Ninth Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (MCDC-10)

In the second week of June, 2010, the Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (previously, Macquarie Computing Mini-Conference) will be held for the ninth consecutive year. It will be organized similar to the way it was done in 2009. As in 2009, review of the papers submitted under a particular category will be moderated by the relevant area chair.

This page will provide relevant information on:

MCDC-10 Program Committee

Program Chairs

Abhaya Nayak
Yan Wang

Local Organization Committee

  1. Ukachukwu Ndukwu (Chair)
  2. Les Bell
  3. Sylvian Chow
  4. Sareh Sadat Emami
  5. Md Haque
  6. Armin Hezart
  7. Donna Hua
  8. Mahbub Hassan
  9. Jing Liu
  10. Raghav Ramachandran
  11. Maxmilian Wittman

Area Chairs

Area chairs will moderate reviews of papers submitted under the corresponding area/category.

Area of Research (Category) Area Chair
Cryptography Len Hamey
Databases Mark Dras
Data Mining and Analysis Mark Dras
Human-centred Computing Michael Hitchens
Information Protection and Security Jian Yang
Language Technology Mark Johnson
Programming Languages Michael Hitchens
Rational Agents and Knowledge Representation Mark Dras
Web Services and Business Processes Annabelle McIver
Other Depends on the nature of submission

Academic PC Members

  1. Abhaya Nayak
  2. Annabelle McIver
  3. Ben Hachey
  4. Bernard Mans
  5. Christophe doche
  6. Diego Molla-Aliod
  7. Gaurav Gupta
  8. Jian Yang
  9. Josef Pieprzyk
  10. Len Hamey
  11. Manning Li
  12. Manolya Kavakli
  13. Mark Dras
  14. Mark Johnson
  15. Mehmet Orgun
  16. Michael Hitchens
  17. Mike Johnson
  18. Rajan Shankaran
  19. Reza Rezaeian Farashah
  20. Rolf Schwitter
  21. Ron Steinfeld
  22. Udaya Tupakula
  23. Vijay Varadharajan
  24. Yan Wang
  25. Weiliang Zhao

Student PC Members

  1. Armin Hezart
  2. Aarthi Nagarajan
  3. Daniel Sutantyo
  4. Howard Lovatt
  5. Iwan Kartiko
  6. Jing Liu
  7. Jun Zou
  8. Lei Li
  9. Leslie Bell
  10. Guanfeng Liu
  11. Maximilian Wittmann
  12. Md Haque
  13. Pawel Mazur
  14. Przemyslaw Szczepan Sokolowski
  15. Raghav Ramachandran
  16. Susan Howlett
  17. Sze-Meng Jojo Wong
  18. Ukachukwu Ndukwu
  19. Xenogene Gray
  20. Yi Wang
  21. Youliang Zhong

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MCDC-10 Technical Program

MCDC-10 – Some Program Highlights

Keynote Speech 1

  • Speaker: Stephen Crain (Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science, Macquarie University, ex-Federation Fellow) will give the keynote speech on 9th of June (Wednesday). 
  • Topic: Language and Mind
  • Time/Venue: 9:50 – 10:50, June 9, 2010, Room E6A102

Keynote Speech 2

  • Speaker: Vijay Varadharajan (Microsoft Chair for Innovation in Computing, Macquarie University) will give the keynote speech on 10th of June.
  • Topic: Reflections on Research
  • Time/Venue: 9:30 – 10:30, June 10, 2010, Room E6A102

MCDC-10 HDR Debate

MCDC-10 will also feature a debate involving as participants academics and students from local universities. After the participants put forth their arguments, the audience will get the opportunity to ask questions to the participants, and then the leads will have their final say. Finally the audience will get to vote on which side wins. Everybody is welcome!

  • Proposition: Coursework is an essential ingredient of any strong PhD Program.
    Date/Venue: June 10, 2010 10:50 am – 12:00 pm, Room E6A102
    Chair Mark Dras
  • For the Proposition:
  • Against the Proposition:
    • Michael Johnson (Computing, Macquarie University)
    • Phil Taylor (Behavioural Biology Research Group, Macquarie University)
    • Hadi Mashinchi (PhD student, Computing, Macquarie University)

Technical Program Details

There are 32 talks with some special events in between. Each student talk is allotted 20 minutes, of which the first 15 minutes is talk-time and the last 5 minutes are for Q&A. The session chair will signal the speaker 5 minutes, and 1 minute before time runs out.

Day #1: June 9th Room E6A102

Time Speaker Talk
9:30 – 9:50 Peter Nelson 
Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University
Opening Address (Room E6A102)
9:50 – 10:50 Stephen Crain
MACCS, Macquarie University
Keynote Speech (Room E6A102)
Language and Mind
10:50 – 11:10 MORNING TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #1: Language Technology (Room E6A102) Chair: Diego Molla-Aliod
11:10 – 11:30 Susan Howlett Choosing Syntax: Confidence in syntax for statistical machine translation
11:30 – 11:50 Sze-Meng Jojo Wong Native Language Identification for Phishing Profiling
11:50 – 12:10 Ilya Anisimoff Disfluent Speech Modelling in a Cognitively Plausible Incremental Natural Language Generation System
12:10 – 12:30 Andrew Lampert Classifying Requests and Commitments in Email: Challenges for Humans and Machines
12:30 – 2:00 LUNCH
Session #2: Web Services and Business Processes I (Room E6A102) Chair: Weiliang Zhao
2:00 – 2:20 Joe Zou From Representational State Transfer to Accountable State Transfer
2:20 – 2:40 Zheng Huiyuan QoS Analysis for Web Service Compositions
2:40 – 3:00 Trang Nguyen A Trust and Reputation Framework for Web Service Selection
3:00 – 3:20 Yi Wang Change Management for Service Oriented Business Processes
3:20 – 3:40 AFTERNOON TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #3 Rational Agents, Knowledge Representatioand Data Mining Chair: Rolf Schwitter
3:40 – 4:00 Akther Shermin Using Dynamic Bayesian Network to Infer Gene Regulatory Networks From Microarray Gene Expression Data
4:00 – 4:20 Hadi Mashinchi Global Continuous Optimization with Hybrid Optimization
4:20 – 4:40 Raghav Ramachandran Belief Removal
4:40 – 5:00 Xenogene Gray Introducing Nodal Logic: Some Multi-valued Logics are Binary Modal Logics
5:00 – 5:20 Armin Hezart Strength of Formal Arguments


Day #2: June 10th Room E6A102

Time Speaker Talk
9:30 – 10:30 Vijay Varadharajan (Microsoft Chair, Department of Computing, Macquarie University) Keynote Speech (Room E6A102)
Reflections on Research
10:30 – 10:50 MORNING TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
10:50 – 12:00 Chair: Mark Dras HDR Debate: 
Coursework is an essential ingredient of any strong PhD Program.
For the Proposition:

  1. Murali Agastya (Economics, University of Sydney)
  2. Aleksandar Ignjatovic (School of CSE, UNSW)
  3. Md. Haque (PhD student, Computing, Macquarie University)

Against the Proposition:

  1. Michael Johnson (Computing, Macquarie University)
  2. Phil Taylor (Behavioural Biology Research Group, Macquarie University)
  3. Hadi Mashinchi (PhD student, Computing, Macquarie University)
12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH Department Sponsored; E6A 3rd Floor (Coffee Room)
Session #4: Cryptography Chair: Ron Steinfeld
1:00 – 1:20 Reza Sepahi New Notions of Security for Public-Key Encryption
1:20 – 1:40 Przemyslaw Sokolowski Design and Analysis of Cryptographic Hash Functions
1:40 – 2:00 Hassan Jameel Asghar Cryptographic Human Identification Protocols
2:00 – 2:20 Daniel Sutantyo Mathematics of Elliptic Curve Cryptography
2:20 – 2:40 TEA BREAK (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #5: Information Protection and Security (Room E6A102) Chair: Rajan Shankaran
2:40 – 3:00 Kang Leng Chiew Identifying Steganographic Payload Location in Binary Image
3:00 – 3:20 Les Bell Dynamics of Computational Trust Models
3:20 – 3:40 Stephen McCombie Phishing and Eastern European Organised Cybercrime
3:40 – 4:00 Ukachukwu Ndukwu Formal verification: computing performance profiles of quantitative safety specifications in probabilistic systems
4:00 – 4:20 TEA BREAK (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #6: Programming Languages 
(Room E6A102)
Chair: Mehmet Orgun
4:20 – 4:40 Michael Olney Heuristic Model of Source Code Merging
4:40 – 5:00 Howard Lovatt A Pattern Enforcing Compiler (PEC) for Java
5:00 – 5:20 Kalyan Kumar Janakiraman Next Generation Geospatial Integration Architecture for Statewide Seamless Updating and Publishing


Day #3: June 11th Room E6A102

Time Speaker Talk
Session #7: Web Services and Business Processes II (Room E6A102) Chair: Jian Yang
9:30 – 9:50 Haiyang Sun Towards a Security System in Service Composition
9:50 – 10:10 Lei Li Subjective Trust Inference in Composite Services
10:10 – 10:30 Mahbub Hassan A Framework for Mobile Web Service Provisioning
10:30 – 10:50 Guanfeng Liu Trust Management in Online Social Networks
10:50 – 11:10 MORNING TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #8: Human-centred Computing(Room E6A102) Chair: Manolya Kavakli
11:10 – 11:30 Maximilian Wittmann Investigation of Computer Graphics novices through the use of Programming Transcripts
11:30 – 11:50 Jing Liu Multimodal Interfaces for Speech and Hand Gestures Integration
11:50 – 12:10 Iwan Kartiko Learning science in a virtual reality application: The impacts of animated-virtual actors’ visual complexity
12:10 – 12:30 Chris Rauchle OurMob – Social Media for Indigenous communities
12:30 – 12:50 TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
12:50 – 1:30 Panel, Award and Closing Ceremony


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MCDC-10 Interview Panels and Schedule

June 16th (Wednesday) – Parallel Interviews in rooms E6A357, CTS-meeting room (E6A352) and E6A251 (re-named E6A245)

Room E6A357 CTS Meeting Rm (E6A352) Room E6A251 (now E6A245)
Time Panel #1:
Diego Molla-Aliod and Simon Zwarts
Panel #2:
Len Hamey and Ron Steinfeld 
Panel #3:
Scott McCallum and Annabelle McIver
10:00 – 10:20 Susan Howlett Michael Olney Reza Sepahi.
10:20 – 10:40 Sze-Meng Jojo Wong Howard Lovatt Stephen McCombie
10:40 – 11:00 Ilya Anisimoff Daniel Sutantyo. Hassan Jameel Asghar
11:00 – 11:15 Break Break Break


Room E6A357 CTS Meeting Rm (E6A352) Room E6A251 (now E6A245)
Time Panel #4:
Mark Dras and Abhaya Nayak
[JY replaces AN at 11:55]
Panel #5: 
Len Hamey and Scott McCallum
11:15 – 11:35 Yi Wang N/A Kang Leng Chiew
11:35 – 11:55 Mahbub Hassan N/A Przemyslaw Sokolowski
11:55 – 12:15 Xenogene Gray N/A
12:15 – 1:30 Break Break Break


Room E6A357 CTS Meeting Rm (E6A352) Room E6A251 (now E6A245)
Time Panel #6: 
Rajan Shankaran and Michael Hitchens
Panel #7: 
Yan Wang and Udaya Tupakula
Panel #8: 
Rolf Schwitter and Manolya Kavakli
1:30 – 1:50 Haiyang Sun Hadi Mashinchi
1:50 – 2:10 Zheng Huiyuan Les Bell Andrew Lampert
2:10 – 2:30 Trang Nguyen Ukachukwu Ndukwu Chris Rauchle
2:30 – 2:45 Break Break Break


Room E6A357 CTS Meeting Rm (E6A352) Room E6A251 (now E6A245)
Time Panel #9: 
Rajan Shankaran and Larissa Meinicke
Panel #10: 
Michael Hitchens and Mehmet Orgun
Panel #11: 
Rolf Schwitter and Weiliang Zhao
2:45 – 3:05 Joe Zou Maximilian Wittmann Raghav Ramachandran
3:05 – 3:25 Guanfeng Liu Jing Liu Armin Hezart
3:25 – 3:45 Lei Li Iwan Kartiko Kalyan Janakiraman

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Conference Date and Venue

  • June 09-11, 2010
  • Building E6A, Room 102
  • Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

As in MCMC-09, a student will need to identify the category (area) that their work best fits in. The areas available are:

  1. Cryptography
  2. Databases
  3. Data Mining and Analysis
  4. Human-centred Computing
  5. Information Protection and Security
  6. Language Technology
  7. Programming Languages
  8. Rational Agents and Knowledge Representation
  9. Web Services and Business Processes
  10. Other

Browsing through the technical program of the previous MCMC-09 will give an idea of where your work is likely to belong. Each category (area of research) has its own area chair.

Reviews of works submitted under a particular category will be moderated by the corresponding area chair, whose task is to make sure that there’s a common set of expectations among reviewers before the reviews go to the students.

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Who should submit work?

This forum is primarily intended to facilitate research training of (research) students enrolled in the Department of Computing, Macquarie University. Hence all Computing research students (Honours and Masters included) are invited to submit their work to this forum. All Doctoral students who joined the PhD program prior to January 2010, and are not expected to submit by September 2010 are required to submit to this forum. Exceptions may be made in case the supervisors in question make a really strong case why a student in this category should not present at MCDC-10. All other Doctoral students are strongly encouraged to submit to this forum.

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What to submit?

Students will submit materials in two stages: (a) submission for presentation (of abstract, and optionally, slides) to receive feedback (by May 20th), and (b) submission for interview panel (of self-assessment report, by June 14th).

Submission for Reviewers:

Students are expected to submit by 20th May, zipped together into a single file:

  1. Abstract of the (proposed) thesis – in about 300 words (less than one standard page), in pdf format.
    This document should contain at least the following pieces of information:

    • An informative title
    • Student’s full name, together with your pursuing degree (PhD student or MPhil Student)
    • Number of years (full-time equivalent) completed since enrolment – this information would help reviewers judge the submission in a more appropriate manner, and
    • The abstract itself (about 300 words).

    Each abstract will be reviewed by a group of reviewers consisting of both experts and non-experts, and the feedback will be given before presentation is due, and

  2. Slides that you will use for presentation purpose – about seven or eight, in pdf or ppt.The reviewers may or may not provide comments on the slides – it is up to their discretion. It is our experience from previous rounds that reviewers in general provided feedback on the slides as well as on the abstract.

As to the content of the abstract and slides, your thesis supervisor is at the best position to advise. We do have some tips and a sample below.

We expect each abstract to receive feedback from four reviewers:

  1. an academic who is an expert in the area
  2. an academic from outside the area
  3. a new PhD student, and
  4. an experienced PhD student.

Your slides might also receive some feedback.

Submission for the Interview Panel:

After the review period, the students will get a short period to take the comments into account before the presentation.
By 14th June, they should submit:

  1. The revised abstract (and slides)
  2. A self-assessment report (1-2 pages) outlining:
    • Research Progress to Date — List of major tasks completed since their last annual review.
    • Research papers published or submitted, or any other significant research achievement since last review.
    • Next Year’s Plan — List of problems you intend to tackle in course of the next year
    • Other Issues — List any impediment to your research progress since last annual review (e.g., major illness, delays in obtaining experimental equipment, difficulties with supervision, language difficulties, etc.).
  3. Optionally, a sample of your written research work (recent publication/submission).

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How to Submit?

As in the last two years, MCDC-10 will use facilities made available by the EasyChair Conference System. All students who wish to submit their work for MCDC-10 must register at the EasyChair MCDC-10 site as an author, then follow the appropriate steps. Please bear in mind that if you do not already have an EasyChair account, you will need to create an account before registering as an author for MCDC-10. For registration, you are suggested to use the MQ email Some PhD students will be invited to serve as PC members. Invitations by emails will be sent out to MQ email addresses.

A single zipped file should be submitted. This file should contain the abstract and slides (as well as self assessment report plus possibly sample work when submitting later for the interview panel) as distinct pdf documents. In your submitted documents, you need to state the month and the year of enrolment. The naming convention for documents illustrated below should be followed:

  1. John Smith’s abstract should be named: John_Smith_abstract.pdf
  2. John Smith’s slides should be named: John_Smith_slides.pdf
  3. John Smith’s assessment report should be named: John_Smith_assessment.pdf (for final submission)
  4. John Smith’s sample work should be named: John_Smith_sample.pdf (for final submission)
  5. John Smith’s zipped file should be named:

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The tentative time line of events is as follows:

  1. Students’ work submission deadline: May 20
  2. Abstract assignment: May 23
  3. Reviews due: June 04
  4. Students receive feedback: June 06
  5. Mini-Conference: June 09-11
  6. Students submit self-assessment form: June 14
  7. Student review by panel: June 16

For genuine cases of students who cannot absolutely make it to the mini-conference (i.e., presentation+panel interview), there will be another, one off, supplementary mini-conference. Such students should contact the Program Chairs as soon as possible.

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How to produce a good abstract and slides – tips and samples


In general, keep the guiding principles below in mind:

  1. The purpose of the abstract is to outline the (planned) structure and content of your thesis. We know that you won’t have a complete thesis abstract until you submit, but this abstract should explain your research questions and outline your approaches to tackling them, in such a way that it can grow into your final thesis abstract.
    At UQ, this use of an abstract during a PhD is described as a writing tool that “will help you to carry a short version of your thesis in your head. This will focus your thinking on what you are really doing, help you [and us — MD] to see the relevance of what you are currently working on within the bigger picture, and help to keep the links which will eventually unify your thesis.”
  2. Consequently, the abstract should provide the big picture, and put the research question in context. There’s no one correct structure for such an abstract. One possible structure is to start by explaining the background, and consequently why what you’re tackling is a worthwhile problem (one paragraph); then follow that by explaining the key idea in your thesis (one paragraph); and then describe how you developed or explored that idea (or are currently developing or exploring it, or will develop or explore it) along with any results you might have already (one paragraph per approach taken to exploring the idea).
  3. The abstract should be well-written:
    • Don’t make sentences too long and convoluted.
    • Don’t launch straight into jargon, and only use it where necessary.
    • Each paragraph should be self contained, and with a clear focus.
    • The transition between one paragraph and next should not be abrupt.
    • The end of the abstract should be self-evident to the reader.
  4. If you submitted an abstract last year, then we’d expect that for this year’s abstract there wouldn’t be too many changes to the previous one. This year’s one should just reflect any new results, any changes in direction or emphasis that have occurred over the year, or any reformulating of your topic that you’ve come up with in the course of thinking about it over the year.

Some other resources you might look at:


  1. In the introduction provide a clear background to your research topic. Give a simple example to set the context.
  2. Use plain English. Judiciously chosen diagrams help a lot. Give the big picture, and tell how what you are doing/ planning to do fits in this picture.
  3. Make sure the research question is crystal clear.
  4. You should include some discussion of the technical details of your own work — a new algorithm you’ve developed, an analysis of data you’ve done, etc — but keep it simple. You can assume that your audience is knowledgeable in general computer science and/or information systems, but not in your specific topic. Keep in mind that some of the reviewers are non-experts, and it should not completely throw them off!
  5. Towards the end, in a “Discussion” slide, tell in very clear terms what you have achieved, particularly keeping the big picture in mind. Identify what other problems need to be addressed.
  6. Give an idea of when/how you are going to address the rest of the problems.

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Easychair-related info

Using Easychair could prove frustrating at times. Please keep the following items in mind which might help you out:

  1. You may already have one or more Easychair accounts. It is best to merge them into one. Easychair provides a facility to merge multiple accounts. For this purpose, login to Easychair and go to EasyChair –> My Account, and follow the steps.
  2. It is best to tell Easychair which email addresses you are using. This year around, emails from easychair will be sent out to whereas Easychair might know you either as or as or as some other private address such as Telling Easychair that all these addresses are your helps. Easychair provides a facility for doing this. As before, for this purpose, login to Easychair and go to EasyChair –> My Account, and follow the appropriate steps.

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Who to Contact?

This is a living document. Please check it for further announcements. Should you have any query at this point, please feel free to contact the program co-chairs of MCDC-10: Dr. Abhaya C. Nayak and Dr. Yan Wang.


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