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Research partnership aims to improve disaster response

Global aerospace and defence group BAE Systems has teamed up with leading universities in a £6m project aimed at developing technologies that will benefit the UK’s emergency services.

Jointly funded by BAE Systems and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the five-year ALADDIN programme (Autonomous Learning Agents for Decentralised Data and Information Networks) involves scientists from BAE Systems and the universities of Southampton, Oxford, Bristol and Imperial College, London. They are developing techniques and technology to overcome the challenges facing different agencies involved in an emergency response.

Using technologies ranging from computer modeling to automated robots, the ALADDIN team has looked at how it can improve the understanding of constantly changing scenarios, where information is rapidly changing and often conflicting, to ensure a more effective response and improve the safety of men and women working in the 'danger zone'.

'We place great pride in developing and investing our skill base and inspiring the future generation through partnerships with educational establishments,' said Simon Case, from BAE Systems.

'The environments our emergency services work in are characterised by uncertainty, ambiguity, imprecision and bias. They involve multiple stakeholders with different aims and objectives and often limited and ever-changing levels of resource.'

'This is highly complex research of wide relevance,” adds Professor Nick Jennings from the School of Electronics and Computer Science, who is leading the research programme. 'To replicate the real-world scenario of an environmental disaster or a terrorist incident, we are taking a total systems view on information and knowledge fusion and considering the constant feedback that exists between sensing, decision-making and acting in such systems.'

The ALADDIN programme is scheduled to conclude its work in October 2010.

Further further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.023 8059 5453

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Posted by Joyce Lewis on 13 Feb 2009.