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Biologically Inspired Computation - ELE00017M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Stephen Smith
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

The Bio-inspired Computation module introduces a number of AI and machine learning techniques that have been inspired by observing biological mechanisms in nature, such as Darwinian evolution, swarming behavior and neural processing.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • To understand the principles and techniques of a range of  bio-inspired computing methodologies
  • To explore how bio-inspired computing methodologies can be used to solve mathematical problems such as symbolic regression and classification
  • To research and report on the application of bio-inspire computing to theoretical and real-world problems


Graduate skills aims:

  • To develop advanced skills in designing, delivering and defending engaging presentations on advanced topics, appropriate for the target audience
  • To develop skills in critically evaluating and synthesising new information based on researched information and writing concise technical reports appropriate for the target audience


Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to design and write evolutionary algorithms to find solutions to search problems  
  • Be able to compare the differences between the approaches of conventional design and evolutionary design
  • Be aware of, and make informed decisions using, state-of-the-art biologically-inspired computation methods


Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be able to design, deliver and defend persuasive technical presentations based on selected reliable evidence to the target audiences
  • Be able to construct concise technical presentation that critically evaluate and synthesise new information based on research, appropriate for the target audience


Task Length % of module mark
Research Paper
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Research Paper
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
N/A 30

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme.  We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments.

A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback.  This can be found at

The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme.  In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work.  Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period.  The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline.  The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback.  The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum.  Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate.  Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date

Indicative reading

Notes and readings will be provided in class.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.