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Personal profile

Research Interests

Engineering of systems, normally based on comptational logic, for coordinating large scale distributed systems through knowledge sharing.  These sorts of problems appear in multi-agent systems, peer to peeer data sharing and in social computation (where the autonomous components are humans as well as machines).  Applications in healthcare and medicine, where the principal driver is precision medicine (making the characterisation of diseases more specific and treatments more targeted) and its interaction with stratified medicine (allowing more finely grained characterisation of human populations in terms of their propensity to be treated for diseases).  To support all of this, the construction of data sharing environments that support automated experimentation on healthcare data while protecting the confidentiality of people supplying the data.


Dave Robertson is Chair of Applied Logic in School of Informatics; co-Director of the Centre for Medical Informatics in the Usher Institute for Populatiuon Health Sciences and Informatics; and Dean of Special Projects in Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.  Prior to this he was Head of School of Informatics at University of Edinburgh.

His computing research is on formal methods for coordination and knowledge sharing in distributed, open systems using ubiquitous internet and mobile infrastructures - the goal being to develop theories, languages and tools that out-perform conventional software engineering approaches in these arenas.  He was coordinator of the OpenKnowledge project and was a principal investigator on the Advanced Knowledge Technologies research consortium, which were major EU and UK projects in this area.  His work on the SociaM EPSRC Programme (social.org) Smart Societies European IP (smart-society-project.eu) and SocialIST coordinating action (social-ist.eu) develops these ideas for social computation. Methods from his group have also been applied to other areas such as astronomy, simulation of consumer behaviour and emergency response but his main application focus is on medicine and healthcare. To this end, he is a member of the Farr Institute for medical data sharing.

He is a Fellow of the British Computing Society; chaired the executive of the UK Computing Research Committee (the expert panel of BCS and IET); is a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for ICT and of the MRC Population Health Sciences advisory group; is on the Industry Advisory Board for Innovate UK’s Complex Systems programme and is a board member of the Scottish Innovation Centre in Data Science.



  • BSc Hons Ecological Science : University of Edinburgh, 1984.
  • PhD Artificial Intelligence : Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2000.


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