Portrait of Dr Margaret West Dr Margaret West

m.m.west@hud.ac.uk | 01484 472302


Her first interests were in Applied Mathematics - she graduated from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelors degree in Mathematics followed by a Masters degree in Theoretical Physics. She taught mathematics and statistics for four years at HND and undergraduate level at Colleges in North East London and Leeds. (Both of these later became `post 1992 Universities'.) After a career break during which she had her children she returned to lecturing part-time. During this period she also studied part-time for a Masters degree in Computing at Bradford University: she obtained this in 1988.

Following this, she had something of a career change; her specialisms at Bradford University had been in formal methods (in particular the Z notation) and logic programming.  Between 1989 and early 1996 she was involved with a series of research projects at the University of Leeds, mainly in her specialist areas. The longest of these was her involvement with the `DRIVE Safely consortium' (EC Project) which in 1992 produced a draft European standard for the development and certification of safe Advanced Transport Telematic (ATT) Systems. Joint work with European partners also included collaboration on case studies, one of which, the UK Pelican Controller, had had problems reported concerning its operation. The study involved formalisation using the Z notation and the work resulted in Pelican equipment throughout the UK being adjusted in line with project recommendations and a re-write of its Department of Transport specification.

Other projects conducted at Leeds University involved scheduling and timetabling. She was a member of a group which successfully timetabled the University of Leeds first and second year teaching modules for 1993-4. Towards the end of her time at Leeds she registered there for a Part-Time PhD. and she obtained her doctorate in 2002: `Issues in Validation and Executability of Formal Specifications in the Z Notation'.

In 1996 she commenced research work and teaching at the University of Huddersfield. During her first two years she was a member of the `IMPRESS'
project which involved air traffic control procedures. The project was conducted with the cooperation of NATS, and involved formalising air traffic separation criteria for flight plans over the North Atlantic. A later project was supported by Railtrack: the object of the project was the continuation of work on reliability.

She officially retired in 2005 and has continued at Huddersfield as a visiting researcher. Her main research work since then has been with the Planning group at Huddersfield.

She is a member of the BCS and between 1991 and 1997 was a member of the West Yorkshire Branch Committee (first as  Newsletter Editor then as Secretary). Since 1993 she has been a Committee Member of the Formal Aspects of  Computer Science (FACS) BCS specialist group, formerly as BCS Technical Board representative and currently as Newsletter Editor. In 1998 she helped organise the 21st Anniversary celebration meeting of FACS which took place at the Royal Society and involved talks (on Theoretical Computer Science) from four distinguished Fellows.

Her interests (when she has time) are in fell-walking, swimming and in the progress of her grand-children.

Margaret West: Website

Research and Scholarship

My research interests are:

  • Planning and Machine Learning
  • The Z Notation - Abstract Approximation, Animation of Z specifications
  • Reliability of Systems
  • Applications of Formal Methods
  • Planning: Induction of Operators, Application of Formal Methods :

    • T. L. McCluskey, S. N. Cresswell, N. E. Richardson and M. M. West (2007)
      Opmaker2: Efficient Action Schema Acquisition
      PlanSIG 2007, Prague, Czech Republic, December 2007.

      N.E. Richardson, T.L.McCluskey and M. M. West (2006)
      Towards Inducing HTN Domain Models from Examples
      PlanSIG 2006, Nottingham, UK, December 2006.

      D. E. Kitchin, T.L.McCluskey and M. M. West (2005)
      B vs {OCL}: Comparing specification languages for Planning Domains
      Proceedings of the ICAP'05 workshop Verification and Validation of
      Model-Based Planning and Scheduling Systems,
      Monterey, California, June, 2005.

      M.M. West and D.E. Kitchin (2003)
      Testing Domain Model Validation Tools
      PlanSIG 2003, Glasgow, UK, December 2003.

      M.M. West, D.E. Kitchin and T.L. McCluskey (2002)
      Validating Planning Domain Models Using B-AMN
      PlanSIG 2002, TU, Delft, Netherlands, November 20 - 21, 2002

  • The Z Notation - Animation of Z specifications using a Logic Programming Language:
  • Reliability:
    • M. Ingleby and M. West (2003)
      Causal Influence Coefficients: A localised Maximum Entropy Approach to Bayesian Inference.
      Chapter 4, pp 45-56 in "Mathematical and Statistical Methods in Reliability"
      (ISBN 981-238-321-2, Vol 7 of World Scientific's Series on Quality, Reliability and Engineering Statistics)
      Bo H Lindqvist (Trondheim) & Kjell A Doksum (Madison, Wisconsin) (ed.)

      (A short version of this was presented in MMR 02.)

  • Machine Learning and Inductive Logic:
    • M. M.West and T. L. McCluskey (2001)
      The Application of Machine Learning Tools to the Validation of An Air Traffic Control Domain Theory
      International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools, Volume 10, Number 4, December 2001, pages 613 -- 637.
      See Journal Contents Page.

      T. L. McCluskey and M.M.West (2001)
      The Automated Refinement of a Requirements Domain Theory
      Journal of Automated Software Enginnering, Special Issue on Inductive Programming, Volume 6, Number 2, May 2001, pages 195 -- 218.

      Further details are at IMPRESS home page

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Cresswell, S., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2013) ‘Acquiring planning domain models using LOCMKnowledge Engineering Review , 28 (2), pp. 195-213. ISSN 0269-8889


McCluskey, T., Cresswell, S., Richardson, N. and West, M. (2010) ‘Action Knowledge Acquisition with Opmaker2’. In: Agents and Artificial Intelligence. : Springer. pp. 137-150. ISBN 978-3-642-11818-0


Shah, M., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2009) ‘A study of synthesizing artificial intelligence (AI) planning domain models by using object constraints.’. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2009: CEARC’09. Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield. pp. 64-69. ISBN 9781862180857

Shah, M., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2009) ‘An Investigation into Using Object Constraints to Synthesize Planning Domain’. In: ICAPS 2009 Doctoral Consortium, September 19th 2009, Thessaloniki, Greece , pp. 53-56

Cresswell, S., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2009) ‘Acquisition of Object-Centred Domain Models from Planning Examples’. In: Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling. Menlo Park, California, USA: AAAI Press. pp. 338-341. ISBN 9781577354079

McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2009) ‘Ontological Engineering and ATCAir Traffic Technology International 2009 , pp. 63-65. ISSN 1366-7041

McCluskey, T., Cresswell, S., Richardson, N. and West, M. (2009) ‘Automated acquisition of action knowledge’. In: International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART), 19-21st January 2009, Porto, Portugal , pp. 93-100


McCluskey, T., Cresswell, S., Richardson, N., Simpson, R. and West, M. (2008) ‘An evaluation of Opmaker2’. In: The 27th Workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group, December 11-12th, 2008, Edinburgh , pp. 65-72


McCluskey, T., Cresswell, S., Richardson, N. and West, M. (2007) ‘Opmaker2: efficient action schema acquisition’. In: The 26th Workshop of the UK PLANNING AND SCHEDULING Special Interest Group - PlanSIG 2007, 17th-18th December 2007, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic , pp. 86-92


Richardson, N., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2006) ‘Towards inducing HTN domain models from examples’. In: 25th Annual Workshop of the UK Planning and Scheduling Special Interest Group (PlanSIG), 14th-15th December, 2006, Nottingham


Kitchin, D., McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2005) ‘B vs OCL: comparing specification languages for Planning Domains’. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Automated Planning and Scheduling (ICAPS 2005). : AAAI Press. . ISBN 978-1-57735-220-4


West, M. and Kitchin, D. (2003) ‘Testing domain model validation tools’. In: PlanSIG 22, 9th/10th Dec 2003, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Ingleby, M. and West, M. (2003) ‘Causal influence coefficients: a localised maximum entropy to Bayesian inference’. In: Mathematical and Statistical Methods in Reliability. : World Scientific. pp. 45-57. ISBN 9789812383211


West, M., Kitchin, D. and McCluskey, T. (2002) ‘Validating planning domain models using B-AMN’. In: PlanSIG 2002, 21st/22nd Nov 2002, Delft University of Technology, Holland


West, M. and McCluskey, T. (2001) ‘The application of machine learning tools to the validation of an air traffic control domain theoryInternational Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools , 10 (4), pp. 613-637. ISSN 0218-2130

McCluskey, T. and West, M. (2001) ‘The automated refinement of a requirements domain theoryJournal of Automated Software Engineering , 8 (2), pp. 195-218. ISSN 1573-7535


West, M. and McCluskey, T. (2000) ‘The application of a machine learning tool to the validation of an air traffic control domain theory’. In: Tools With Artificial Intelligence (ICTAI 2000) conference proceedings. : IEEE. pp. 414-421. ISBN 0769509096


McCluskey, T. and West, M. (1998) ‘A case study in the use of theory revision in requirements validation’. In: Machine learning: proceedings of the fifteenth international conference (ICML '98). : Morgan Kaufmann. pp. 368-376. ISBN 9781558605565

McCluskey, T. and West, M. (1998) ‘Towards the Automated Debugging and Maintenance of Logic-based Requirements Models’. In: Proceedings, 13th IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering. : IEEE Computer Society. . ISBN 9780818687501


McCluskey, T., Porteous, J., West, M. and Bryant, C. (1997) ‘The validation of formal specifications of requirements’. In: BCS-FACS Northern Formal Methods Workshop: proceedings of the BCS-FACS Northern Formal Methods Workshop, Ilkley, UK, 23-24 September 1996. : Springer. pp. 8-9. ISBN 9783540761174

Research Degree Supervision

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