My Research

Current Research Areas:

1. Spatial Data and Semantic Web Technologies:

One area of my current research started in the area of Spatial Data Infrastructures. As it developed it very rapidly moved into looking at how real time spatially enabled data may be delivered to users through the use of semantic web technologies. I started as the Senior Research Fellow working with Prof. Geoff West within Program 3 of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information and as he stepped into retirement I took the lead.

In relationship to Program 3 of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information I currently supervise the following PhD candidates:

  • Jeremy Siao Him Fa: “A Brokering Approach to Federating Spatial Data in a Semantic Web Environment
  • Tristan Reed: “Improving Search and Discovery of Spatial Data using Spatial and Semantic Techniques
  • Feiyan Yu: “Automatic Geospatial Data Conflation Using Semantic Web Technologies
  • Premalatha Varadharajulu: “Automating Spatial Process with Semantic Web and Artificial Intelligence
  • Chet Bing Tan: “Automatic and Intelligent Orchestration of Geospatial Web Services using Semantic Web Technologies
  • Muhammad Azeem Sadiq: “Spatial Data Supply Chain Provenance Modelling for Next Generation Spatial Infrastructures Using Semantic Web Technologies

I also oversee the research of 2 research fellows:

  • Dr Lesley Arnold working in the area of Spatial Data Supply Chains;
  • Dr Ivana Ivánová working in the area of Spatial Data Quality and Provenance.

2. The Use and Application of Spatial Data to Assist People on the Autism Spectrum:

In using spatial data and the techniques developed we are now using this in the area to assist people on the Autism Spectrum. I currently lead the project Enhancing the Capacity of Autistic People to use Public Transport. This is a project within the Autism Cooperative Research Centre.

A) Autistic individuals face social and cognitive difficulties that affect their ability to establish relationships, maintain employment and participate in community activities. The independent use of public transport systems can be difficult and anxiety evoking for autistic travellers.

The overall aim of this project is to address community mobility challenges experienced by young autistic adults by developing and pilot testing a trouble shooting technology solution and other resources to improve access to and use of public transportation. The public transportation project will involve three studies, each involving consultation with the research advisory group of autistic adults established through Curtin University.

I have one PhD candidate working in this area:

  • Mortaza Rezae: “A Software Engineering Approach to Promoting Public Transport Use for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum: The Development of an Intelligent Public Transport Mobile Application

B) People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related Social Communication Disorder (SCD) represent a large and growing group that present difficulties when communicating with others, both orally and in written form. The spectrum of the disorders are wide and the communication difficulties can change significantly between individuals. Some of those problems can become aggravated during anxiety events whereby disruptions or unexpected situations can cause a larger problem for the individual.

Human Communication Interfaces (HCI) have demonstrated to be helpful to aid in the communication process for people with ASD and SCD. These tools can be helpful in communicating and expressing feelings and thoughts. This research project aims to define and create a framework to provide a HCI to aid people with ASD and related SCD when they are going through transport disruptions and interpreting exam questions; events that may elevate the state of anxiety.

The PhD candidate I am supervising here is:

  • Claudia De Los Rios Perez: “Personalized ontological framework presented through a human communication interface to aid people with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD and related Social Communication Disorders SCD during anxiety events

C) There is limited research on how to successfully employ adults on the autism spectrum. As a consequence, individuals on the autism spectrum face significant disadvantages in the labour market. Drawing on data from numerous research studies, employers lack the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully employ and support adults on the autism spectrum and as such, many adults on the autism spectrum are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed. Those who are employed are likely to risk being placed in roles that are not suitable for their needs and skills and/or in organisations where there is a lack of understanding and support.

Our project here aims to develop a support and training program to encourage employers to employ and support adults on the autism spectrum. Ultimately, this program aims to give employers the knowledge, skills and confidence required to successfully place and maintain these employees.

I am part of the supervisory team of a PhD candidate here:

  • Rhonda Chapman: “Facilitating Successful Employment of Adults on the Autism Spectrum: Development of a Support Program for Employers and Disability Employment Services

3. CONie: Open Standards design for improved road network information exchange

The project aims to design CONie: a draft digital open source performance-based construction contract specification for delivering road construction information to operational network asset management. The innovative project is at the leading edge of information management (BIM) for roads and will impact on several international standards. The objectives align with the Federal Government’s Digital Transformation Initiative and Austroads’ Asset Management up-grade priority. The outcome will be a common information exchange specification for all road agencies to standardise exchange of their assets data.

My research area in this project is scoping and leading the spatial positioning domain knowledge on the project. I’m responsible for guiding (1) methods for location break-down and location specific standards and use; (3) , CityGML (OGC); and (4) international standards setting through OGC Membership.

I am supervising one PhD candidate here:

  • Michael Niestroj: “Utilising Semantic Web Technologies for Improved Road Network Information Exchange

4. Digital Humanities

This is a fairly new area of research for me but one that totally fascinates me. Seeing the possibility of using technology in the Humanities area is something I have wanted to babe in solved with for a long time.

A) This project aims to integrate different compounds of Geographic Information Science (GIS) such as spatio-temporality, and web-GIS along with semantic web concepts to explore cultural heritage landscapes and sites in Australia. The research will examine semantic annotation, ontologies, and vocabularies to represent cultural heritage data in a machine-readable format. The research will provide a methodology and proof-of- concept for a part-based annotation of 3D cultural heritage models, it will especially investigate annotating vague parts of digital 3D landscapes and sites. Furthermore, it will provide an exemplar, which integrates GIS and semantic web technologies to improve the exploration of Australian cultural heritage landscapes and sites.

I am supervising a PhD student in this project:

  • Ikrom Nishanbaev: “Integrating GIS with Linked Open Data for Australian Cultural Heritage Sites Exploration

B) Institute in Ancient Itineraries: The Digital Lives of Art History. I am part of an “18-month Institute in Digital Art History is led by King’s College London’s Department of Digital Humanities (DDH) and Department of Classics, in collaboration with HumLab at the University of Umeå, with grant support provided by the Getty Foundation as part of its Digital Art History initiative” (ref).

There is more information available on the King’s College London web site about this project that I am quite honoured to be part of. More to come about this later.

PhD Completions

This is a list of the PhD completions I have had since being a supervisor.

Previous Research Areas

1. Intelligent Real Time Multi-Site Controller for Conserving Energy in Remote Areas and in the Resource Industry

This project aimed to develop solutions for reducing electricity demand and achieving demand response in remote regions of Australia through the use of cyber-physical systems, renewable energy, intelligent energy controllers and community based energy generation and trading. We proposed a cyber-physical system framework for ubiquitous monitoring of energy consumption and control of appliances through a web of things architecture, a new intelligent controller that dynamically managed the household electricity usage, and grouping electricity users into communities, where they could control the buying, selling and trading of energy locally.

This was the very first project I worked on post PhD.

My PhD Research

I examined the levels of comprehension software developers operated at while performing different software software development tasks. By being able to measure and quantify the comprehension levels they operated at I applied different software inspection technologies in novel ways to understand if this facilitates developers to operate at higher levels of comprehension that may lead to production of higher quality software.

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