Professor Dave Cliff
Director, UK LSCITS InitiativeDepartment of Computer Science University of Bristol
The Merchant Venturers Building,
Phone: +44 (0)117 3315105
Vivienne Paulete is the LSCITS Project Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 44 117 9545371
Please note, I have no funds available to provide short-term summer internships to prospective interns from outside the UK.
Prior to joining the University of Bristol in 2007, I'd held faculty posts at the University of Sussex School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences, at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and at the University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science. I'd also spent roughly half my career working as a researcher in industry: initially for Hewlett-Packard Labs, where I ended up as a Department Scientist; and latterly for Deutsche Bank London, where I was a Director/Trader in their Foreign Exchange Complex Risk Group.
Since October 2005 I have been Director of the UK Research and Training Initiative in the Science and Engineering of Large-Scale Complex IT Systems (LSCITS). This is funded by almost ?10m of UK public funds (from EPSRC), with significant support from partners in industry and the UK public sector. Further details of the LSCITS Initiative are available at www.lscits.org.
Most of my personal research work in the ten years before I got involved in LSCITS was centered on adaptive automated trading systems for various types of markets, and on automated design of market mechanisms. I started doing this in 1995, for market-based control of ultra-large-scale data-centres. In 2001 a team at IBM showed my "ZIP" trading software beating human traders, which got the attention of various companies in the global financial markets. More on that here.
For my biography, at varying resolutions, see here.
- Ultra-Large-Scale Complex Software-Intensive Socio-Technical Systems in general, and Large Scale Complex IT Systems (LSCITS) in particular.
- Complex Adaptive Systems. Before I got involved in LSCITS, I spent roughly 17 years doing research in complex adaptive systems of one type or another. I worked on modelling neuronal processing of visual information in airborne insects (hoverflies, actually); on using artificial evolution to generate designs for sensory-motor morphology and neuronal controllers for autonomous mobile robots (so-called "evolutionary robotics"); on competitive co-evolutionary dynamics in predator-prey "arms races"; on autonomous adaptive algorithmic trading strategies for double-acution markets; on automated crowd-responsive dance-music disk-jockeys and real-time music-production systems; and on automated design of market mechanisms.
- Futurology and horizon-scanning: I've done a fair amount of consulting work on this, primarily for the UK Government's Foresight unit in the Office of Science and Technology; also some work for the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) via the Beyond Current Horizons programme that DCSF commissioned from Futurelab. Some outputs from those activities are listed under "Publications", below.
- At Bristol I am a member of the HARE Research Group. The folk in HARE all want to make things faster. When pressed on what "HARE" stands for, the temptation is to reply that Handy Acronyms Rarely Exist.
- Throughout my career I've done a fair amount of "public engagement" activities. In 1993 I was chosen to give the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture at the annual summer meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (now known as the British Science Association). After that, I was a "Schools' Science Lecturer" several times at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. I've been an invited speaker at the Cheltenham Science Festival three times, and I've done an awful lot of media interviews, both print and broadcast. Currently I am the only Computer Scientist employed by GSCE Science Live to talk to large audiences (several hundred at a time) of GCSE-level students about just how much fun science (and engineering) can be. I do similar work for Maths Inspiration too. Trying to get schoolkids switched on to science and engineering is something that I really enjoy doing.
Publications, and citation indicesIn recent years, academics have started to care a lot about so-called scientometrics, the metrics by which science output is measured. Despite the manifestly multidimensional and multiobjective nature of an academic career, there is a collective determination in some quarters to boil an entire lifetime's research output down into a single number. Two popular numbers are the h-index and the g-index. There is a wonderful free tool called Publish Or Perish (PoP) available from www.harzing.com that interrogates Google Scholar to calculate a whole bunch of these highly
Some recent peer-reviewed publications of mine are:
- Cliff, D. (2009) ZIP60: Further Explorations in the Evolutionary Design of Trader Agents and Online Auction-Market Mechanisms. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation. 13(1):3-18. A pdf of the preprint version is available here.
- Hebbron, T., Bullock, S. and Cliff, D. (2008) NKalpha: Non-uniform epistatic interactions in an extended NK model. In: Artificial Life XI: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, pp. 234-241, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Chaggar, S., Noble, J. and Cliff, D. (2008) The effects of periodic and continuous market environments on the performance of trading agents. In: Artificial Life XI: Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, pp. 110-117, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.
- Vytelingum, P., Cliff, D. and Jennings, N. R. (2008) Strategic Bidding in Continuous Double Auctions. Artificial Intelligence, 172(14):1700-1729.
And some significant reports and briefing papers that, although they were informally reviewed by various of my peers as part of their commissioning and approval process, were nevertheless not subject to formal peer-review, include:
- S. Bullock & D. Cliff (2004)
Complexity and Emergent Behaviour in ICT Systems.
Foresight strategic briefing paper, for UK Government Department of Trade and Industry.
- D. Cliff, C. O'Malley, & J. Taylor (2008)
Future Issues in Socio-Technical Change for UK Education.Futurelab
briefing paper for UK Government Department of Children Schools &
Families / Department of Innovation Universities & Skills Beyond Current Horizons
- A. Fox et al. (2009) Engineering Values in IT. Report commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IET, and the BCS.
- D. Cliff (2010) Networked Governance in the Financial
Markets. Foresight strategic briefing paper, for UK Government
Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. Final version April
- D. Cliff (2010) Remotely-Managed Services and 'Cloud Computing'. Emerging Technology for Learning Report, for Becta.
- D. Cliff (2010) The Flash Crash of May 6th, 2010: WTF?. Whitepaper based on presentations given by me in July, September, October, and November 2010, discussing the May 6th 2010 "Flash Crash" as an instance of failure in large-scale complex socio-technical systems, and what to do next.
More complete details of my publications are available here...
- Publications of mine in the Bristol Computer Science Publication Database.
- Full list of all my publications
Current PhD and EngD Students
- Tom Cassey (co-supervised with James Marshall).
- Mo Haghighi.
- Marco de Luca.
- Michael Meadows.
- Owen Rogers.
- Chris Musselle (co-supervised with Ayalvadi Ganesh).
- Ilango Sriram.
- Duncan Tait (co-supervised with Karoline Wiesner).
- COMSM2006: Algorithmic and Economic Aspects of the Internet (lecturer)
- Empirical Methods for Large-Scale Complex IT Systems (lecturer)