Magnus Ramage (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
David Chapman (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)
Chris Bissell (Department of Computing and Communications, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 3 November 2014


Ramage, M., Chapman, D. and Bissell, C. (2014), "Editorial", Kybernetes, Vol. 43 No. 9/10. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2014-0179



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Kybernetes, Volume 43, Issue 9/10

This issue of the journal largely contains a special issue consisting of 16 papers, entitled "A circularity in learning: acting, understanding, acting". This represents the proceedings of the American Society for Cybernetics conference held in the summer of 2013 in Bolton, UK. We are very pleased to have these papers, and are grateful to the guest editors (Ranulph Glanville, David Griffiths and Philip Baron) for their hard work in putting the issue together.

There are also five "regular" papers within this issue.

Liao, Xu and Xu discuss an approach to multi-criterion decision making using hesitant fuzzy sets, a method which they argue is particularly powerful in modelling decisions in uncertain environments. As well as introducing their method, they give an example of its application in decision making around a complex ecosystem, a rangeland, with multiple stakeholders and ecological, social and economic aspects.

Taeib, Soltani and Chaari present a method for control systems using the model predictive control approach (MPC). They observe that MPC can often require highly complicated mathematical calculations, and therefore advocate the use of an evolutionary computation method, Particle Swarm Optimisation (here combined with the use of fuzzy sets), to generate the model. They outline the method in detail and argue for its superiority over other approaches, through the use of two simulations.

Garcia looks at project management, and in particular the selection and scheduling of projects in heavy industries. With limited inventory and fixed windows when products are due, there is a significant optimisation problem. He describes two heuristic algorithms to explore this optimisation problem, and uses computational experiment to explore the implications of these algorithms.

Drake, Hyde, Ibrahim and Ozcan present a "hyper-heuristic" solution (a combination of several artificial intelligence methods) to the multidimensional knapsack problem, a classic NP-hard optimisation problem. Their solution is derived from genetic programming, an extension of genetic algorithms. They demonstrate its effectiveness using an experimental design.

Shao, Xiong, Meng and Songchen investigate how to model the behaviour of passengers in airline terminals who react to unexpected delays and cancellations with violence. Their model is based on multi-agent simulation and particularly focuses on the concept of emotional contagion. It was developed using the neuro-fuzzy network ANFIS. The model is demonstrated using real passenger data which the authors have collected.

As an editorial team (and with the support of the editorial advisory board), we have been giving a lot of thought to the ethical policy of our journal. We are members of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) and find their approach to the ethics of the publication process useful – but we feel it is also important to take an ethical stance in the research process and in the way authors report their research. We will be introducing our ethical policy, and discussing the nature of ethics in cybernetics and systems, in the first issue of the next volume.

This issue concludes Volume 43 of Kybernetes, and we give our thanks to everyone who has contributed to this volume: authors, reviewers, guest editors, staff at Emerald – and of course to the wider community around the journal who continue to support us with ideas, feedback and article submissions.

We hope you enjoy this issue.