12th Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (MCDC-13)

On 3 -4 July, 2013, the Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (previously, Macquarie Computing Mini-Conference) will be held for the 12th consecutive year. It will be organized in the way similar to what it was done in 2010 – 2013. The review of the papers submitted under a particular category will be moderated by the corresponding area chair.

This page will provide relevant information on:

MCDC-13 Program Committee

Program Chairs

Diego Mollá-Aliod
Yan Wang

Area Chairs

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

Area of Research (Category) Area Chair
Cryptography, Network Security Steve Cassidy
Data Mining and Machine Learning Abhaya Nayak
Human-Centred Computing Mehmet Orgun
Language Technology and Programming Languages Jian Yang
Rational Agents and Knowledge Representation Rolf Schwitter
Web Services and Social Computing Annabelle McIver

Academic PC Members

  1. Gaetan Bisson
  2. Steve Cassidy
  3. Mark Dras
  4. Lan Du
  5. Reza Farashahi
  6. Richard Garner
  7. Michael Hitchens
  8. Mark Johnson
  9. Mike Johnson
  10. Manolya Kavakli
  11. Francois Lareau
  12. Guanfeng Liu
  13. Zehua Liu
  14. Bernard Mans
  15. Luke Mathieson
  16. Scott Mccallum
  17. Annabelle McIver
  18. Diego Molla-Aliod
  19. Abhaya Nayak
  20. Mehmet Orgun
  21. John Pate
  22. Josef Pieprzyk
  23. Matthew Roberts
  24. Rolf Schwitter
  25. Stephen Smith
  26. Udaya Tupakula
  27. Yan Wang
  28. Roland Wen
  29. Jian Yang

Student PC Members

  1. Benjamin Borschinger
  2. Mitchell Buckley
  3. Oldooz Dianat
  4. Nader Hanna
  5. Mokammel Haque
  6. Bevan Jones
  7. Yasaman Motazedi
  8. Mohammad Orumiehchiha
  9. Mehdi Parviz
  10. Lie Qu
  11. Haibin Zhang
  12. Zhendong Zhao
  13. Xiaoming Zheng
  14. Youliang Zhong
  15. Lan Zhou

Local Organization Committee

  1. Lan Du (Chair)
  2. Melina Chan
  3. Sylvian Chow
  4. Donna Hua
  5. Qu Lie
  6. Zhengdong Zhao

[Back to Top]

MCDC-13 Technical Program

MCDC-13 – Some Program Highlights

Opening Session

  • Time/Venue: 9:40 – 10:00, 3 July, 2013, Room E6A102

Keynote Speech 1

  • Speaker: Boualem Benatallah (Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW))
  • Topic: Cyber Service Engineering and Management
  • Time/Venue: 10:00 – 11:00, 3 July, 2013, Room E6A102

Keynote Speech 2

  • Speaker: Bernard Mans (Professor, Department of Computing, Macquarie University)
  • Topic: On Time-Varying Graphs for Highly Dynamic Networks
  • Time/Venue: 13:30 – 14:30, 4 July, 2013, Room E6A102

Closing Session

  • In the closing session, we will announce a variety of awards for abstracts, reviews, presentations and organisation.
  • Time/Venue: 16:20 – 17:00, 4 July, 2013, Room E6A102

Technical Program Details

There are 26 student talks. Each student talk is allotted 20 minutes, of which the first 15 minutes are for presentation 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. Before a session starts, the speaker needs to copy the slides to the computer in E6A102.

Day #1: 3 July Room E6A102

Time Speaker Talk
9:45 – 10:00 Bernard Mans
Professor, Head of Computing, Macquarie University
Opening Address (Room E6A102)
10:00 – 11:00 Boualem Benatallah
Professor, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Keynote Speech (Room E6A102) Chair: Jian Yang
Cyber Service Engineering and Management
11:00 – 11:20 MORNING TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #1: Language Technology (Room E6A102) Chair: Mehmet Orgun
11:20 – 11:40 Abeed Sarker Automatic Text Summarization for Evidence-based Medicine
11:40 – 12:00 Yasaman Motazedi Stochastic realization ranking for non-configurational Languages
12:00 – 12:20 Mehdi Parviz Studying the Effect of Syntactic and Lexical Complexity in MagnetoEncephaloGraphy data
12:20 – 12:40 Sunghwan Kim Generative Dependency Parsing for Language Models
12:40 – 13:00 Benjamin Borschinger Computational Models of Word Segmentation
13:00 – 13:40 LUNCH TIME
Session #2: Human-centred Computing, Data Mining and Machine Learning (Room E6A102) Chair: Abhaya Nayak
13:40 – 14:00 Chris Rauchle The Connected Mob: How can information technology facilitate and empower communication within indigenous communities in Australia?
14:00 – 14:20 Ana Halabi Echeverry Synergies achieved between Data Mining and Operations Research
14:20 – 14:40 Zhendong Zhao On Evaluating the Topical Collocation Models
14:40 – 15:00 Youliang Zhong A Peer-based Recommendation System with Social Relationship Strength Learning Machine
15:00 – 15:20 AFTERNOON TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #3: Web Services, Business Process (Room E6A102) Chair: Stephen Smith
15:20 – 15:40 Lie Qu Incentive-compatible Cloud Service Evaluation based on Subjective Assessment and Objective Assessment
15:40 – 16:00 Lei Han Approach for deriving the environment-aware interfaces of business processes
16:00 – 16:20 Bahjat Fakieh Successful adoption of Cloud Computing for Australian SMEs: Achieving Competitive Advantage
Session #4: Cryptography and Network Security (Room E6A102) Chair: Rolf Schwitter
16:20 – 16:40 Mohammad Ali Orumiehchiha Cryptanalysis of Symmetric Ciphers and Hash Functions
16:40 – 17:00 Shu Cheng Security and Privacy for Radio Frequency Identification
17:00 – 17:20 Dilshan Jayarathna A Security Model for Trusted Virtual Machine Monitors


Day #2: 4 July Room E6A102

Time Speaker Talk
Session #5: Social Computing, Trust Evaluation and GIS (Room E6A102) Chair: Annabelle McIver
09:40 – 10:00 Tamara Ginige Enhancing Empowerment in Social Life Networks
10:00 – 10:20 Haibin Zhang ReputationPro: A New Context-aware Trust Evaluation Model in E-Commerce Environments
10:20 – 10:40 Xiaoming Zheng The Generation of Trustworthy Recommendations
10:40 – 11:00 Kalyan Kumar Janakiraman Up-to-Date Geographic Data Management
11:00 – 11:40 MORNING TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #6: Rational Agents, Knowledge Representation (Room E6A102) Chair: Josef Pieprzyk
11:40 – 12:00 Nader Hanna A Human-Agent Teamwork Communication Model (HAT-CoM) for Human-Agent Collaboration in Virtual Environments
12:00 – 12:20 Oldooz Dianat Representing and reasoning about Bayesian games
12:20 – 12:40 Sudath Heiyanthuduwage Towards Ontology-driven E-Learning Systems
12:40 – 1:40 LUNCH TIME
13:40 – 14:40 Bernard Mans
Professor, Department of Computing, Macquarie University
Keynote Speech II (Room E6A102) Chair: Diego Molla-Aliod
On Time-Varying Graphs for Highly Dynamic Networks
14:40 – 15:00 AFTERNOON TEA (Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #7: Algebra and Logic Theory(Room E6A102) Chair: Steve Cassidy
15:00 – 15:20 Tahiry Rabehaja Algebraic Frameworks for Probabilistic and Concurrent Systems
15:20 – 15:40 Matthew Burke Cohomology from the Perspective of Restriction Categories and Atlases
15:40 – 17:00 Break
17:00 – 17:30 Award and Closing Session (Room E6A102)

[Back to Top]

Awards and Closing Ceremony

MCDC-13 has come to the end. With the effort and contribution of our HDR students, PC members, keynote speakers and local organisation committee members, this conference was held smoothly and successfully.

Here we are pleased to announce the following awards and thank the recipients’ high quality contributions.

Excellent Abstract Award

  • Shervin Malmasi
  • Tahiry Rabehaja
  • Haibin Zhang

Excellent Review Award

  • Benjamin Borschinger
  • Mitchell Buckley
  • Nader Hanna

Excellent Organisation and Service Award

  • Melina Chan
  • Sylvian Chow
  • Camille Hoffman
  • Donna Hua
  • Lan Du
  • Lie Qu
  • Tahiry Rabehaja
  • Zhengdong Zhao

Excellent Presentation Award

  • Mehdi Parviz
  • Chris Rauchle

Best Presentation Award

  • Benjamin Borschinger

Closing Ceremony Pictures




[Back to Top]

MCDC-13 Interview Panels and Schedule

5 July (Friday)  – Parallel Interviews in rooms E6A357, ScienceIT meeting room (E6A352) and room E6A328 (Robert Dale’ office)

E6A 328 ScienceIT Meeting
Room (E6A352)
Room E6A357
Time Panel #1:
Josef Pieprzyk and Francois Lareau
Panel #2:
Mehmet Orgun and Roland Wen
Panel #3:
Diego Molla-Aliod and Luke Mathieson
10:00 – 10:20 Benjamin Börschinger Chris Rauchle Lei Han
10:20 – 10:40 Sunghwan Kim Bahjat Fakieh Youliang Zhong
10:40 – 11:00 Mehdi Parviz Abeed Sarker Haibin Zhang
11:00 – 11:20 Zhendong Zhao Tahiry Rabehaja Lie Qu
11:20 – 12:00 Break Break Break


E6A 328 ScienceIT Meeting
Room (E6A352)
Room E6A357
Time Panel #4:
Annabelle McIver and Udaya Tupakula
Panel #5:
Jian Yang and Steve Cassidy
Panel #6:
Rolf Schwitter and Lan Du
12:00 – 12:20 Xiaoming Zheng Mohammad Ali Orumiehchiha Shu Cheng
12:20 – 12:40 Sudath Heiyanthuduwage Tamara Ginige Dilshan Jayarathna
12:40 – 13:00 Kalyan Kumar Janakiraman Nader Hanna Matthew Burke
13:00 – 13:20 n/a Ana Halabi Echeverry n/a


 [Back to Top]

Conference Date and Venue

  • 3-4 July, 2013
  • Building E6A, Room 102
  • Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

As in MCMC-13, 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 Social Computing
  10. Other

Browsing through the technical program of the previous MCMC-12 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.

[Back to Top]

Who should submit work?

Students will submit materials in two stages:

  1. submission for presentation (abstract, and optional slides, by Friday 24 May) to receive feedback;
  2. submission for interview panel (self-assessment report, by Friday 21 June).

[Back to Top]

What to submit?

Students will submit materials in two stages:

  1. submission for presentation (abstract, and optional slides, by Friday 23 May) to receive feedback;
  2. submission for interview panel (self-assessment report, by Friday 13 June).

The abstract and the slides must be written keeping a general audience in mind. In the presentation the student is expected to (a) give the big picture of the proposed research, (b) explain what research s/he has carried out so far (results obtained, surprises met, lessons learned, papers published, …), and (c) tell how s/he plans to proceed towards the completion of the research plan.

Submission for Reviewers:

Students are expected to submit by 24 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.

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 21 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).

[Back to Top]

How to Submit?

As in the last three years, MCDC-13 will use facilities made available by the EasyChair Conference System. All students who wish to submit their work for MCDC-13 must register at the EasyChair MCDC-13 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-13. For registration, you are suggested to use the MQ email firstname.lastname@mq.edu.au. 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: John_Smith.zip

[Back to Top]


The tentative time line of events is as follows:

  1. Students’ work submission deadline: Friday 24 May
  2. Reviews due: Friday 7 June
  3. Students receive feedback: 10 June
  4. Students’ self-assessment submission deadline: Friday 21 June
  5. MCDC13: 3-4 June
  6. HDR interview: 5 June

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.

[Back to Top]

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.

[Back to Top]

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 username@science.mq.edu.au whereas Easychair might know you either as username@mq.edu.au or as username@comp.mq.edu.au or as some other private address such as username@gmail.com. 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.

[Back to Top]

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-chair of MCDC-13: Yan Wang.


[Back to Top]