advert: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/study/fees-and-funding/scholarships/scholarships-catalogue/postgraduate-scholarships/world-leading-scholarship-01-computer-science/?

A fully-funded, PhD position is now available at the AI research group

This fully-funded position will aim to improve both the modelling capabilities and the solving performance when confronting Automated Planning problems. We seek motivated candidates with a strong background in Computer Science, with excellent programming skills and some previous knowledge and experience in solving combinatorial optimisation problems.

Please take a look at the instructions on on how to apply.

The University of St Andrews is the top university in Scotland and second in the UK in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. Last year St Andrews was ranked number one in the UK, the first time in the near 30-year history of the Guide, or any UK ranking, that any university has been placed above those of Oxford and Cambridge.

If you are interested in either knowing more or have any informal enquiry, please do get in touch with Joan Espasa Arxer via email: jea20@st-andrews.ac.uk

The deadline for applications is the 1st of March 2023. 

Winnability of Klondike Solitaire research features in Major Nelson’s video podcast

Research carried out by Charlie Blake and Ian Gent to compute the approximate odds of winning any version of solitaire features in Major Nelson’s Video Podcast [Interview with Ian and Charlie starts 23:56] for XBox news today.

Today is National Solitaire Day and the 30th anniversary of the game. The celebrations include an invitation to participate in a record breaking attempt at the most games of Microsoft Solitaire completed in one day. You can download the collection free or play it through your browser.

The Klondike Solitaire research also featured in the New Scientist last year.
Link to the full paper on arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.12314

Online article published in Technology Nov 17th 2019: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223643-we-finally-know-the-odds-of-winning-a-game-of-solitaire/

Nguyen Dang (University of St Andrews): Hyper-Parameter Tuning for an evolutionary algorithm

Abstract: In this talk, I will present a case study to illustrate how automated algorithm configuration can be used to gain insights into theoretical results on an evolutionary algorithm, namely the (1+(λ,λ)) Genetic Algorithm. This work is a collaboration with Carola Doerr.

The (1+(λ,λ)) Genetic Algorithm is an evolutionary algorithm that has interesting theoretical properties. It is the first algorithm where the benefit of crossover operator is rigorously proved. It is also the first example where self-adjusting parameter choice is proved to outperform any static parameter choice. However, it is not very well understood how the hyper-parameter settings influences the overall performance of the algorithm. Analyzing such multi-dimensional dependencies precisely is at the edge of what running time analysis can offer. In this work, we make a step forward on this question by presenting an in-depth study of the algorithm’s hyper-parameters using techniques in automated algorithm configuration.

Speaker bio: Dr Nguyen Dang is a post-doc in the Constraint Programming group at the University of St Andrews. Her main research focus is on automated algorithm configuration, algorithm selection and their applications in various contexts. These techniques make use of statistical methods and machine learning for fine-tuning of algorithm parameters, assessing parameters’ importance and building algorithm portfolios. Another line of her research is about solving combinatorial optimisation problems using metaheuristic algorithms.

Event details

  • When: 11th February 2020 14:00 - 15:00
  • Where: Cole 1.33b
  • Series: School Seminar Series
  • Format: Seminar

Winnability of Klondike Solitaire research featured in New Scientist

Research carried out by Charlie Blake and Ian Gent to compute the approximate odds of winning any version of solitaire featured in New Scientist last week (print edition November 23rd ). Ian emphasised the calibre of research carried out by our undergraduate students and his early interaction with card games.

“This research has been hugely satisfying to me because my mother taught me games like King Albert as a child and I loved to play them with her. Now I know for the first time the chance of winning that game is about 68.5%.

It is wonderful to see work which started as an undergraduate student project feature in the New Scientist. This obviously reflects Charlie’s fantastic programming that he did. But it also shows the research-level quality work that undergraduate students can do as part of their studies in St Andrews.”

Link to the full paper on arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1906.12314

Online article published in Technology Nov 17th: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2223643-we-finally-know-the-odds-of-winning-a-game-of-solitaire/

Talk by Roberto Castañeda Lozano: Constraint-Based Register Allocation and Instruction Scheduling

Roberto has been part of a very cool project in KTH where they used Constraint Programming to solve a number of compiler problems. He is now working for Edinburgh and we invited him to give us a talk about his research in this area. The talk will be 30 minutes + Q&A. Please come along if you are interested.

Date/time: Oct 30th, 11am

Location: JC 1.33b

Title: Constraint-Based Register Allocation and Instruction Scheduling

Presenter: Roberto Castañeda Lozano – School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh

(joint work with Mats Carlsson, Frej Drejhammar, Gabriel Hjort Blindell, and Christian Schulte at RISE SICS and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden)

Abstract: This talk presents a constraint-based approach to register allocation and instruction scheduling, two central compiler problems. Unlike conventional heuristic algorithms, constraint programming has the potential to solve these problems optimally and to exploit processor-specific features readily. Our approach is the first to leverage this potential in practice by capturing the complete set of register allocation and instruction scheduling subproblems handled by state-of-the-art compilers, scaling to medium-sized problems, and generating executable code. The approach can be used to trade compilation time for code quality beyond the usual compiler optimization levels, explore and exploit processor-specific features, and identify improvement opportunities in conventional compilers.
More information can be found in Roberto’s doctoral dissertation (https://robcasloz.github.io/publications/TRITA-EECS-AVL-2018-48.pdf) and on the project’s website (http://unison-code.github.io).