Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Building software modules that can learn from, and adapt to, a changing and unknown environment is a key challenge faced in many complex real-world problems. This unit covers a class of nature-inspired algorithms and structures for creating programs that demonstrate emergent adaptive and intelligent behaviours, including evolutionary algorithms, neural networks, machine learning and a swarm intelligence, contrasted against traditional optimisation techniques. The representations and algorithms explored in the unit can be used to solve problems ranging from complex optimisation to adaptive learning, which form the core research areas of artificial intelligence. Numerous research questions remain when such techniques are applied in real-world situations. In this interactive, project-based unit, students are given opportunities to explore the above-mentioned advanced topics in artificial intelligence and adaptive systems, research into a topic or technique of interest and develop and apply software solutions in simulated environments.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) understand the general concepts and approaches used in building AI and adaptive systems; (2) perform a literature search and research investigation on at least one AI approach; (3) apply at least one AI approach to solve significant real-world problems; (4) participate effectively as a member of a team and contribute constructively to team goals; (5) produce scientific writing that explains the hypothesis, experimental design, and evaluation strategy of a problem solution ; and (6) explain AI approaches and their application in seminar settings..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research paper; (2) practical project; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Cara MacNish
Unit rules
Successful completion of
CITS2002 Systems Programming
or CITS2005 Object Oriented Programming
or CITS2402 Introduction to Data Science
or ELEC3020 Embedded Systems
or ( CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python
and CITS4009 Computational Data Analysis
Advisable prior study
some experience with python,
or willingness to learn, is recommended.
This unit will not be offered in 2021.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.