The Computer Learning Research Centre was established in January 1998 to provide a focus for fundamental research and the development of commercial-industrial applications. The Centre was created to work in the fields of machine learning, high-dimensional data analysis, inductive/transductive inference and universal prediction. The background for the establishment of the Centre lies in the recent unprecedented growth in the quantity and complexity of information, such as that generated by the human genome project. As new analysing techniques, such as data mining, were researched and developed in response to this growth, machine learning came to be recognised as playing a central role in providing the means to cope with the processing of information on this new scale.
In order to achieve these goals, the CLRC's activities were focused on research projects - developing both the theory and the technology to implement the theory - consultancy - providing technology and advice to outside organisations - and on providing short courses and seminars.
The activities of the the Centre are overseen by a Steering Committee, selected to represent the varied interests of industry, academia, commerce, the health service and UK Government.
The CLRC maintains a strong team of researchers, including senior academics, research assistants and research students. The members of the Centre contribute a substantial portion of the Department of Computer Science's seminars, as well as pursuing their own research goals. In addition to resident academic staff, the Centre has Visiting Professors and Research Associates from America, Australia and Russia, who visit the Centre to give lectures and seminars, work with other members of the Centre or attend the Centre's colloquia.
Among the Fellows of CLRC, Vladimir Vapnik and Alexey Chervonenkis - the founders of statistical learning theory; Alexander Gammerman and Vladimir Vovk - the inventors of conformal predictors theory; Glenn Shafer - a co-founder of the Dempster-Shafer theory of evidence; Jorma Rissanen - the inventor of MDL principle; Leonid Levin - one of the 3 founders of the theory of NP-completeness, made fundamental contributions to Kolmogorov complexity; Zhiyuan Luo - an expert in Bayesian Belief networks and Conformal Predictors.