Tim C. Pearce
PhD (Warwick)

Contact details: 
Room 704
Department of Engineering,
University of Leicester
University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH
United Kingdom

Tel  +44 (0) 116 223 1290
Fax: +44 (0) 116 252 2619


A mathematical model of the action of a broadly tuned chemical sensor array has been developed explaining the performance of such systems to large numbers of individual stimulus components. A chapter in the Handbook of Machine Olfaction provides the details [pdf]


Main scientific goals:

To understand the neuronal information processing underpinning olfaction (smell) and use this to build better machines to sense molecular stimuli (machine olfaction). How building models of sensory information processing helps us better understand the nervous system. This work combines both practical and theoretical approaches:


This work involves developing neuronal models of the olfactory pathway that are driven by real-world chemosensors as a test-bed for biologically inspired signal processing architectures. I have worked with conducting polymer, optical, and metal oxide semiconductor chemosensor devices.


The olfactory systems relies upon a large repetoire of different chemoreceptor types in order to encode different molecular stimuli. The signals can be considered to act as a population code representation. Recent work has included considering this population coding as a geometric transformation and using Fisher Information to quanitify the accuracy of stimulus estimation. These concepts are being investigated for optimising chemical sensor arrays for practical applications

Selected papers for download:

  1. Automatic decoding of sensor types within randomly-ordered, high-density optical sensor arrays, Albert K.J., Gill D.S., Pearce T.C.,Walt D.R., Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, to appear 2002 [pdf]
  2. Chemical Sensor Array Optimization: Geometric and Information Theoretic Approaches, Pearce T.C., Sanchez-Montanes M., in Handbook of Machine Olfaction, Pearce T.C., Schiffman S.S., Nagle H.T., Gardner J.W., Wiley-VCH, 2002 [pdf]
  3. Robust Stimulus Encoding in Olfactory Processing: Hyperacuity and Efficient Signal Transmission, Pearce T.C., Verschure P.F.M.J, White J., Kauer J.S., in Neural Computation Architectures Based on Neuroscience, Wermter S., Austin J., and Willshaw D., Springer-Verlag, 2001. [ps.gz] [pdf]
  4. Optical Multi-bead Arrays for Simple and Complex Odor Discrimination, Albert K.A., Gill D.S., Walt D.R., Pearce T.C Analytical Chemistry, 73(11), 2501-2508, 2001 [pdf]
  5. Fisher Information and Optimal Odor Sensors, Sanchez-Montanes M., Pearce T.C., Neurocomputing, 38, 335-341, 2001[ps.gz] [pdf]
  6. Stimulus Encoding during the Early Stages of Olfactory Processing: A Modeling Study using an Artificial Olfactory System, Pearce T.C., Verschure P.F.M.J., White J., Kauer J.S., Neurocomputing, 38, 299-306, 2001, [ps.gz] [pdf]
  7. Odor to Sensor Space Transformations in Biological and Artificial Noses, Pearce T.C., Neurocomputing, Vol. 32-33, (2000) pp. 941-952. [ps.gz] [pdf]
  8. Predicting Organoleptic Scores of Sub-ppm Flavour Notes Part 1, Theoretical and Experimental Details, Pearce T.C., and Gardner J.W., Analyst, Vol. 123, (1998) pp.2047-2055. [ps.gz] [pdf]
  9. Predicting Organoleptic Scores of Sub-ppm Flavour Notes Part 2, Computational Analysis and Results, Pearce T.C., and Gardner J.W., Analyst, Vol. 123, (1998) pp.2056-2066. [ps.gz] [pdf]
  10. Computational Parallels between the Biological Olfactory Pathway and its Analogue "The Electronic Nose": Part I. Biological Olfaction, Pearce T.C., BioSystems, Vol. 41(1), (1997)  pp.43-67. [ps.gz] [pdf]
  11. Computational Parallels between the Biological Olfactory Pathway and its Analogue "The Electronic Nose": Part II. Sensor-Based Machine Olfaction, Pearce T.C., BioSystems, Vol. 41(2), (1997) pp.69-90. [ps.gz] [pdf]


Handbook of Machine Olfaction, Wiley-VCH, to be published 2001.

Special Issue of Network: Computation in Neural Systems


Lab details - I am principal investigator of NeuroLab within the Centre for Bioengineering. Lab pages


Silicon aVLSI Olfactory System Implementation Project: project pages

Artificial Chemosensing Moth Project: project pages


Positions Available


EG 302  - Digital Control & Instrumentation - 1998 Exam [pdf] [word] - 2000 Exam [pdf] [word]

EG 222 - Process-oriented Programming - 2001 Resit Exam 2001 [pdf] - Resit Solution - [pdf]

EG 421  - Modelling and Classification of Data - [this year]



Other stuff


Author: Tim Pearce , last updated 7th May 2002.
Any opinions and views expressed are the author's and not those of the University