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Professor Jeff Johnson

Jeff Johnson, Professor of Complexity Science and Design

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor in Complexity Science
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • jeff.johnson

Professional biography

I joined the Design Discipline at the OU in 1981 after three years in the Geography Department at Cambridge University working with Graham Chapman and Peter Gould. Before that I was in the Mathematics Department at Essex University working with Ron Atkin on his theory of Q-analysis for social systems. This has developed into what I now call multilevel hypernetworks. This research involves the application of hypernetwork theory in the design and management of complex social and technical systems at local and global levels in the emerging policy-oriented field of Global Systems Science. The FutureLearn short MOOC Global Systems Science and Policy: An Introduction starts on 14 March 2016,

My OU undergraduate teaching has included: creating the CADPAC suite of interactive computer exercises for T363: Computer Aided Design; creating the SmartLab suite of interactive computer exercises for T395 - Mechatronics, Designing Intelligent Machine and co-authoring with Phil Picton the textbook Mechatronics: Concepts in Artificial Intelligence; leading the development of T183 - Design and the WebT184 - Robotics and the meaning of life, A178 - Perspectives on Leonardo, TM190 - The Story of Maths, T218 - Design for Engineers; and writing the interactive computer exercises for T174 - Engineering the Future. I am currently production chair of T212 Elecronics: Sensing, Logic and Actuation (2017),  member of the T312 Electronics module production team (2019), and member of the team producing the new Open STEM Laboratory giving students remote access to hand-on electronics and robotics experiements.

My OU PhD supervisions include: Richard Murphy -Constraint-based design synthesis for computer aided design (1993); Meng Hua - A neural network based strategy for robot navigation in dynamic environments (1994), Paul Margerison - An algorithmic and interactive approach to computer art (1995), George Glaze - Graphic design evaluation: towards a rule-based system (1995), David Durling - Teaching with style: computer aided instruction, personality and design education (1996), Claudia Eckert - Intelligent support for knitwear design (1997), Linda Waddoups - A binary representation for built form (2001), Jack Cawkwell - An automated guided vehicle for local transport (2004), Sunny Bains - Physical computation and embodied artificial intelligence (2004), Nick Scott - Measures from complexity science provide manufacturing companies with insights previously unavailable to them (2004), John Welford - Artificial Intelligent for classifying oral lesions (2005), Pejman Iravani - An architecture for multilevel learning and robotic control based on concept generation (2005), Valery Rose - Evolutionary adaptive self-learning machine vision (2010), Joan Serras - Multidimensional multilevel representation for traffic simulation models (2008), James Law - Abstracting multidimensional concepts for multilevel decisionmaking in multirobot systems (2008),  Vikas Chandra - Patenting and publication networks in stem cell research (2009), Paul Morley. Investigation into automated laundry sorting (2012), Anthony Johnston - Sensory augmentation for navigation in difficult urban environments by people with visual impairment (2013), Iain Kusel - A computational model of the emergence of seriation in the young child (2014), Tasos Varoudis - Augmented visibility in architectural space influencing movement patterns (2014), Bjorn Madsen - How to Make the Most Productive Intervention in a Complex Economic System (2015). Current supervision: Cristian Jimenez-Romero - Hypernetworks and spiking neural networks in peer marking for scalable education. Charlotte Foster: Video production in the social welfare charity sector – processes, narrative and ethics (supported by AHRC Design Star)

My BA and PhD are in mathematics. I am a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, a Fellow of the British Computer Society,  a Chartered Mathematician and Chartered Engineer. I have been director of various engineering and consulting companies and am the CEO of Vision Scientific Ltd, a company I founded with Phil Picton in 1989. I am a Past President of the Complex Systems Society, and a Board Member and Deputy Presindent of the UNESCO UniTwin Digital Campus for Complex Systems.

David Sousa-Rodrigues and I are the OU partners in the European TOPDRIM Project cordinated by Emanuela Merelli.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Design Group: Complexity Science and DesignGroupFaculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology

Publications

Hypernetworks: Multidimensional relationships in multilevel systems (2016-09-30)
Johnson, J.H.
European Physical Journal Special Topics, 225(6) (pp. 1037-1052)
Neural hypernetwork approach for pulmonary embolism diagnosis (2015-10-29)
Rucco, Matteo; Sousa-Rodriges, David; Merelli, Emanuela; Johnson, Jeffrey H.; Falsetti, Lorenzo; Nitti, Cinzia and Salvi, Aldo
BMC Research Notes, 8(617)
Challenges in complex systems science (2012-10)
San Miguel, M.; Johnson, J. H.; Kertesz, J.; Kaski, K.; Diaz-Guilera, A.; MacKay, R. S.; Loreto, V.; Erdi, P. and Helbing, D.
European Physics Journal Special Topics, 214 (pp. 245-271)
The FuturICT education accelerator (2012-10)
Johnson, J.; Buckingham Shum, S.; Willis, A.; Bishop, S.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Swithenby, S.; MacKay, R.; Merali, Y.; Lorincz, A.; Costea, C.; Bourgine, P.; Louçã, J.; Kapenieks, A.; Kelly, P.; Caird, S.; Bromley, J.; Deakin Crick, R.; Goldspink, C.; Collet, P.; Carbone, A. and Helbing, D.
European Physical Journal - Special Topics, 214 (pp. 215-243)
The future of the social sciences and humanities in the science of complex systems (2010-06)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 23(2) (pp. 115-134)
Involvement of right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in ill-structured design cognition: An fMRI study (2010)
Gilbert, S.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Alexiou, K. and Johnson, J.
Brain Research, 1312(C) (pp. 79-88)
Exploring the neurological basis of design cognition using brain imaging: some preliminary results (2009)
Alexiou, K.; Zamenopoulos, T.; Johnson, J. H. and Gilbert, S. J.
Design Studies, 30(6) (pp. 623-647)
Science and policy in designing complex futures (2008-08)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Futures, 40(6) (pp. 520-536)
Science and policy in designing complex futures (2008)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Futures, 40(6) (pp. 520-536)
Complexity Theory: a Science of Cultural Systems? (2007-06)
Cham, Karen and Johnson, Jeffrey
M/C Journal, 10:(3) (pp. 21-34)
The multilevel hypernetwork dynamics of complex systems of robot soccer agents (2007-06)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Iravani, Pejman
ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems, 2(2)
An approach to the design of interactive environments with reference to choreography, architecture, the complex systems of 4D design (2007)
Robertson, A.; Lycouris, S. and Johnson, J.H.
International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 3(2-3) (pp. 281-294)
Insights into lean manufacturing from complex systems measures (2007)
Scott, N. A.; Frizelle, G. and Johnson, J. H.
International Journal of Agile Manufacturing, 10(2) (pp. 125-128)
Can complexity help us better understand risk? (2006-10)
Johnson, J. H.
Risk Management, 8(4) (pp. 227-267)
Complexity through combination: an account of knitwear design (2006-03)
Sharp, Helen; Petre, Marian and Johnson, Jeffrey
Design Studies, 27(2) (pp. 183-222)
Complexity science in collaborative design (2005-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey
CoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts, 1(4) (pp. 223-242)
RoboCupJunior: learning with educational robots (2003)
Sklar, Elizabeth; Eguchi, Amy and Johnson, Jeffrey
AI Magazine, 24(2; Summer) (pp. 43-46)
Learning from designing the RoboFesta - Blue Peter robots (2003)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Hirst, Tony and Garner, Steven
Artificial Life and Robotics, 7 (pp. 22-27)
Children, robotics, and education (2003)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Artificial Life and Robotics, 7(1-2) (pp. 16-21)
Fundamental structures in the design of machine vision systems (2001-04)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Simon, Jean-Claude
Mathematical Geology, 33(3) (pp. 331-352)
Visual communication in swarms of intelligent robot agents (2001)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Artificial Life and Robotics, 5(1) (pp. 1-9)
The "can you trust it?" problem of simulation science in the design of socio-technical systems (2001)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Complexity, 6(2) (pp. 34-40)
Intelligent support for communication in design teams: garment shape specifications in the knitwear industry (2000-01)
Eckert, Claudia M.; Cross, Nigel and Johnson, Jeffrey H.
Design Studies, 21(1) (pp. 99-112)
An interactive computer model of urban development: the rules governing the morphology of mediaeval London. (1985)
Brown, F. E. and Johnson, J. H.
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 12(4) (pp. 377-400)
The Q-analysis of road traffic systems (1981)
Johnson, J. H.
Environment and Planning B. Planning and Design, 8(2) (pp. 141-189)
Hypernetworks in the science of complex systems (2013-12-31)
Johnson, Jeffrey
Series on complexity science
ISBN : 9781860949722 | Publisher : Imperial College Press | Published : London
Global Systems Science and Policy (2017-02-05)
Dum, Ralph and Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Johnson, Jeffrey; Nowak, Andrzej; Ormerod, Paul; Rosewell, Bridget and Zhang, Yi-Cheng eds. Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking. Understanding Complex Systems (pp. 209-225)
ISBN : 978-3-319-42422-4 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham, Switzerland
Systems, Networks and Policy (2017-02-05)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Fortune, Joyce and Bromley, Jane M.
In: Johnson, Jeffrey; Nowak, Andrzej; Ormerod, Paul; Rosewell, Bridget and Zhang, Yi-Chang eds. Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking. Understanding Complex Systems (pp. 111-134)
ISBN : 978-3-319-42422-4 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham, Switzerland
Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy (2017-02-05)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Ormerod, Paul; Nowak, Andrzej; Rosewell, Bridget and Zhang, Yi-Cheng
In: Johnson, Jeffrey; Nowak, Andrzej; Ormerod, Paul; Rosewell, Bridget and Zhang, Y-Cheng eds. Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking. Understanding Complexity (pp. 1-17)
ISBN : 978-3-319-42422-4 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham, Switzerland
Embracing n-ary Relations in Network Science (2016)
Johnson, Jeffrey H.
In: Wierzbicki, Adam; Brandes, Ulrik; Schweitzer, Frank and Pedreschi, Dino eds. Advances in Network Science: 12th International Conference and School, NetSci-X 2016, Wroclaw, Poland, January 11-13, 2016, Proceedings. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (9564) (pp. 147-160)
ISBN : 978-3-319-28360-9 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Switzerland
Policy Design, Planning, and Management in Global Systems Science (2015)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Cardin, Michel-Alexandre; Krob, Daniel; Pao, Chuen Lui; Yang, How Tan and Wood, Kristin eds. Complex Systems Design & Management Asia. Designing Smart Cities: Proceedings of the First Asia - Pacific Conference on Complex Systems Design & Management, CSD&M Asia 2014 (pp. 125-132)
ISBN : 9783319125435 | Publisher : Springer
Multilevel Systems and Policy (2015)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Mitleton-Kelly, Eve; Paraskevas, Alexandros and Day, Christopher eds. Edward Elgar Handbook of Research Methods in Complexity Science and their Applications ((In press))
Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : London
Policy design: a new area of design research and practice. (2013-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Cook, Matthew
In: Aiguier, Marc; Boulanger, Frédéric; Krob, Daniel and Clotilde, Marchal eds. Complex Systems in Design and Management (pp. 51-62)
ISBN : 978-3-319-02811-8 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Heidelberg
Cities: systems of systems of systems (2012-02)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Portugali, Juval; Meyer, Han; Stolk, Egbert and Tan, Ekim eds. Complexity Theories of Cities Have Come of Age. Springer Complexity (pp. 153-172)
ISBN : 978-3-642-24543-5 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : Berlin
Embracing complexity in design: emerging perspectives and opportunities (2010-01)
Alexiou, Katerina; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st century: research methods & findings (pp. 87-100)
ISBN : 9781409402404 | Publisher : Gower Ashgate | Published : United Kingdom
Embracing design in complexity (2009-09-04)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Alexiou, Aikaterini; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore eds. Embracing complexity in design (pp. 193-203)
ISBN : 978-0-415-49700-8 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Embracing complexity in design (2007-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Alexiou, Katerina; Creigh-Tyte, Anne; Chase, Scott; Duffy, Alex; Eckert, Claudia; Gascoigne, Damian; Kumar, Bimal; Mitleton-Kelly, Eve; Petry, Michael; Qin, Sheng Fen; Robertson, Alec; Rzevski, George; Teymour, Necdet; Thompson, Avril; Young, Robert; Willis, Mateo and Zamenopoulos, Theodore
In: Inns, Tom ed. Designing for the 21st Century: Interdisciplinary Questions and Insights (pp. 129-149)
ISBN : 9780566087370 | Publisher : Gower Publishing Limited | Published : Aldershot
Complexity (2005)
Earl, Chris; Johnson, Jeffrey and Eckert, Claudia
In: Clarkson, John and Eckert, Claudia eds. Design process improvement: a review of current practice. Springer Science+Business (pp. 174-197)
ISBN : 1-85233-701-X | Publisher : Springer Verlag | Published : London, UK
Complexity (2005)
Earl, Chris; Johnson, Jeffrey and Eckert, Claudia
In: Clarkson, John and Eckert, Claudia eds. Design Process Improvement: A Review Of Current Practice (pp. 174-197)
ISBN : 185233701X | Publisher : Springer Science + Business Media | Published : London, U.K.
Complexity of planning in design (2005)
Earl, Christopher; Eckert, Claudia and Johnson, Jeffrey
In: Tumer, Irem Y.; Hayes, Caroline and Gupta, S. K. eds. Proceedings of the 2001 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
ISBN : 9780791847381 | Publisher : American Society of Mechanical Engineers | Published : New York
Complexity science and representation in robot soccer (2004)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Price, Blaine A.
In: Polani, Daniel; Browning, Brett; Bonarini, Andrea and Yoshida, Kazuo eds. RoboCup 2003: Robot Soccer World Cup VII. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (pp. 67-76)
ISBN : 978-3-540-22443-3 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Berlin
Non-Equilibrium Social Science and Policy: Introduction and Essays on New and Changing Paradigms in Socio-Economic Thinking (2017-02-05)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Nowak, Andrzej; Ormerod, Paul; Rosewell, Bridget and Zhang, Yi-Cheng eds.
Understanding Complex Systems
ISBN : 978-3-319-42422-4 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham, Switzerland
Embracing complexity in design (2009-09)
Alexiou, Aikaterini; Johnson, Jeffrey and Zamenopoulos, Theodore eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-49700-8 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : UK
Hypernetwork-based peer marking for scalable certificated mass education (2014-09)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Jimenez-Romero, Cristian; Rodrigues, David and Bromley, Jane M.
In : European Conference on Complex Systems 2014 (22-26 September 2014, Lucca, Italy)
Peer assessment in architecture education (2014-09)
Teixeira de Sampayo, Mafalda; Sousa-Rodrigues, David; Jimenez-Romero, Cristian and Johnson, Jeffrey
In : 14th International Conference on Technology, Policy and Innovation (9-12 September 2014, Brno, Czech Republic)
Machine and social intelligent peer-assessment systems for assessing large student populations in massive open online education (2013-11-02)
Jimenez-Romero, Cristian; Johnson, Jeffrey and De Castro, Ricardo
In : 12th European Conference on e-Learning ECEL-2013 (30-31 October 2013, Sophia Antipolis, France) (pp. 598-607)
Hypernetworks for policy design in systems of systems of systems (2012-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In : 2nd International Conference on Complex Sciences: Theory and Applications (5-7 Dec 2012, Santa Fe) (pp. 179-189)
Design interventions, prediction and science in the sustainable transition of large, complex systems, (2010-11-17)
Dewberry, Emma and Johnson, Jeffrey
In : The 2nd International Conference on Design Engineering and Science (ICDES2010) (17-19 November, Tokyo)
Hypernetworks of complex systems (2009-07-02)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In : Complex Sciences. First International Conference, Complex 2009, Shanghai, China, February 2009. Revised Papers, Part 1 (23-25 February 2009, Shanghai) (pp. 364-375)
Policy, design and management: the in-vivo laboratory for the science of complex socio-technical systems (2009)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In : Complex Sciences: First International Conference, Complex 2009, Shanghai, China, February 2009. Revised Papers, Part 1 (February 2009, Shanghai, China) (pp. 232-241)
The multilevel dynamics of very large complex road systems (2008-09)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Serras, Joan
In : Euproean Conference on Complex Systems (ECCS' 08) (14-19 September 2008, Jerusalem)
Hypernetworks for reconstructing the dynamics of multilevel systems (2006-09)
Johnson, Jeffrey
In : European Conference on Complex Systems 2006 (25-29 September 2006, Oxford)
Robots, art and complexity science (2005-05)
Johnson, Jeff and Hirst, Tony
In : Complexity Symposium: Art, Complexity and Technology: Their Interaction in Emergence (5-6 May 2005, Torino, Italy)
Robotics and the meaning of life: a practical guide to things that think (2005)
Rosewell, Jonathan; Johnson, Jeffrey; Hirst, Tony and Price, Blaine
In : CAL '05 'Virtual Learning?' (4-6 April 2005, Bristol, UK)
Robotics and the Q-analysis of behaviour (2005)
Iravani, Pejman; Johnson, Jeff H. and Rapanotti, Lucia
In : Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics (AROB) (4-6 February 2005, Beneppu, Japan)
Representing Patterns of autonomous agent dynamics in multi-robot systems (2003)
Johnson, Jeffrey and Price, Blaine
In : The Eighth International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics (AROB-8) (24-26 Jan 2003, Beppu, Oita, Japan) (pp. 228-253)
Complexity in planning design processes (2001)
Earl, C. F.; Eckert, C. M. and Johnson, J.
In : Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Engineering Design: Design Research – Theories, Methodologies and Product Modelling (ICED'01) (21-23 August 2001, Glasgow, UK) (pp. 149-156)
Complex systems science: expert consultation report (2009-12)
Johnson, Jeffrey; Bourgine, Paul and Hales, David
The European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

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