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Dr Simon J E Taylor is a Reader in Computing and leader of the Modelling & Simulation Group (MSG) in the Department of Computer Science at Brunel University London.

 

The MSG aims to advance the theory and practice of modelling & simulation by offering a wide range of multidisciplinary expertise including computer science, distributed computing, operational research, analytics, mathematics, information systems and application domains such as healthcare, manufacturing and defence. It is supported by the Modelling & Simulation Lab (MSL). MSG has attracted over £1 Million in funding, is active in research, consulting, training and teaching, and has worked with industry to realise substantial cost savings (manufacturing).


My current target areas and activities include:
   

Modelling & Simulation

M&S in Healthcare
I am leading projects that use modelling & simulation to improve healthcare service delivery and patient experience:  Key themes include:
Investigating how changes in physical behaviour can impact health with the Economic Modelling of Physical Activity: Simulating InterventionS (EMPHASIS) grant (partly funded by the Department for Health Policy Research Programme and led by Prof Julia Fox-Rushby (HERG) - responsible for modelling & simulation) £420,000
Investigating the new Digitial Economy for Drugs (Digitally Doing Drugs - D3 - partly funded under the EPSRC Digital Economy program and led by Dr Tony Cornford at the LSE, PI Brunel). £800,000.
Investigating barriers to the effectiveness of M&S in healthcare (with Dr Mohsen Jahangarian (Brunel)
Developing M&S-based methodologies for patient pathways (partially funded under the MRC-funded MAP-GUIDE project and the EPSRC-funded MATCH IMRC) (with Dr Jo Lord (Brunel), Dr Julie Eatock (Brunel) and others). £450,000
Collaboration with the Cumberland Initiative to increase the effectiveness of M&S in healthcare across the National Health Service
Developing a whole system emergency medical service simulation demonstrating how multiple hybrid simulations (distributed agent-based and discrete-event simulations) can be linked together/reused for this purpose (with Dr Anastasia Anagnostou (Brunel))
Leading student projects at Hillingdon Hospital (with Dr Pam Abbot and Prof Terry Young). 
M&S in Manufacturing
M&S in manufacturing helps to improve processes and to plan new investments.  My main contribution to this area is the development of advanced computing techniques to help manufacturers to simulate different scenarios more quickly and in more depth by the use of Grid and Cloud Computing.  Examples include:
Investigation of Grid Computing and M&S at the Ford Motor Company (Duncton Engineering Centre).  This led to the development of a permanent high performance computing facility at Ford that continues to make significant cost savings in engine factory process design and planning
Development of SakerGrid with Saker Solutions, a SME that specialises in M&S.  High Performance Computing has helped Saker to use M&S more effectively and has led to major cost savings.  We have worked together to deploy SakerGrid in Sellafield Ltd. to improve the planning of nuclear waste management.  We are also developing the world's first large scale nuclear waste management simulation that is based on distributed and grid computing techniques.
CloudSME - the CloudSME project (www.cloudsme.eu) is a Euro 4.5 Million initiative to develop cloud computing infrastructures to support M&S in manufacturing and engineering.  Currently ASCOMP's computational fluid dynamics application, SIMUL8 Corporation's discrete-event process simulation, 2MORO's BFly aircraft maintenance planning system and INGECON's 3D Insole Designer are being ported to high performance clouds.  These will have a huge impact on manufacturing.  More applications and use cases are being developed.  For example, with Saker Solutions and SIMUL8 Corporation we are developing commodity template applications that will automate the high performance simulation of SMEs.  Currently case studies in the Brewing industry and the Cutting Tools industries are being developed.

Standards for distributed simulation and simulation interoperability

I created and chair  the SISO COTS Simulation Package Interoperability Standardization Group (CSPI PSG) and led developer of the balloted SISO-STD-006-2010 Standard for COTS Simulation Package Interoperability Reference Models (first time that model-level interoperability has been formally standardised).  I continue to lead the development of the standard and further investigation of its impact on associated standards including SISO-STD-008-2010 Core Manufacturing Systems Data and the IEEE 1516 High Level Architecture (with Prof Steffen Strassburger (TU Ilmenau, Germany), Prof Stephen Turner (NTU, Singapore), Dr Navonil Mustafee (Swansea) and others)

Grid and Cloud Computing for Simulation
Overall I am investigating how different Grid and Cloud computing technologies can improve M&S.  Projects include:
Development of Cloud-based Simulation for Manufacturing and Engineering (CloudSME - a FP7 project - MSG is the product development manager) (Euro 4.5 Million)
Creation of Grid-based Simul8 using BOINC-based volunteer computing (partly funded by FP7 European Desktop Grid Initiative subcontract) (with Mohammad Ghorbani (Brunel) and the Westminster EDGI team) (£20,000 subcontract)
Development of an in-house Grid Computing system with Saker Solutions which has been deployed at Sellafield Ltd (currently supports Flexsim and Simul8)
Development of a Cloud-based systems dynamics tool with Whole Systems Partnership as part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) (£120,000)
Investigation of Grid Computing-based approaches to Optimizing Ambulance Service Provision in Brazil (with Prof Luiz Pinto, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Development of high performance simulation for systems biology (with the BIONESSIE SBML simulator) (with Mohammad Ghorbani, David Gilbert (Brunel) and others)
Investigation of advanced Grid and Cloud-based optimisation approaches for M&S
Grand Challenges for M&S
Supported by Palgrave-Macmillian and the Journal of Simulation, I am promoting major Grand Challenges for M&S in an attempt to focus research.  See panels organised at WSC2012 and 2013, ANSS 2012 and ACM SIGSIM PADS 2012.  More activities are planned to try to focus M&S research worldwide.

Research Infrastructures (e-Infrastructures)
e-Infrastructures are helping scientists work together more effectively through access to sophisticated high capacity and high performance communications networks, distributed computing infrastructures (Grids and Clouds), supercomputer infrastructures, simulation software, scientific data infrastructures, and e-Science services across the world.  Some years ago I worked with the BELIEF team to disseminate best practice in European e-Infrastructures as well as running two successful Concertation meetings for the DG INFSO GEANT and e-Infrastructures unit.  From there I led the ERINA4Africa project that investigated the potential of e-Infrastructures for Africa (Euro 450,000).  From 1st November 2012 I am the technical coordinator of the exciting new two-year project eI4Africa: Teaming-up for exploiting e-Infrastructures’ potential to boost RTDI in Africa (Euro 950,000). With Sigma Orionis (France - Coordinator), the UBUNTUNET Alliance (Malawi), KTH (Sweden), WACREN (Ghana), COMETA (Italy), DIT (Tanzania), Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and KIST (Rwanda), we aim to boost the research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) potential of African e-Infrastructures and to support policy dialogues and Euro-African cooperation.  This is particularly timely with the launch of AfricaConnect.  This work follows the Bringing Europe’s eLectronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers II (BELIEF-II) project (Euro 1,1 Million) that developed case studies for success in e-Infrastructures.
 
Synthetic and Systems Biology
As indicated above I am developing a high performance simulation tool for systems biology based on the BIONESSIE simulator.  I am also working with Dr Annette Payne and Mohammad Ghorbani to develop high performance search tools to identify links between cancer and CpG Islands in the human genome.

Medical Device Innovation

As a CI in the EPSRC-funded IMRC Multidisciplinary Assessment of Technology Centre for Healthcare (MATCH) (£6.9 Million)  I work with the MATCH team to develop software tools to support medical device innovation as well as care pathway modelling techniques (see above).  Recent developments include:

Social Media Analysis

Investigating how social media can be captured to help inform medical device innovators.  A social media dashboard has been created.  The current focus is the development of Tweetcatcher that enables tweets to be automatically captured based on keywords.  With Dr Tim Cribbin (Brunel) I am now investigating the visualisation of information derived from tweets in the TweetVis tool.

Open Business Models
This tool and associated workbook will help innovators reflect on the structure and balance of their business against key criteria.  The resulting "shape" of their business will help to understand if their offering is supported by appropriate business strategy (with Dr Shirely Davey and Dr Mike Brennen, Ulster)

 

Recent Career Highlights

  • Launch of the OR Essentials series with Palgrave-Macmillan and the UK Operational Research Society, I am the Series Editor and author of the first book in the series on Agent-based Modelling and Simulation
  • Led successful student projects with the distributed simulation in space international student collaboration SEE2014 (students were awarded for Communication and Creativity with a factory and mining operation on the moon)
  • Led successful student projects at Hillingdon Hospital with Dr Pam Abbot and Prof Terry Young
  • ACM SIGSIM PADS Conference Chair 2015
  • MM Track Chair WSC 2014
  • Keynote at SpringSim 2014 and UK ORS Conference Simulation Stream 2014 
  • Led the Brunel SISO Simulation Smackdown team in 2013 and won the Best Newcomer Award
  • Co-founder and lead editor of Journal of Simulation (Operational Research Society/Palgrave-Macmillan) (Submitted for Impact Factor)
  • ACM Special Interest Group for Simulation (ACM SIGSIM)/Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation Symposium (PADS) Steering Committee elected member (founded new ACM conference series running from 2013)
  • Founder, continued leadership and development of international COTS Simulation Package Interoperability standards (SISO-CSPI-PDG/PSG)
  • Co-founder and now co-steering chair of Operational Research Society Simulation Workshop series (since 2002)
  • ACM SIGSIM Chair 2003-5
  • Member of Working Group on UN Broadband Comission (DG-INSFO European Commission/UNESCO).
  • Member of EPSRC College
  • Co-creator of the Bi-annual KD Tocher Award for Best Research Paper in Simulation Modelling (UK Operational Research Society)
  • Creator of the ACM SIGSIM Best Student Paper Award
  • Co-chair ACM/IEEE Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation, July 2012, China.
  • International Programme Committee Member (IEEE, ACM, INFORMS, ORS conferences)
  • Regular reviewer for high quality journals (ACM TOMACS, European Journal of OR, SIMULATION, JORS, etc.)

Keynotes 
  • Taylor, S.J.E. (2012). Advances in e-Science and e-Research: e-Infrastructures for Modelling and Simulation. Simultech 2012, Rome, Italy, 28-30th July 2012.
  • Taylor, S.J.E. (2011). Parallel and Distributed Simulation: A Roadmap.  25th Workshop on Principles of Advanced and Distributed Simulation, Nice, France, 15-17th June 2011, IEEE Computer Society.
  • Taylor, S.J.E. (2006).  Gaining a Low Cost Competitive Advantage With Grid Computing.  BELIEF e-Infrastructures Conference. 14-15 December 2006, New Dehli, India.
  • Taylor, S.J.E. (2004).  Distributed Simulation: Status and Perspectives.  11th ASIM Dedicated Conference on Simulation in Production and Logistics.  4-5 October 2004, Berlin, Germany.

Non-academic Community Volunteering

  • Co-opted member of the Ickenham Residents’ Association (Traffic Matters)
  • Consultation on traffic simulation for planning enquiries