Overview: The natural immune system is a subject of great research interest because of its powerful information processing capabilities. The main purpose of the immune system is to recognize all cells (or molecules) within the body and categorize those cells as self or non-self. The non-self cells are further categorized in order to induce an appropriate type of defensive mechanism. The immune system learns through evolution to distinguish between foreign antigens (e.g., bacteria, viruses, etc.) and the body's own cells or molecules.
From an information-processing perspective, the immune system is a remarkable parallel and distributed adaptive system. It uses learning, memory, and associative retrieval to solve recognition and classification tasks. In particular, it learns to recognize relevant patterns, remember patterns that have been seen previously, and use combinatorics to construct pattern detectors efficiently. Also, the overall behavior of the system is an emergent property of many local interactions. These remarkable information-processing abilities of the immune system provide several important aspects in the field of computation. Artificial Immune Systems are used in pattern recognition, fault detection, computer security, and a variety of other applications.
Instructor's Background: Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science in Mathematical Sciences department at the University of Memphis, Tennessee. His research interests are broadly in the area of scientific computing, tracking real-world problems through interdisciplinary cooperation. His areas of special interests include Artificial Intelligence, Genetic Algorithms, Neural Networks, Computational model of Immune Systems, and their applications. He published more than 35 papers in book chapters, journals, international conferences. He is also the coeditor of the book "Evolutionary Algorithms in Engineering Applications" published by Springer-Verlag, 1997. Dr. Dasgupta is a member of IEEE, ACM and served as a program committee member in many International Conferences. He is organizing a special track on Artificial Immune Systems and Their Applications at the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics to be held in Orlando, October 12-15, 1997.