Research Theme - Digital Economy
The digital economy is a feature of life that already penetrates most of human activity and in the future it will have even more influence. Research activities in this area occur right across the Cardiff School of Engineering and include both hardware and software. The aim of the research is to create and develop the techniques that will lead to an improved quality of life and a better and safer environment.
Current research within the digital economy theme includes:
Communications – state-of-the art RF/microwave measurement facilities, including unique 'in-house' systems and associated industry-level CAD software tools, enable us to undertake research projects aimed at solving the RF/microwave design challenges limiting the performance of satellite, wireless, optical or medical telecommunications systems.
Collaboration – increasingly people are going to have to work with each other using network based technology (i.e computers linked to a network) rather than face to face communication. This form of working will reduce the need for travel and so cut down on CO2 emissions. Research in the School is looking at the challenges of working in this way and developing new technologies to enhance its effectiveness
Health – research is underway to develop non-intrusive monitoring techniques which will, at a very early stage, detect the onset of chronic conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, arthritis, etc. If detected early, the development of these conditions can be significantly retarded, thus allowing people to have a much better quality of life.
Environment – research on “intelligent environments” is leading to the creation of technologies that will provide much better management systems for buildings. This will enable building operators to manage their buildings more efficiently, thus leading to much lower CO2 emissions.
Knowledge Engineering - there is a huge amount of information available in many formats. Finding the right information and then processing it is a major challenge. This involves developing techniques which allow computers to understand the information. These techniques have the potential to help businesses and organisations work more effectively.
Security – detecting incidents and potential risks is a major factor in security. Although human surveillance is a significant input in any security system, having a computer based backup is a very useful feature. Computer vision technology is being used to develop feature recognition technologies which facilitate the visual detection of threats.
Complex Decision Making – many everyday problems have multiple solutions, often they have billions of potential solutions. Although humans have the ability to find solutions that will work, the problems are so multi-facetted that it is impossible for them to find the best solution. Computer based search techniques are being developed which can solve these highly complex problems thus leading to better decision making processes.