One of the central issues of 21st Century Informatics will be how to link, in theory and in practice, computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds. The external world may be the "real" world or another computational environment that has its own character. Domains where these issues are pertinent include bio-mimetic robotics, computer-based visual perception, dynamic control of the interaction of robotic systems with their environment or each other, computer-based generation of external phenomena, such as images, music or actions, and agent-based interaction with other agents or humans, as in computer games and animation.

The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (formed 1998) is focused on activities related to these issues. IPAB is one of several institutes formed by members of the former Departments of Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Computer Science, and HCRC.

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