IT Futures

University of Edinburgh

Professor Alan Bundy

Automated Assistance for Refereeing

Alan Bundy Photo


I have a long-standing interest in research methodology in
Informatics, and have given several UG, MSc and PhD courses on how to do
research, write research papers, etc. A major focus of these courses (and a
hobby horse of mine) is the importance of hypotheses in Informatics and how they
are supported (or not) by evidence. To this end, I have set coursework on the
refereeing of research papers. To assist students to do this I have supervised
student projects to develop expert systems to assist referees of research papers
and research grants, and to assist researchers in forming hypotheses about their
work. Students could choose to use the automated refereeing assistant for their
coursework, which gave me a lot of experimental evidence to evaluate its


I will briefly overview these systems and describe their strengths and
limitations. The chief limitation arises from the wide diversity of
methodologies used in Informatics, which makes it imperative that the computer
assistant customises itself to the methodology being used. This proved difficult
to achieve. Another limitation was that users were tempted to tick boxes rather
than provide more considered feedback to the author.


Professor Alan Bundy, Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications.

Alan Bundy is Professor of Automated Reasoning in the School of Informatics at
the University of Edinburgh.  He is a fellow of several academic societies,
including the Royal Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal
Academy of Engineering. The major awards for his research, include the IJCAI
Research Excellence Award (2007) and the CADE Herbrand Award (2007). He was
awarded a CBE in 2012. He was Head of Informatics at Edinburgh (1998-2001) and a
member of: the Hewlett-Packard Research Board (1989-91); the ITEC Foresight
Panel (1994-96), both the 2001 and 2008 Computer Science RAE panels (1999-2001,
2005-2008). He was the founding Convener of UKCRC (2000-2005) and a Vice
President of the BCS (2010-12). He is the author of over 250 publications.

































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