Faculty success with ARC Discovery and DECRA

23 November 2017

Many congratulations to those successful in the recent round of ARC Discovery and DECRA grant outcomes.

The Faculty was awarded four Discovery Projects and one DECRA as follows:

Associate Professor Tim Dwyer; Professor Bruce Thomas; Professor Kim Marriott; Professor Mark Billinghurst; Professor Dr Dieter Schmalstieg with their project “Immersive analytics: interactive data analysis using surfaces and spaces”.

This project aims to explore the potential for new immersive display and interaction technologies to greatly enhance the field of visual data analytics.Humans struggle to understand the masses of complex data they now accumulate. Visual data analytics offers a solution. The project expects to provide practical and theoretical frameworks for immersive data analysis and valuable intellectual property on the first practical tools for immersive data analytics. This will provide significant benefits, such as allowing those across government and industry to make more informed decisions from data.

Professor Dr Bernd Meyer; Associate Professor Martin Burd; Dr Julian Garcia; Professor Dr Arne Traulsen; Assistant Professor Joachim Offenberg with “Modelling collective behaviour to protect social insect ecosystem services”.

This project aims to use mathematical models and computer simulations and biological experiments to investigate how social insects adapt to environmental stress, for example due to climate change and pollution. Fundamental to the adaptability of social insects are the complex mechanisms that allow colonies to maintain a carefully balanced division of labour (DOL). This project builds on evolutionary game theory to develop a new approach for analysing how environmental factors impact on DOL and thus colony viability. The project will deliver new methods to assess and predict the impact of environmental stress This will ultimately help to protect these keystones of biodiversity and the significant ecosystem services they provide as pest-control agents, through pollination, seed dispersal, and soil conditioning.

Professor Maria Garcia de la Banda; Professor Mark Wallace; Dr Guido Tack, “Learning from learning solvers”.

Finding optimum solutions to everyday problems is one of the most common challenges in decision making. This project aims to design and implement effective analysis and transformation methods to improve models of combinatorial optimisation problems. Better models will enable more scalable and robust deployment of resources in all these areas, and do so immediately and at low risk and cost. The results will help users design better models while spending less time and money. This will in turn allow organisations large and small to reap the benefits of optimisation technology and, thus, make more efficient use of their resources.

Dr Ron Steinfeld; Professor Josef Pieprzyk; Dr Joseph Liu; Professor Yvo Desmedt; Dr Huaxiong Wang, “Privacy-preserving data processing on the cloud”.

This project aims to address the current lack of privacy of user data processed by common cloud computing web servers, including email, business data, and confidential files. This project aims to develop new techniques in cryptography. The anticipated outcome is a suite of practical tools enabling common cloud computing processing operations such as search, statistical analysis, and multi-user access control, to be performed efficiently while preserving the data privacy. These tools should provide significant benefits to the privacy of cloud users, as well as financial and reputation benefits to the IT industry, by significantly reducing the likelihood of massive user data privacy breaches in the event of a cyber-hacking attack on the cloud server.

Dr Chatai Goncu with the project “Creating tactile electronic books for people with vision impairment”.

This project aims to create a framework which allows authoring, reading and storing of tactile electronic books for people with vision impairment by using multi-touch, audio, and tactile technologies. The project expects to generate new knowledge in the areas of human computer interaction and information visualisation utilising new techniques to present visual information in the form of audio and tactile. Expected outcomes of the project are to reduce the cost of authoring accessible textual and graphical content, and to provide a practical and intuitive reading experience. This should provide benefits to people with vision impairment while accessing information in a more effective and efficient way.

Researchers were also awarded a Discovery Project led by, UNSW:

Professor Wei Wang; Dr Aamir Cheema; Professor Mohamed MokbeL, “Next-generation search on social networks”.

This project aims to design effective and intelligent search techniques for large scale social network data. The project expects to advance existing social network search systems in utilizing the geographical locations of queries and social network data to provide more relevant results, acknowledging and handling inherent uncertainties in the data, and exploiting knowledge graphs to produce intelligent search results. Expected outcomes of this project include a next-generation social network search system. The success of this project will support and enhance a wide range of applications such as law enforcement, health, national security, marketing, and advertisement.

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Information Technology