Research Funding

Submarine Combat System Large Scale Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Insight. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($150,000) (2016-2017)

This new research contract continues our collaborative research work with DST Group to explore research-based methods for Submarine Combat System Large Scale Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Insight, specifically in the area of SEM GPU worker creation and deployment capabilities. Under this agreement, we will be working with DST Group to expand our GPU capabilities within the MEDEA modelling system, including both maturation of our GPU support models as well improved integration within MEDEA. We will also expand our profile of modelling capability through the introduction of new workers to support interfacing to prototype software systems.

Assessment and OS-Level Mitigation of Timing Channels. Y.Yarom and K. Falkner, Data61 CRP Research Agreement ($682,684) (2016-2019)

This project will survey micro-architectural time-based covert channels and side channels on modern architectures. It will survey existing exploits and mitigation strategies, and attempt to quantify them. It will design, and implement minimal, low-overhead mechanisms for the seL4 microkernel that allow mitigation of those channels, and will analyse their effectiveness

Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Research (Generic Vehicle Architecture Integration). K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DST Group Research Contract ($110,000) (2016)

This research contract aims to support extended research into the MEDEA modelling environment, including support for integration of existing UML models into the modelling capability, research into integration potential for DDS services and QoS of each, and real-time modelling capabilities.

Drones for Good: Airborne spatial tracking for saving endangered species. D. Ranasinghe, L. P. Koh, K. Falkner, B. Ostendorf, G. Puddy, ARC Linkage Project ($181,194) (2016-2018)

This project aims to develop an automated and distributed spatial tracking approach using low cost Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to locate and study endangered wildlife. Understanding animal behaviour and habits with granular spatial data is essential to develop effective monitoring and conservation strategies. Spatial tracking of radio collared wildlife using radio telemetry is a critical but costly tool for acquiring this data. This project anticipates that airborne spatial tracking using intelligent spatial tracking algorithms on board low cost UAV teams will allow more precise understanding of wildlife for evidence-based conservation and management in a changing global climate.

Assessment and OS-Level Mitigation of Timing Channels. Y.Yarom and K. Falkner, NICTA CRP Research Agreement ($132,378) (2015-2016)

This project is an extension to the existing collaboration between the Centre for Distributed Technologies and NICTA. The project will survey micro-architectural time-based covert channels and side channels on modern architectures.

Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Research – Integration. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DSTO Research Contract ($465,000) (2015-2016)

This research agreement will be supporting research in the areas of combat system margins recovery and integration, as well as the research and development of a combat system modelling and analysis capability, continuing our existing collaborative research relationship with DSTO within the space of Systems Execution Modelling within distributed application contexts.  The areas of research for this Research Agreement will explore research and development of prototypes of new SEM capabilities that will allow for deployment onto new hardware platforms, such as GPU, FPGA and many-core CPU, Research and development of prototypes of new SEM modelling techniques, and research and development of prototypes of new SEM capabilities that allows for large scale model deployment with abstract high level modelling techniques.

Computing Infrastructure Performance and Interoperability Research – Security. K. Falkner and Y. Yarom, DSTO Research Contract ($170,000) (2015-2016)

This research agreement will be supporting research in the areas of combat system security, continuing our existing collaborative research relationship with DSTO in the areas of Security and Virtualisation within distributed environments. The areas of research for this Research Agreement will be: (1) research into threats applicable to Virtualisation technologies in a common pool of resources approach with a focus on extending the current investigation of VMware ESXi and Xen to include more light weight implementations such as seL4 and Docker, and (2) investigate the risk that malicious or compromised attached devices pose to Combat Systems. This activity will investigate current findings, identify further vulnerabilities and investigate techniques for mitigating such attacks.

Protecting Sensitive Information. H. Shen, ARC Discovery Project ($340,000) (2015-2017)

This project investigates new theories, methods and techniques for solving this problem. It proposes to develop a set of effective methods for privacy-preserving data publication through combining randomisation with anonymisation, and for classifying the published data through uncertainty leveraging by probabilistic reasoning and accuracy lifting by inter-flow correlation analysis and active learning.

Efficient Management of Things for the Future World Wide Web. M. Sheng, ARC Future Fellowship (ARC FT140101247, $757,452) (2014-2018)

The future World Wide Web will connect billions of physical objects, which will offer exciting capabilities to change the world and improve the quality of human lives, just as what the Web has done in the past 20 years. Effectively and efficiently managing things is one inevitable challenge in this new era and is much more complicated than managing traditional Web documents. This project aims to focus on this key problem and develop novel techniques for linking resource-constrained things to the Web, searching them using a new search engine, as well as discovering latent relationships among things for advanced management tasks such as things recommendation and composition.

Effective Recommendations based on Multi-Sourced Data. X. Li, M. Sheng, ARC Discovery Project (ARC DP140100104, $411,000) (2014-2016)

Large scale data collected from multiple sources such as the Web, sensor networks, academic publications, and social networks provide a new opportunity to exploit useful information for effective and efficient recommendations and decision making. The project will propose a new framework of recommender systems that is based on analysing relationships between different types of objects from multiple data sources. A graph model will be built to represent the extracted semantic relationships and novel linkage analysis based algorithms will be developed for ranking objects. The results from this project will underpin many critical applications such as healthcare.

Staying Independent: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Better Living of Older Australians. M. Sheng, D. Faulkner, K. Barnett, L. Yao, Beacon Interdisciplinary Research Fund, the University of Adelaide ($28,000) (Jan 2015-Dec 2015).

Big Data Processing for Smart Active Grid. J. Jiang, H. Shen et al, China Bureau for Foreign Experts & Ministry Education (4.5 million CNY) (2014-2018)
This project is a major international collaboration project funded in China. It investigates effective methods and techniques for managing and processing big data arising in smart active grids in different stages including data collection, modeling, fusion, computing and mining.

Research Grant: Assessment and OS-Level Mitigation of Timing Channels. K. Falkner and Y. Yarom, NICTA CRP ($232,167) (2014-2015)

The project will survey micro-architectural time-based covert channels and side channels on modern architectures. It will survey existing exploits and mitigation strategies, and attempt to quantify them. It will design, and implement minimal, low-overhead mechanisms for the seL4 microkernel that allow mitigation of those channels, and will analyse their effectiveness, in close collaboration with existing SSRG activities on covert information flow.

Model Driven Systems Engineering: Security in Virtualised Environments. K. Falkner and Y. Yarom, DSTO Research Contract ($110,000) (2014)
This contract will continues research between DSTO and the University of Adelaide on the research and development of security within virtualised environments. More specifically, extending our investigation to consider additional virtualisation environments (i.e. Xen) and considering the virtualisation use case within Defence and the impacts on security.

Model Driven Systems Engineering: Advanced Modelling of Communication Protocols. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DSTO Research Contract ($130,000) (2014)
This contract will continues research between DSTO and the University of Adelaide on the research and development of new System Execution Modelling (SEM) capabilities, with a particular focus on the research, modelling and construction of alternative communications transport mechanisms.

Learning Human Activities through Low Cost, Unobtrusive RFID Technology. M. Sheng, X. Li, D. Ranasinghe. ARC Discovery Project (ARC DP130104614, $360,000) (2013-2015)

A rapidly growing aged population presents many challenges to Australia’s health and aged care services. The outcomes of this project will help aging Australians live in their own homes longer, with greater independence and safety by providing an automated, unobtrusive means for health professionals to monitor activity and intervene as required.

Model Driven Systems Engineering. K. Falkner and C. Szabo, DSTO Research Contract ($420,000) (2013-2015)
This contract will form the next stage of research between DSTO and the University of Adelaide on the research and development of new System Execution Modelling (SEM) capabilities, with a particular focus on the research and construction of a workload calibration and normalisation capability to better represent application resource consumption characteristics and improved insight into system non-functional behaviours.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: System Virtualisation. K. Falkner. DSTO Research Contract ($130,000) (2012-2013)
The main focus of this research is the application of the system virtualisation paradigm within the combat system domain. The research will undertake investigation and experimentation into security within Virtualised systems with the specific thrust being to provide advice on security domain (multiple layers of security) classification and isolation ability of Virtualised solutions.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: System Execution Modelling Environment. K. Falkner, N. Falkner and C. Szabo, DSTO Research Contract ($75,000) (2012-2013)
The main focus of this research is the development of a complete SEM laboratory environment for analysis of submarine combat systems. The project will leverage the research initiated in prior research agreements utilising specialised knowledge bases and skill sets in the SEM and Open Architecture (OA) Combat System domains to satisfy the construction requirements for such an environment. The first main focus of this research is how best to implement and deliver an SEM environment that resides on the same infrastructure as an operational distributed real-time and embedded (DRE) system for the purpose of performance analysis of system design.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: Extending the Reference Combat management and System Execution Modelling Capability. K. Falkner, N. Falkner and C. Szabo, DSTO Research Contract ($490,000) (2012-2013)
This contract will form the next phase of collaborative research on the research and development of new System Execution Modelling capabilities, the next phase of development of the Reference Combat Management System and development of software and hardware architecture visualisation tool suites. The research will also examine new software development philosophies and techniques to complement the research areas.

The project will continue the research initiated in prior research agreements utilising specialised knowledge bases and skill sets in the System Execution Modelling and Open Architecture Combat System domains, while extending into complementary fields. As with previous collaborative research, this project will once again focus on building capabilities associated with providing insight into integration and performance early in the development cycle of distributed real-time and embedded systems, specifically maritime combat systems.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: System Execution Modelling. K. Falkner, DSTO Research Contract ($120,000) (2012)
The project will continue the research initiated in prior research agreements utilising specialised knowledge bases and skill sets in the SEM domain, while extending into complementary fields. As with previous collaborative research, this project will once again focus on building capabilities associated with providing insight into integration and performance early in the development cycle of distributed real-time and embedded systems, specifically maritime combat systems. The research will also examine, and where possible develop, new software development philosophies and techniques to complement the SEM evaluation capabilities, and will be utilising the combat system computing environment setup at the University of Adelaide.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: Reference Combat Management System Development. K. Falkner, DSTO Research Contract ($225,000) (2011-2012)
To complement the System Execution Modelling (SEM) and Model Driven Development (MDD) research, the construction of a representative implementation of a combat management system will be initiated. Known as the reference Combat Management System, or refCMS, this will be developed in order to demonstrate how modern software engineering principles can be utilised to create and manage a software product line (SPL) for distributed combat management systems. Representative software components will be deployed on standards-compliant middleware, utilising MDD, SEM and SPL software development practices.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice: UAV Models. K. Falkner, DSTO Research Contract ($46,500) (2011)
The development of complex software systems for Defence applications is undergoing a step change in the philosophy and methodology used, with the trend moving toward the use of Model Driven Development (MDD) and Continuous Integration and Test frameworks, such as System Execution Modelling (SEM) Environments. There is a need for defence organisations to understand the issues and benefits that arise out of the use of such approaches, and how to leverage the techniques to best effect. This project endeavours to address these needs through the implementation of an execution modelling computing environment, contribution (where possible) towards the development of a generic combat system execution model and collaborative research into generic execution modelling techniques needed for combat system performance analysis. It will also contribute to the development of a laboratory visualisation tool suite that will be used within the SEM laboratory environment.

Managing Uncertainty in RFID Traceability Networks. M. Sheng, P. Cole, D. Ranasinghe. ARC Linkage Project (ARC LP100200114, $295K) (2010-2013)

Australia suffers 5.4 million cases of food-borne illness every year, which leads to 2.1 million days of lost work, 1.2 million people visiting a doctor, and 120 deaths annually. This has revealed the urgent need for improved ways of locating and recalling problematic products that have been released into the community. The project will develop novel techniques driven by Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for improving the efficiency and accuracy of product tracking in distribution networks. This project will place Australia at the forefront of RFID research. It will also be an excellent vehicle for educating young researchers and engineers in Australia.

Review of Model Driven Software Engineering Practice. K. Falkner, DSTO Research Contract ($70,000) (2010)

The development of complex software systems for Defence applications is undergoing a step change in the approach and methodology used, with the trend moving toward the use of Model Based Systems Engineering and Model Driven Development. There is a need for defence organisations to understand the issues and benefits that arise out of the use of such approaches, and how to leverage the techniques to best effect. Further, in order to work with the complex, component-based systems required in Defence, there is a need for current Computer Science graduates to develop skills in modern software architecture techniques, including Model Driven Architecture and Model Driven Development. This project endeavours to address both these aims by initiating research into innovative and best-practice course delivery and assessment mechanisms for an honours-level course suited to the areas of model driven architecture and model driven development. In order to provide an authentic learning environment, this project will involve the development of real-world case studies that can be used in the teaching and assessment of these techniques. A deeper understanding of the relevant software practices will be a direct spin-off of this work, with a particular emphasis on distributed realtime systems in the maritime environment.

Towards Scalable, Internet-Based RFID Traceability Networks. M. Sheng, P. Cole. ARC Discovery Project (ARC DP0878917, $235,000) (2008-2010)

Food and drug safety is a major public health issue in Australia. Recent events involving poisoning of chocolate bars and paracetamol tablets in Australia have demonstrated the urgent need for improved ways of locating and recalling commercial products that have been released into the community. This project will develop novel techniques for locating items in large-scale distribution networks driven by RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology. The outcomes of the project will make it easier to rapidly and accurately pinpoint product locations in the event of problems such as an illness outbreak due to contaminated food or counterfeited drugs.

A Platform for Rapid and Flexible Development of Context-Aware Web Services. M. Sheng. ARC Discovery Project (ARC DP0878367, $216,354) (2008-2010)

Context awareness is one of the most exciting trends in computing today, and it holds the potential to make our daily life more productive, convenient and enjoyable. The proposed project will produce a comprehensive platform for developing context-aware Web services, which will facilitate ready implementation of many innovative applications and make important contributions to Australian society and the national economy. One such application is an intelligent seniors assistance service that will improve quality of life for senior citizens while helping them maintain an independent lifestyle. This project will also place Australia at the forefront of Web service development.