13th Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (MCDC-14)

On 18-20 June, 2014, the Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference (previously, Macquarie Computing Mini-Conference) will be held for the 13th 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-14 Program Committee

Program Chairs

Abhaya Nayak
Diego Mollá-Aliod

Senior PC Members

Senior PC members will moderate reviews of submissions they would be overseeing

  1. Len Hamey
  2. Mark Johnson
  3. Michael Johnson
  4. Manolya Kavakli
  5. Annabelle McIver
  6. Vijay Varadharajan

Interview Panel Members

The interview panel members will interview the HDR students together with at least one of their supervisors on the 20th of June, 2014.
There will be three interview sessions taking place concurrently.
Each panel will consist of two panel members, one of who is the chair.
The students will get the opportunity to discuss with the panel members in absence of the supervisors.

  1. Len Hamey
  2. Manolya Kavakli
  3. Annabelle McIver
  4. Mehmet Orgun
  5. Matt Roberts
  6. Stephen Smith
  7. Udaya Tupakula
  8. Vijay Varadharajan
  9. Jian Yang

Academic PC Members

  1. Steve Cassidy
  2. Christophe Doche
  3. Lan Du
  4. Michael Hitchens
  5. Zehua Liu
  6. Bernard Mans
  7. Scott Mccallum
  8. Mehmet Orgun
  9. Matt Roberts
  10. Rolf Schwitter
  11. Stephen Smith
  12. Udaya Tupakula
  13. Jette Viethen
  14. Yan Wang

Student PC Members

  1. Benjamin Börschinger
  2. Mitchell Buckley
  3. Kinzang Chhogyal
  4. Oldooz Dianat
  5. Nader Hanna
  6. Anish Kumar
  7. Yan Mei
  8. Byungho Min
  9. Yasaman Motazedi
  10. Robertus Nugroho
  11. Mehdi Parviz
  12. Lie Qu
  13. Tahiry Rabehaja
  14. Christopher Rauchle
  15. David Walker
  16. Udaya Wijesinghe
  17. Pengbo Xiu
  18. Zhendong Zhao
  19. Xiaoming Zheng
  20. Julian Zhong
  21. Lan Zhou
  22. Joe Zou

Local Organization Committee

  1. Donna Hua (Chair)
  2. Melina Chan
  3. Sylvian Chow
  4. Kinzang Chhogyal
  5. Anish Kumar
  6. David Walker

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MCDC-14 Technical Program

MCDC-14 – Some Program Highlights

Opening Session

  • Time/Venue: 9:40 – 10:00, 18 June, 2014, Room E7B T2

Keynote Speech 1

  • Speaker: Michael Thielscher (Professor, School of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales)
    • Together with Michael Genesereth from Stanford, Professor Thielscher, a Future Fellow at the UNSW, has just published a book on General Game Playing. For details, see his webpage: http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~mit/
  • Topic: Cognitive Robotics and General Game Playing
  • Time/Venue: 10:00 – 11:00, 18 June, 2014, Room E7B T2

Keynote Speech 2

  • Speaker: Aditya Ghose (Professor, School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Wollongong)
    • Among other things, Professor Ghose is the current president of the Service Science Society of Australia, and vice-president of the Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia. For details, see his web page: http://www.uow.edu.au/~aditya/
  • Topic: Data-driven internal analytics and the “end of theory”
  • Time/Venue: 13:30 – 14:30, 18 June, 2014, Room E7B T2

Closing Session

  • In the closing session, we will announce a variety of awards for abstracts, reviews, presentations and organisation.
  • The special guest for this event is A/Prof Tracy Rushmer, Associate Dean (HDR), Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • Time/Venue: 16:20 – 17:00, 19 June, 2014, Room E7B T2

Technical Program Details

There are 22 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 E7B T2.

Day #1: 18 June, Room E7B T2

Time Speaker Talk
9:40 – 10:00 Steve Cassidy
Head (Acting), Department of Computing, Macquarie University
Opening (Room E7B T2)
10:00 – 11:00 Michael Thielscher
Professor, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
Keynote Speech I: Cognitive Robotics and General Game Playing
(Room E7B T2)Chair:Abhaya Nayak
11:00 – 11:30 MORNING TEA
(E6A Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #1 (Room E7B T2) Chair: Udaya Tupakula
Rolf Schwitter
11:30 – 11:50 Byungho Min Smart Grid Security: Attacks and Defence Mechanisms
11:50 – 12:10 Hong Lai The design and analysis of cryptographic protocols based on chaotic maps and secret sharing
12:10 – 12:30 Sepehr Damavandinejadmonfared A new improved biometric system- Identification and verification system
12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH TIME
13:30 – 14:30 Aditya Ghose
Professor, University of Wollongong
Keynote Speech II: Data-driven internal analytics and the “end of theory”
(Room E7B T2)
Diego Mollá -Aliod
14:30 – 15:00 AFTERNOON TEA
(E6A Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #2 (Room E7B T2) Chair: Nader Hanna
15:00 – 15:20 Robertus Nugroho. Learning and Sensing Tipping Topic on Social Network
15:20 – 15:40 Tamara Ginige Empowering Users with Mobile Based Information Systems
15:40 – 16:00 Yan Mei Analyzing User Influence on Twitter
Session #3 (Room E7B T2) Chair: Christopher Rauchle
16:00 – 16:20 Nader Hanna Human-Agent Teamwork in Collaborative Virtual Environments
16:20 – 16:40 Pengbo Xiu A Role-based Dynamic Authorization Modelling for Monitoring and Manipulating Collaborative Business Processes
16:40 – 17:00 Xiaoming Zheng The Generation of Trustworthy Recommendations


Day #2: 19 June, Room E7B T2

Time Speaker Talk
Session #4 (Room E7B T2) Chair: Oldooz Dianat
9:40 – 10:00 Lie Qu Cloud Service Selection based on Subjective Assessment and Objective Assessment
10:00 – 10:20 Bahjat Fakieh Success in the Digital Economy: Cloud Computing, SMES and the Impact to National Productivity
10:20 – 10:40 Chris Rauchle The economic dimension of Social IT and Communications Technology in Indigenous Communities
10:40 – 11:00 David Walker Adaptive augmented reality optimises decision-making
11:00 – 11:30 MORNING TEA
(E6A Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #5 (Room E7B T2) Chair: Jette Viethen
11:30 – 11:50 Mehdi Parviz Studying the Effect of Syntactic and Lexical Complexity in MagnetoEncephaloGraphy Data
11:50 – 12:10 Anish Kumar Exploiting Freebase entity types to improve Relation Extraction
12:10 – 12:30 Shervin Malmasi Picking Up on a Second Language: Connecting Insights into Language Learning and Machine Learning
12:30 – 13:30 LUNCH TIME
Session #6 (Room E7B T2) Chair: David Walker
13:30 – 13:50 Lei Han User Interface Derivation from Business Process Models
13:50 – 14:10 Sudath Heiyanthuduwage Towards Ontology-driven E-Learning Systems
14:10 – 14:30 Shu Cheng A New Access Control Model for RFID-enabled Supply Chains
14:30 – 15:00 AFTERNOON TEA
(E6A Third Floor Tea Room)
Session #7(Room E7B T2) Chair: Anish Kumar
15:00 – 15:20 Sunghwan Kim Space Efficient Language Models
15:20 – 15:40 Zhendong Zhao Effective and Efficient Topical Collocation Models
15:40 – 16:00 Matthew Burke A Synthetic Perspective on the Integrability of Lie Algebroids
16:00 – 16:20 Break
16:20 – 17:00 Award and Closing Session (Room E7B T2) Special Guest: A/Prof Tracy Rushmer, Associate Dean (HDR), Faculty of Science and Engineering


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Awards and Closing Ceremony


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MCDC-14 Interview Panels and Schedule

Tuesday 17 June – Room E6A 328

E6A 328
Time Panel 1-0:
Jian and Stephen S
–: –:
10:00 – 10:15 Nader Hanna
10:15 – 10:30 Tamara Ginige
10:30 – 10:45 Bahjat Fakieh


Friday 20 June – Rooms E6A 328, 378 and 382

E6A 328 E6A 378 E6A 382
Time Panel 1-1:
Len Abhaya and Manolya
Panel 2-1:
Vijay and Stephen S
Panel 3-1:
Annabelle and Matt R
10:00 – 10:15 Mehdi Parviz Hong Lai Lei Han
10:15 – 10:30 Zhengdong Zhao Xiaoming Zheng Robertus Nugroho
10:30 – 10:45 Sungwan Kim Anish Kumar Sudath Heiyanthuduwage Pengbo Xiu
10:45 – 11:00 Matthew Burke Lie Qu Yan Mei
11:00 – 11:30 Break Break Break


E6A 328 E6A 378 E6A 382
Time Panel 1-2:
Jian and Len Diego
Panel 2-2:
Annabelle and Udaya
Panel 3-2:
Mehmet and Matt R
11:30-11:45 Byungho Min Shervin Malmasi David Walker
11:45 – 12:00 Shu Cheng Kamini (Simi) Bajaj Anish Kumar Sungwan Kim
12:00 – 12:15 Sepehr Damavandinejadmonfa Chris Rauchle
Lunch Lunch Lunch


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Conference Date and Venue

  • 18-19 June, 2014
  • Building E7B, Room T2
  • Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

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

  1. Cryptography
  2. Network Security
  3. Data Mining and Machine Learning
  4. Human-centred Computing
  5. Language Technology
  6. Programming Languages
  7. Rational Agents and Knowledge Representation
  8. Web Services and Social Computing
  9. Other

Browsing through the technical program of the previous MCMC-13 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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Macquarie Computing Doctoral Conference is an annual event in the department that gives an opportunity:

  1. to our senior research students to stand back and develop a better picture of what research it is that they are engaged in, and share this big picture with other members of the department, and in the process enhance their communication skills, both written and oral;
  2. to our new research students to learn from senior students of different types of research being carried out, and better appreciate the research environment in the department; and
  3. to all members of the department to be more closely involved in the research activities of the department, and in general to enhance the research culture in the department.

Furthermore, students’ work presented at this conference (and the comments received) feed into the subsequent annual HDR interview (to take place on June 20). The annual HDR interview is a departmental mechanism designed to identify if there is any need for extra support or intervention, and address them sufficiently early, well before the students are required to complete the Annual Progress Reports (APRs) towards the end of the year.

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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 (PhD and MPhil ) are invited to submit their work to this forum. All Doctoral students, who joined the PhD program before 1st January 2014, and are not expected to submit a thesis by September 2014, are required to submit to this forum. Exceptions may be made in case the supervisors make a really strong case why a student in this category should not present at MCDC-14.

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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 23 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 13 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 three years, MCDC-14 will use facilities made available by the EasyChair Conference System. All students who wish to submit their work for MCDC-14 must register at the EasyChair MCDC-14 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-14. 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

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The tentative time line of events is as follows:

  1. Students’ work submission deadline: Friday 23 May
  2. Reviews due: Friday 6 June
  3. Students receive feedback: 9 June 11 June
  4. Students’ self-assessment submission deadline: Friday 13 June
  5. MCDC14: 18-19 June
  6. HDR interview: 20 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.

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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 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.

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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-14: Abhaya Nayak or Diego Mollá Aliod.


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