Ian Frank

DepartmentComplex Intelligent Systems
Specialized FieldsAI, games, entertainment, Wayfinding
Subjects in Charge
Academic BackgroundEdinburgh University
Personal HistoryI am from Cornwall, in teh Southwest of the United Kingdom
Starting Time of Employment2001

Research Contents

My research has taken an increasingly interdisciplinary stance over the last decade. Although my original background is in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, I am working on a “wayfinding” theme that can unite many of my different interests. Here is a breakdown of reserach areas based on the term “human information processing”.
- Focusing firstly on ``information processing'', how can we create information processing tools that emphasise the interface with humans?
- Secondly, focusing on the ``human'' aspect, how do people think, and how can research in areas such as cognitive science and neuroscience be fed back into the improvement of education and critical thinking skills?
- Taking next the ``humane'' connotation of ``human'', in what ways can information processing technology, or human thinking mindsets, be employed to better the lives of people, both in the local community and over the world?
- Finally, I am more and more interested in the space between the words ``human'' and ``information processing''. Increasingly that space is becoming a virtual one: how can we understand this space, using experiments?

Attractive Factors of My Research

My spread of interests is very wide. I have published in AI, cognitive science, sports science, education, and social science. I believe that a wide interest is important for finding new combinations of ideas. I am also using my experience of running large-scale music festivals to introduce technology for research purposes (see my paper “Smart Festival”).


I was part of the team that was awarded the RoboCup Scientific Challenge award two years in a row, and my PhD thesis chosen as a winner of the UK Distinguished Dissertations Award. I regularly teach thinking skills workshops inspired by readings in cognitive science (see koto-tsukuri.org).

Major Books and Papers

Referreed Journal Papers (Since 2006)
1. Frank, I. and Hatanaka D. “MMORPGs and Personality — A study using the MBTI”. Journal of the Game Amusement Society. To appear, 2012.
2. Bagenda, D., Frank I. and Field M. “The Road to Better Performance: A Ugandan Experience”. Abstract accepted 2011.
3. Frank, I. “Smart Festival”. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society. Volume 7, Issue 1, Pp.137-148, 2011.
4. Frank I. and Field M. “Learning from the Koto Wedge: The Sphere and the Shawl”. The International Journal of Learning, 14(9):83-92, 2007.
5. Kubo T., Morishita T., Shimora H., Kawarabayashi T., Odaka T., Ogura H., Frank I., Tanaka-Ishii K., Tadokoro S. and Matsubara H. “Rescue MIKE: An Automatic Commentary System for Disaster Simulation”, Transactions of the Japanese Society for Artificial Intelligence, 21(4):388-397, 2006.

Referreed International Conference and Workshop Papers (Since 2009)
1. Field, M., Frank, I. and Konakawa, N., “Digital literacy by reinforcing learning: A contex- tual challenge”, Australian Computers in Education Conference, ACEC, 2012.
2. Frank, I. “Which Way For Education?”, International Conference on Responding to the 21st Century Demands for Educational Leadership and Management in Higher Education, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2012.
3. Usui, H. and Frank, I. “Comparing the Roles of Reason, Emotion and the Physical Body in Decision”, IEICE Pattern Recognition and Media Understanding/IEICE Human Infor- mation Processing, 2012. Pp. 71–76.
4. Suzuki, Y. and Frank, I. “Signs in the City”, (in Japanese), IEICE SIG Notes, Pp.25-26, 2011.
5. Rayner, M., Frank, I., Chua, C., Tsourakis, N., and Bouillon, P. “For A Fistful Of Dollars: Using Crowd-Sourcing To Evaluate A Spoken Language CALL Application”. Proceedings of SLaTE-11, International Workshop on Speech and Language Technology for Education, 2011.
6. Oshimo, Y., Frank, I. and Nakata, T. “Uniform Colour and a Winning Eleven: Evidence that red teams win more often in simulated soccer”. Seventh World Congress on Science and Football, 2011.
7. Frank, I., Field, M., Bagenda, B. and Shiiya, K. “Closing The Loop: Towards A Low- Cost ‘LAN’ (Learning through Authentic Narrative) Infrastructure for Community and Cross-Cultural Empowerment”. Global Learn Asia Pacific 2011.
8. Frank, I. and Field, M. “Learning through Authentic Narrative: Towards A Low-Cost ‘LAN’ Infrastructure for The Empowerment of Communities”. (Abstract). The Sixth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF6), 2010.
9. Frank I. and Field M. “Starting from Scratch: Lifting the Educational Resource Curse”. In Z. Abas et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Global Learn Asia Pacific 2010, Pp.1402-1407, (best practices), 2010.
10. Frank I. and Field M. “Creating Meaningful Learning”. Proceedings of iPED 2009, 4th International Inquiring Pedagogies Conference, Pp.25-26, 2009.
11. Frank I. and Field M. “World Class Thinking”. Proceedings of iPED 2009, 4th International Inquiring Pedagogies Conference, P.86, 2009.

1. Marsland T. and Frank I. (Eds.) Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Computers and Games, 442 pages, Springer, 2001.
2. Frank I. Search and Planning under Incomplete Information: A Study using Bridge Card Play. 340 pages, Springer, Distinguished Dissertations Series. 1998.

Book Chapters
1. Noda I. and Frank I. Investigating the Complex with Virtual Soccer. In Virtual Worlds — Synthetic Universes, Digital Life and Complexity, Pp.189-210, Addison-Wesley, 1999.
2. Frank I. Bridge. In Hitoshi Matsubara, editor, Game Programming. Pp.96–108, BIT Magazine Publishers, 1997. (In Japanese).

Message to Students

It’s important to read widely and to involve yourself in many different activities. Graduate school is a unique chance to do the things that you want to do. Please be inspired by Gregory Bateson’s advice to look for “the pattern that connects”.