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Dr Jonathan Fieldsend, left, receiving the award.

Computer Scientists take top award at international conference

A team of Computer Science experts from the University of Exeter are celebrating after being bestowed with a prestigious award at a major international conference.

Postgraduate student Alma Rahat, Professor Richard Everson and Dr Jonathan Fieldsend received a Best Paper award at the recent Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO), held in Vancouver, Canada.

The team secured the coveted award for their research paper, Multi-Objective Routing Optimisation for Battery Powered Wireless Sensor Mash Networks, in the Real World Applications category.

Having been initially competing against 20 other research papers accepted by the conference, the team were part of a final shortlist of two, before finally securing the award.

The research focused on improving the range of the networks  and the life of batteries that power the sensors, which are used to monitor temperature and pressure and are commonly deployed in museums and the pharmaceutical industry.

Such mesh networks comprise of a series of ‘nodes’, or sensors, that relay data back to a central point. By extending the life of the batteries that power the nodes, the research ensures data is collected over a vastly improved period of time. The project, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with IMC Ltd, was recently completed after two years’ of work.

Speaking after the event, Dr Fieldsend said: “We were all absolutely delighted to have won, the GECCO conference is largest of its kind in the world and just being accepted and then shortlisted was quite an achievement, but to actually win was very satisfying and a real highlight for us all.”

This is the second consecutive year that a team from the University of Exeter has won an award at the GECCO conference. Last year, Professor Everson and Dr Fieldsend, along with colleague Dr David Walker, won an award for their research that described ways to define and visualise the edges of non-dominating sets.

Professor Everson said: “To win an award two years in a row really confirms the world-class research  taking place in Computer Science at Exeter.  We had a few minor hiccups along the way, but The string of best paper awards to members of this department over the last few years are a vindication of our research strategy and show  what we can offer undergraduate and postgraduate students alike.”

Date: 2 September 2014

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