Simon Maskell's Homepage


That's me in my office and this is my website. You can contact me on: s maskell liverpool ac uk >.

I'm a Professor of Autonomous Systems at the University of Liverpool within the School of Electical Engineering, Electronics and Computer Science where I am director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Distributed Algorithms. I also lead the Liverpool Big Data Network and am affiliated to both the Centre for Autonomous Systems and the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty. I currently teach "Control Theory" (to second year undergraduates). I have also historically taught "Image Processing" (to a mix of third and fourth year undergraduates and MSc students) and a Big Data Analytics module as part of the MSc on Big Data and High Performance Computing (being delivered in partnership with the UK centre for supercomputing at STFC's Hartree Centre). My research team currently comprises:

Alumni include:

Up until the end of 2012, I had been the "Technical Manager" for C2IS (Command and Control Information Systems) and a Senior QinetiQ fellow at QinetiQ, a Visiting Industrial Professor in the Engineering Department at Bristol University and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Communications and Signal Processing Group in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Imperial College. At QinetiQ, I led projects conducting research and development (eg into different aspects of the multi-sensor multi-target tracking problem); the algorithms tackle problems such as detection, tracking, optimisation, pattern recognition, information management and intelligence processing.

In 2000, I was lucky enough to be awarded a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Industrial Fellowship, which funded my PhD at the Signal Processing Group of Cambridge University Engineering Department. I was supervised by Professor Bill Fitzgerald at Cambridge and by Dr Neil Gordon (who is now at DSTO) and later Dr Alan Marrs at QinetiQ. My thesis was on "Sequentially Structured Bayesian Solutions". I researched how Bayesian tracking algorithms exploit the structure of problem that they tackle: time is ordered and tracking algorithms exploit the fact that knowledge of what's happening now can therefore be sufficient in terms of the past's ability to predict the future. I am now particularly interested in the ability to use the structure of problems in general in the design of algorithms for their solution. As such, I am pleased to be working on difficult problems being tackled by the Artificial Intelligence community for which I hope to develop particularly efficient and robust solutions. These include: inference in graphical models with loops (eg robustly processing very noisy images); learning strategies in partially observed games (ie getting a computer to learn from experience how to fool a human); tracking of articulated objects (eg tracking people in crowds using a network of webcams).

I live very happily with my wife, Michelle, and my two sons in Allerton in Liverpool, UK; Allerton is a leafy suburb of Liverpool, which is about two hours by (fast) train from London. I used to thoroughly enjoying playing Rugby Fives (here's a video that, if you look carefully, you will see includes me playing an even more obscure sport, Winchester Fives) and occasionally go for a run or play squash or football, but I've recently started playing tennis more. I don't sail though - that's another Simon Maskell. Things I like include: Lobster, Mange Tout, Chocolate, Pink Floyd, Goldie Lookin Chain, The Egg, Fight Club, Fifth Element, City of Lost Children, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. Things I don't like so much include: pickled beetroot, Justin Timberlake, Citizen Kane and Turner.

I went to South America once and took a load of pictures of the Iguazu falls which I merged together. I also went to Marloes Sands in West Wales and Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and did the same. These results look like this:


The following is planned to be an up-to-date list of my publications - time will tell. The publications document my thoughts at various points. Co-authors (who have a mention because they have websites) include Yaakov Bar-Shalom, Mark Briers (who also received one of the aforementioned Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Industrial Fellowships, to conduct his PhD at Cambridge University with Arnaud Doucet and at QinetiQ with me), Richard Everitt, Kiruba and Ben Alun-Jones. Where possible, I've provided links to versions of the documents. Some of these necessitate appropriate subscriptions to online sources (ieeexplore etc); if the links don't work, it may be because you shouldn't have access!

Journal Papers / Book Chapters

Conference Papers

Media and Public Engagement

I've written a few articles and given a few talks for the general public recently: I'm also helped to organise a public engagement event on "Big Data or Big Brother?"(link) as well as one on "Is AI a Threat to Mankind"(video).

Patents / Thesis / Freely Available (ie not internal to QinetiQ) Technical Reports / Other

Fun Stuff