Professor Peter Edwards

Professor Peter Edwards

Chair in Computing Science
Head of School

Professor Peter Edwards
Professor Peter Edwards

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 274078
The University of Aberdeen Room G05E Meston Building


Having completed an undergraduate degree in chemistry, I then shifted my academic allegiance and completed a PhD (Leeds) which explored cooperative reasoning in distributed blackboard systems. I  joined the University of Aberdeen as a postdoc in 1988, before moving into an academic position as a Lecturer in 1991. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2002 and Professor in 2009.

As a researcher I have been fortunate to lead a number of major interdisciplinary efforts, first as Director of the ESRC funded PolicyGrid eSocial Science Research Node (2006-2012) and later as Director of the RCUK dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub (2009-2015). To date, I have secured over £23M in external research funding, the majority of it from UKRI (formerly RCUK) sources.

I am currently Head of School, Natural & Computing Sciences.

I have also held numerous offices at the University of Aberdeen, most notably Head of Computing Science (2002-2005) and Head of Graduate School for the College of Physical Sciences (2005 – 2011). In addition I acted as the Director of the Northern Research Partnership Graduate School (involving Aberdeen, Dundee and Robert Gordon universities) between 2007 and 2009. I was a member of the University Senate from 2002 to 2014 (and again 2018- ), and a Senate Assessor to the University Court between 2007 and 2014; in addition, I served on the Operating Board of the University Court for six years (2008-2014).


Research Interests

Distributed intelligent systems, specifically autonomous software agents and the semantic web. Current work focuses on the role of provenance in the digital economy, including how to represent provenance (of processes, artefacts, agents),  how social context influences provenance, novel methods for reasoning about provenance, and employing provenance to drive information quality assessment.

Research Grants

Realising Accountable Intelligent Systems
EPSRC, 2019-2022

Trusted Things & Communities: Understanding & Enabling a Trusted IoT Ecosystem
EPSRC, 2016-2019

Trust & Privacy in Smart City IoT Solutions
Royal Society of Edinburgh - Taiwan Ministry of Science & Technology, 2017-2019

The Food Sentiment Observatory: Exploiting New Forms of Data to Help Inform
Policy on Food Safety & Food Crime Risks (with Food Standards Scotland)
ESRC, 2017-2018

Smart Routing
Innovate UK, 2016-2017

Food Safety Assurance: Combining Provenance & The Internet of Things
IT as a Utility Network+ & Food Standards Agency, 2015-2016

Social Media: Developing Understanding, Infrastructure & Engagement 
ESRC, 2014-2016

dot.rural Digital Economy Research Hub
EPSRC (with AHRC, ESRC, MRC), 2009-2015

Trusted Tiny Things
IT as a Utility Network+, 2013-2014

A Trusted Mobile Platform for Self-Management of Chronic Illness in Rural Areas
EPSRC - India DST, 2011-2014

SFC Horizon Fund, 2011-2014

PolicyGrid II: Supporting Interdisciplinary Evidence Bases for Scientific
Collaboration and Policy Making

ESRC, 2009-2012

ESRC (with BBSRC, MRC), 2009-2010

eInfrastructure for Social Sciences
ESRC, 2006-2009

JISC, 2008-2009

PolicyGrid: Semantic Grid Tools for Rural Policy Development & Appraisal
ESRC, 2006-2009

Pilot Semantic Grid Service for Environmental Modelling
ESRC, 2003-2005


Teaching Responsibilities

CS1527 Object-Oriented Programming [Lecturer]

Further Info

External Responsibilities

EPSRC Peer Review College Member



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  • Oehlmann, R, Edwards, P & Sleeman, D 1995, Introspection Planning: Representing Metacognitive Experience. in MT Cox & M Freed (eds), Proceedings of AAAI 1995 Spring Symposium on Representing Mental States & Mechanisms. vol. SS-95-05, AAAI Press, pp. 102-110. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Davies, WHE & Edwards, P 1994, Agent-K: An Integration of AOP & KQML. in T Finin & Y Labrou (eds), Proceedings of the CIKM '94 Workshop on Intelligent Agents. NIST.
  • Oehlmann, R, Edwards, P & Sleeman, D 1994, Changing Viewpoint: Case Indexing by Introspective Questioning. in Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 675-680. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Gordon, A, Edwards, P, Sleeman, D & Kodratoff, Y 1994, Scientific Discovery in a Space of Structural Models: An Example from the History of Solution Chemistry. in Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 381-386. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Edwards, P, Sleeman, D, Roberts, GCK & Lian, LY 1993, An AI Approach to the Interpretation of the NMR Spectra of Proteins. in L Hunter (ed.), Artificial Intelligence & Molecular Biology. The MIT Press, pp. 396-432.
  • Oehlmann, R, Sleeman, D & Edwards, P 1993, Case-Based Planning in an Exploratory Discovery System. in MB (ed.), Proceedings of IEE Colloquium on Case Based Reasoning. IET, London, pp. 1/1 - 1/3.
  • Oehlmann, R, Sleeman, D & Edwards, P 1993, Learning Plan Transformations From Self-Questions: A Memory-Based Approach. in R Fikes & W Lehnert (eds), Proceedings of the Eleventh National Conference on Artificial Intelligence - AAAI-93. AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA, pp. 520-525. <> [Online] DOI:
  • Sleeman, D & Edwards, P 1992, Machine Learning: Proceedings of the Ninth International Workshop - ML92. Morgan Kaufmann . [Online] DOI:
  • Edwards, P, Sleeman, D, Roberts, GCK & Lian, LY 1990, A Protein NMR Assistant. in Working Notes of AAAI 90 Stanford Spring Symposium on AI and Molecular Biology. AAAI Press, pp. 41-45.
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