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The University of Southampton

Prehistoric Agents in My Computer: How to get them to tell us stories Seminar

14:00 - 16:00
11 June 2012
Archaeological Computing Research Group Lab Room 3043, Building 65a Avenue Campus University of Southampton SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Graeme Earl at .

Event details

Part of the Archaeology Seminar Series

Our ancient pasts are filled with untold stories awaiting discovery. How much we can learn about them depended upon the data that we can retrieve, and form meaningful relationships from. But there are only so much data available. Even when technology has advanced to a point where the rate and quality of acquisition of spatial and temporal data have increased manifold, the information derived can be a limiting factor to a deeper insight of past cultural developments. Assembling data into visual information via the reconstruction of virtual worlds through real-time computer graphics are providing new ways of interpreting landscapes, monuments and objects. However, there is almost always nothing that is alive in those virtual worlds - there are no ‘behaviours' and ‘life' to complete the picture. A novel way of deriving new types of information is the use of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life for simulating behaviour and life. Submerged under the oceans in both the East and the West are vast landscapes inundated as a consequence of global warming after the last Ice Age. These ancient landscapes are the "last frontiers of archaeological discovery" as one prominent archaeologist indicated. The realisation of the existence of landscapes of such scale, one which was once populated with flora and fauna and inhabited by a multitude of people, naturally raises questions as to final destinations of these ancient societies. It would be extremely useful if we have the technology to travel back in time not only to see, but also to communicate with them. Is the present state of technological developments helping us to probe the past with questions that was once difficult to answer? I have strong belief that the more we progress technologically into the future, the more we are in touch with the past. The lecture covers the state of technology in real-time interactive visualisation and agent-based modelling. It aims to provide a glimpse into key topics on technical challenges that is required for large complex simulation scenarios when vegetation, animals, and social interaction become a priority. 

Speaker information

Dr Eugene Ch'ng, University of Birmingham. Dr Eugene Ch’ng is Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. He directs technological developments at the IBM Visual and Spatial Technology Centre and the Heritage and Cultural Learning Hub. Dr Ch’ng innovates user experience of digital heritage using emerging hardware and information computation. He has formal education in a number of fields (Fine Arts, Interior Architecture, Computer Science and, Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering). He specialises in interactive 3D, enhanced Virtual Environments, Agent-based Modelling for marine and terrestrial ecology that requires large computing clusters for processing of agent-interaction and visualisation. The fusion of 3D visualisation and agent-based modelling is a unique strength that is applicable to a wide variety of research. Dr Ch’ng is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.

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