Monash Faculty of IT secures over $1.5 million in funding for ARC Discovery Projects

In the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) funding, Monash Faculty of Information Technology (IT) has been awarded four Discovery Project grants.

Overall, more than $35.6M has been awarded to over 82 Monash University research projects in the 2021 ARC Discovery Projects funding - the most for any Australian university - with a further five projects receiving over $2.9M in Linkage Project Grants funding from the ARC.

Among the 11 Australian universities to receive a Discovery Project for IT projects, Monash has ranked third with four projects and the Faculty of IT has increased its share of projects by three per cent from the previous year.

The 2021 Faculty of IT Discovery Projects are expected to advance the theory and practice of satellite imaging, explore new approaches to communication and teamwork, examine the capabilities of data science across rare phenomena and assist software engineers build complex software systems in more reliable and cost-effective ways.

The funding was announced by the Honourable Dan Tehan, Federal Minister for Education, on Friday 13 November.

Deputy Dean (Research) in the Faculty of IT, Professor Maria Garcia de la Banda said the recent announcement acknowledges the calibre of expertise and breadth of research within the Faculty.

“The Discovery Projects led by the Faculty of IT demonstrate the strength of our research initiatives and our ability to deliver positive impact globally through the advanced applications of technology. I am extremely proud of the efforts of all our academics involved in this year’s competitive ARC grants,” said Professor Garcia de la Banda.

Successful 2021 Faculty of IT ARC Discovery Projects:

Professor Geoffrey Webb - Time Series Classification for Complex Dynamic Global Problems. 

  • This project aims to increase understanding of complex dynamic processes by creating new ways of analysing large quantities of data collected over time. These new approaches will be specifically designed to greatly improve the understanding obtained from time varying data for trillions of global earth observation data points in an application-agnostic way that is applicable to many tasks. The outcomes are expected to advance the theory and practice of time-series data analysis and transform the analysis of complex dynamics. This should support innovation in industry, commerce, government and research and magnify benefit from many data investments including the $1 billion Australian governments invest annually in satellite imaging.

Professor Dragan Gasevic; Dr Roberto Martinez-Maldonado; Professor Simon Buckingham Shum; Professor Doug Elliott; Dr Danijela Gasevic; Professor Dragan Ilic - Human-centred Teamwork Analytics.

  • This project aims to develop methods to assist the assessment and improvement of collocated teamwork, by making multimodal activity traces visible and available for computational analysis. This project expects to bridge the gap between promising sensing technologies and the dearth of tools to automatically assess teamwork. Expected outcomes include co-design and modelling methodologies for human-centred analytics that map from low-level data to higher-order constructs to enable non-data science savvy users to get actionable insights into multimodal team traces. This research aims to provide significant benefits to Australia, with communication and teamwork being two of the topmost critical skills required by Australian employers.

Professor Wray Buntine; Dr Daniel Schmidt; Dr Mario Boley; Dr Levin Kuhlmann - Rethinking the Data-driven Discovery of Rare Phenomena.

  • This project will investigate novel technologies for the data-driven discovery of rare phenomena. Scientific disciplines are increasingly able to generate large amounts of data relevant to key discoveries such as novel photovoltaic materials or explanations of brain seizures. However, these discoveries typically correspond to extremely rare phenomena in high dimensional spaces, which current data science methods are unable to detect. The project will fill this void and yield novel methods, publications, and open source software for the data-driven discovery or rare phenomena. Thus, it will expand the capabilities of data science, providing better use of the massive data collections accumulating across science, government, and industry.

Dr Aldeida Aleti; Associate Professor Burak Turhan - Mapping the Effectiveness of Automated Software Testing.

  • This project aims to help software engineers build complex software systems in far more reliable and cost-effective ways. It takes an interdisciplinary approach by applying machine learning techniques to automatically test complex software systems. Expected outcomes include a novel methodology for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of test suites generated by automated software testing techniques and the approaches required for generating high-quality test cases. Such advances are urgently needed to avoid disasters when deploying software systems in the real world.

Successful 2021 ARC Linkage Project with contribution from the Faculty of IT:

Professor Dr Rob Raven; Professor Sarah Pink; Professor Geoffrey Webb; Associate Professor Megan Farrelly; Associate Professor Ariel Liebman; Associate Professor Selby Coxon; Associate Professor Peter Graham - Net Zero Precincts: an interdisciplinary approach to decarbonising cities.

  • This project aims to help cities and urban regions reach net zero emissions by taking the precinct as an optimal scale for urban transition. This project expects to co-create a new approach grounded in transition management and design anthropology. This will be tested in an action-oriented case study in the Monash Technology Precinct through three Living Lab experiments across energy, mobility and buildings. Expected outcomes include a validated approach for net zero transitions that delivers to the real-life experiences of the precinct community of business, government, knowledge institutes and civil society. This should provide significant benefits to industry seeking to enhance community engagement for accelerating urban transitions.

See the full list of funded projects on the ARC website.