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Dr Adrian Thompson
EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow

+44 (0)1273 678 484



Research Group

Within the Evolutionary & Adaptive Systems Group, we have an evolutionary electronics effort. This mainly consists of me, DPhil student Miguel Garvie, and collaborations with alumnus Paul Layzell now at HP Labs Bristol.

What can evolution do that human designers can’t?

I’m interested in how artificial intelligence methods can be used to explore areas of engineering design (mainly in electronics) that previously have had to be neglected. Artificial evolution, working by the systematic accumulation of blind variations, can produce designs that boggle the mind, but human designers can also do some things that evolution can’t. My broader interests include: microelectronics design, optimisation and fabrication; nano-scale systems, the physics of computation, reconfigurable computing, unusual computing architectures in general, evolutionary theory, neuroscience, nonlinear dynamics and complex systems theory, intelligence in animals and machines, and AI techniques in music.






Animal and machine intelligence (lecturer)




Selected publications

Thompson A. (1998) Hardware Evolution: Automatic design of electronic circuits in reconfigurable hardware by artificial evolution. Distinguished dissertations series, Springer Verlag. ISBN 3-540-76253-1

Thompson A., Layzell P., Zebulum, R.S. (1999) Explorations in Design Space: Unconventional electronics design through artificial evolution. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 3:167-196

Thompson A., Wasshuber C. (2000) Design of single-electron systems through artificial evolution. International Journal of Circuit Theory & Applications 28:585-599

These and more available for download from my web page.








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