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Wayne Wobcke

Contact

Office: Building K17, Room 401F

Postal address:
School of Computer Science and Engineering
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052
Australia

E-mail: w.wobcke@unsw.edu.au

About

Wayne Wobcke is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. His research ranges from theory (intelligent agents, data mining, agent-based modelling), to practice (dialogue management, personal assistants, recommender systems, computational social science).

He has published over 90 papers and received over $6 million in research funding, winning a PAKDD best paper runner up award and an AAAI deployed application award for work on people-to-people recommender systems. He has served as Programme Committee Chair of two major Artificial Intelligence conferences (Australasian AI and PRIMA) and two keynote addresses at international workshops, on intelligent agents in healthcare and social media analytics.

His industry experience began at British Telecom Labs in the UK where he was part of a team that won a British Computer Society Medal for Innovation in Information Technology. Since joining UNSW in 2002, he has collaborated extensively with industry, serving for over 10 years as Programme Manager and Project Leader in two CRCs (Smart Internet Technology CRC and Smart Services CRC), leading a team of seven academic and research staff. A highlight of Smart Internet Technology CRC was the development in 2004 of a voice controlled mobile application for interaction with e-mail and calendar (a precursor to Apple's Siri). A major achievement through Smart Services CRC was the deployment of a people-to-people recommender system for suggesting suitable matches in online dating, fielded in 2012 on one of Australia's largest online dating sites.

He recently worked with Data to Decisions CRC, leading a multi-disciplinary team of data scientists and social scientists, with the aim of researching: (i) efficient methods for extracting information from high velocity streams of rich text data (such as social media and news feeds), (ii) methods for combining information from multiple asynchronous data streams to build up a knowledge base of information about entities, places and events, (iii) using insights from social science to build and evaluate predictive models for events of interest to analysts, and (iv) methods to determine sentiment and stance (orientation towards political issues) from social media posts.

His current work focuses on the use of data science in humanitarian contexts and the use of machine learning in official statistics, funded by an ARC Discovery Project led by Fleur Johns (UNSW Law), in collaboration with BPS (Statistics Indonesia), STIS (Politeknik Statistika, Indonesia), and UN Global Pulse through Pulse Lab Jakarta.

Qualifications

  • Ph.D. Computer Science, University of Essex, 1989: A Logical Approach to Schema-Based Inference.
  • M.Sc. Computer Science, University of Queensland, 1985: Logic Programming and Language Specification.
  • B.Sc. (Hons) Mathematics/Computer Science, University of Queensland, 1984.

Awards

  • UNSW Arc Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award, 2018.
  • UNSW Arc Postgraduate Research Supervisor Award, 2017.
  • AAAI Deployed AI Application Award, Twenty-Sixth Annual Conference on Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence, 2014: Evaluation and Deployment of a People-to-People Recommender in Online Dating.
  • Best application paper runner up, 17th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, 2013: ProCF: Generalising Probabilistic Collaborative Filtering for Reciprocal Recommendation.
  • British Computer Society Medal for Innovation in Information Technology, 1998: Intelligent Personal Assistant.

Visiting Positions

  • Senior Specialist – Quantitative Analysis and Modelling, United Nations Development Programme, 2019.
  • Fellow, Department of Computer Science, University of Essex, 1998–1999.
  • Honorary Institute Fellow, Microsoft Institute of Advanced Software Technology, 1992–1999.
  • Visiting Scholar, Department of Computer Science, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1998.
  • Visiting Scholar, Center for the Study of Language and Information, Stanford University, 1993.

Highlights

Research

Grants

Australian Research Council

  • Discovery Project, 2018–2020 (F. Johns, W. Wobcke and D. Nelken): Data Science in Humanitarianism: Confronting Novel Law & Policy Challenges, $524 643.
  • Linkage Project, 2007–2009 (E. Coiera, J. Westbrook, W. Wobcke and F. Magrabi): Agent-Based Methods for Communication System Design in Complex Organisations, $554 194.
  • Discovery Project, 2003–2005: Reasoning about Rational Agents from a Programming Languages Perspective, $172 473.
  • Linkage Project, 2002–2004 (with R. Johnston, R. Rönnquist and E. Sonenberg): Agent-Based Frameworks for Coordinated Activities in E-Business: Supply Chain Management and Workflow Applications, $112 725.
  • Large Grant, 1996–1998 (A. Sattar, W. Wobcke and A. Rao): Dynamics of Mental States in Rational Agent Architectures, $167 000.
  • Small Grant, 1994–1995: Modelling Rational Agency and Communication using Situation Semantics, $14 000.
  • Small Grant, 1992–1993: Nonmonotonic Reasoning in a Belief Revision System, $33 500.
  • Small Grant, 1990: A First-Order Theory of Knowledge for a Modal Database, $19 009.

Data to Decisions CRC

  • Knowledge Mining, 2016–2019 (with M. Bain and S. Schmeidl): $939 319.
  • Text Analytics, 2015 (with M. Bain): $146 055.

Smart Services CRC

  • Data Markets, 2014 (with M. Bain): $125 957.
  • Personalisation, 2008–2014 (with M. Bain, A. Mahidadia and P. Compton): $1 452 724.

Smart Internet Technology CRC

  • Interim Personalisation Project, 2007–2008: $45 829.
  • Evaluation of E-Mail Management Assistant, 2007: $14 950.
  • Dialogue Construction with Ripple Down Rules, 2006: $21 357.
  • Adaptive Mobile Personal Assistants, 2005–2007 (with P. Compton): $903 895.
  • Document Categorization with Ripple Down Rules, 2004–2005: $15 000.
  • An Agent Architecture for the Coordination of Personal Assistants, 2003–2004: $344 000.

University

  • UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme, 2017 (J. Xue et al.): High-Performance Computing for Security Analysis, Data Analytics, IoT and Machine Learning, $134 429.
  • UNSW Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative, 2014 (A. Sowmya, M. Ryan, N. Marcus, C. Sammut and W. Wobcke): Visualisation and Human-Machine Interaction Laboratory, $99 420.
  • CSIRO Division of Information Technology Collaborative Research Grant, 1990 (N. Foo, W. Wobcke, M. Wise and S. Sevinc): Knowledge Processing, $41 000.

Publications

Computational Social Science

Recommender Systems

Intelligent Agent Theory

  • Wobcke, W.R. (2015) A Logic of Intention and Action for Regular BDI Agents Based on Bisimulation of Agent Programs. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, 29, 569–620.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2007) Reasoning about BDI Agents from a Programming Languages Perspective. Proceedings of the AAAI 2007 Spring Symposium on Intentions in Intelligent Systems, 48–53.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2006) An Analysis of Three Puzzles in the Logic of Intention. In Sattar, A. & Kang, B.-H. (Eds) AI 2006: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R., Chee, M. & Ji, K. (2005) Model Checking for PRS-Like Agents. In Zhang, S. & Jarvis, R. (Eds) AI 2005: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R., Chee, M. & Ji, K. (2005) Model Generation for PRS-like Agents. Proceedings of the Fourth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems, 1131–1132.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2004) Model Theory for PRS-Like Agents: Modelling Belief Update and Action Attempts. In Zhang, C., Guesgen, H.W. & Yeap, W.K. (Eds) PRICAI 2004: Trends in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2002) Intention and Rationality for PRS-Like Agents. In McKay, B. & Slaney, J. (Eds) AI 2002: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2002) Modelling PRS-Like Agents' Mental States. In Ishizuka, M. & Sattar, A. (Eds) PRICAI 2002: Trends in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2000) On the Correctness of PRS Agent Programs. In Jennings, N.R. & Lespérance, Y. (Eds) Intelligent Agents VI. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1999) The Role of Context in the Analysis and Design of Agent Programs. In Bouquet, P., Serafini, L., Brézillon, P., Benerecetti, M. & Castellani, F. (Eds) Modeling and Using Context. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1999) Contextual Reasoning in the Verification of PRS Agent Programs. In Brézillon, P., Turner, R., Pomerol, J.-C. & Turner, E. (Eds) Reasoning in Context for AI Applications. AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1998) Agency and the Logic of Ability. In Wobcke, W.R., Pagnucco, M. & Zhang, C. (Eds) Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1996) The Representation of Plans in Rational Agent Architectures. Proceedings of the Fourth Australian and New Zealand Conference on Intelligent Information Systems, 22–25.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1996) Plans and the Revision of Intentions. In Zhang, C. & Lukose, D. (Eds) Distributed Artificial Intelligence: Architecture and Modelling. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Agent-Based Modelling

Intelligent Assistants

Agent Architectures

  • Wobcke, W., Desai, N., Dignum, F., Ghose, A., Padmanabhuni, S. & Srivastava, B. (2011) What Can Agent-Based Computing Offer Service-Oriented Architectures, and Vice Versa? In Desai, N., Liu, A. & Winikoff, M. (Eds) Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Nguyen, M.H. & Wobcke, W.R. (2006) A Flexible Framework for SharedPlans. In Sattar, A. & Kang, B.-H. (Eds) AI 2006: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Nguyen, M.H. & Wobcke, W.R. (2005) Towards a General Implementation of SharedPlans. Proceedings of the Third Australian Undergraduate Students' Computing Conference, 42–48.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (2001) An Operational Semantics for a PRS-Like Agent Architecture. In Stumptner, M., Corbett, D. & Brooks, M. (Eds) AI 2001: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R. & Sichanie, A.G. (1999) A Reactive Scheduling Agent Architecture for Coordinating Autonomous Assistants. In Liu, J. & Zhong, N. (Eds) Intelligent Agent Technology: Systems, Methodologies, and Tools. World Scientific, Singapore.
  • Irwig, K.G. & Wobcke, W.R. (1999) Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning with Vicarious Rewards. Electronic Transactions on Artificial Intelligence, 3(B), 23–45.
  • Clark, M.P., Irwig, K.G., & Wobcke, W.R. (1997) Emergent Properties of Teams of Agents in the Tileworld. In Cavedon, L., Rao, A.S. & Wobcke, W.R. (Eds) Intelligent Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Luk, A.K. & Wobcke, W.R. (1993) An Implementation of a Plan-Based Theory of Indirect Speech Acts. Proceedings of the Sixteenth Australian Computer Science Conference, 557–565.

Plan Recognition

  • Wobcke, W.R. (2002) Two Logical Theories of Plan Recognition. Journal of Logic and Computation, 12, 371–412.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1995) Plan Recognition as Belief Revision. Proceedings of the Second World Conference on the Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence, 481–492.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1994) A Conditional Logic for Planning and Plan Recognition. Proceedings of the Second Australian and New Zealand Conference on Intelligent Information Systems, 382–386.

Natural Language Semantics

  • Wobcke, W.R. (2000) An Information-Based Theory of Conditionals. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 41, 95–141.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1990) A Theory of Knowledge in Situation Semantics. Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 708–713.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1989) A Schema-Based Approach to Understanding Subjunctive Conditionals. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 1461–1466.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1988) A Global Theory of Inheritance. Proceedings of the Eighth European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 214–219.
  • Sharkey, N.E., Sutcliffe, R.F.E. & Wobcke, W.R. (1986) Mixing Binary and Continuous Connection Schemes for Knowledge Access. Proceedings of the Fifth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-86), 262–266.

Belief Revision

  • Wobcke, W.R. (1995) Belief Revision, Conditional Logic and Nonmonotonic Reasoning. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 36, 55–102.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1995) Belief Revision without Rational Monotony. Proceedings of the Eighth Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 379–386.
  • Dixon, S.E. & Wobcke, W.R. (1995) A Nonmonotonic Reasoning Belief Revision System. Proceedings of the Eighteenth Australasian Computer Science Conference, 151–160.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1994) Algorithms for Iterative Belief Revision. Proceedings of the Seventh Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 165–172.
  • Dixon, S.E. & Wobcke, W.R. (1993) The Implementation of a First-Order Logic AGM Belief Revision System. Proceedings of the 1993 IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, 40–47.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1991) The Modality of Belief and Gärdenfors Triviality Result. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Logic. Abstract appears in Journal of Symbolic Logic, 57, 1503.
  • Ashworth, D.J., Campbell, A.S., Foo, N.Y. & Wobcke, W.R. (1991) MODEST: An Interactive Evaluator for Modal Logic. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Logic. Abstract appears in Journal of Symbolic Logic, 57, 1500.

Nonmonotonic Reasoning

  • Wobcke, W.R. (1993) Reasoning about Action from the Perspective of Situation Semantics. Proceedings of the Sixth Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 71–76.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1992) A Belief Revision Approach to Nonmonotonic Reasoning. Proceedings of the Fifth Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 278–283.
  • Peppas, P. & Wobcke, W.R. (1992) On the Use of Epistemic Entrenchment in Reasoning about Action. Proceedings of the Tenth European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 403–407.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1992) On the Use of Epistemic Entrenchment in Nonmonotonic Reasoning. Proceedings of the Tenth European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 324–328.
  • Peppas, P., Foo, N.Y. & Wobcke, W.R. (1991) Events as Theory Operators. Proceedings of the First World Conference on the Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence, 413–426.
  • Wobcke, W.R. (1990) A Partial Semantics for Nonmonotonic Logics. Proceedings of the Eighth Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Computational Studies of Intelligence, 61–68.

Conference and Workshop Proceedings

  • Rahwan, I., Wobcke, W.R., Sen, S. & Sugawara, T. (Eds) (2012) PRIMA 2012: Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Dix, J., Hindriks, K.V., Logan, B. & Wobcke, W. (2012) Engineering Multi-Agent Systems (Dagstuhl Seminar 12342). Dagstuhl Reports, 2(8), 74–98.
  • Wobcke, W.R. & Zhang, M. (Eds) (2008) AI 2008: Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Wobcke, W.R., Pagnucco, M. & Zhang, C. (Eds) (1998) Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Cavedon, L., Rao, A.S. & Wobcke, W.R. (Eds) (1997) Intelligent Agent Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Patents

  • EP1127326, 2001 (British Telecom): Apparatus for Allocating Time to an Event.
  • EP1127325, 2001 (British Telecom): Co-ordinating Apparatus.
  • EP1127313, 2001 (British Telecom): Apparatus for Identifying User Activities.
  • EP1125232, 2001 (British Telecom): Apparatus for Processing Communications.
  • EP1099171, 2001 (British Telecom): An Index to a Semi-Structured Database.

Invited Talks

  • Meta-Methodological Issues in Data Science and Official Statistics. Official Statistics National Seminar, Jakarta, 2020.
  • Methodological Issues in Data Science. UNESCAP Regional Workshop on the Use of Mobile Phone Data for Official Statistics, Jakarta, 2019.
  • People-to-People Recommendation in Online Dating: Myth and Reality. International Workshop on Social Media Analytics and Recommendation Technologies, Sydney, 2013.
  • Engineering Multi-Agent Systems: Where is the Pain (and the Opportunity)? Dagstuhl Seminar on Engineering Multi-Agent Systems, Schloss Dagstuhl, 2012.
  • Agent-Based Modelling for Risk Assessment of Routine Clinical Processes. International Workshop on Intelligent Agents in Health Care, Kolkata, 2010.
  • On the Semantics of PRS-like Agent Architectures. Otago Workshop on Logic and Multi-Agent Systems, Dunedin, 2002.
  • Machine Intelligence Research at BT. Machine Intelligence 16, York, 1998.
  • Planning, Plan Recognition and Situation Semantics. Dagstuhl Seminar on Deductive Approaches to Plan Generation and Plan Recognition, Schloss Dagstuhl, 1993.
  • Inheritance using Situation Semantics. Workshop on Semantic Nets, Inheritance and Nonmonotonic Reasoning, Tübingen, 1988.

Students

  • Kannangara, S. Political Opinion Mining and Analysis for Social Media. Ph.D., 2019.
  • Calvo Martinez, J. Event Mining Over Multiple Text Streams. Ph.D., 2019.
  • Ziaei, H. Knowledge Acquisition for Critiquing-Based Recommender Systems. Ph.D., 2019.
  • Krzywicki, A. Exploiting Concept Clumping for Learning in Adaptive Personal Assistants. Ph.D., 2011.
  • Ji, K. Conditionals for Representing Implicational and Causal Knowledge. Ph.D., 2010.
  • Nguyen, A. Agent-Based Dialogue Management in Personal Assistants. Ph.D., 2007.
  • Dixon, S. Belief Revision: A Computational Approach. Ph.D., 1994.
  • Peppas, P. Belief Change and Reasoning about Action. Ph.D., 1993.
  • Mitchell, M. Augmented Statistical Lexical Disambiguation. M.Sc., 1993.

Courses

Masters Level

  • Artificial Intelligence: 2019–2021.
  • Artificial Intelligence: 2002–2012.
  • Emerging Technologies for E-Commerce: 2001.

Honours Level

  • Intelligent Agents: 2003–2008.
  • Natural Language Processing: 1989–1997.

Fourth Level

  • Professional Issues and Ethics: 2010–2012, 2020–2021.
  • Project Management and Ethics: 2012–2020.

Third Level

  • Artificial Intelligence: 1997.
  • Logic Programming: 1990–1997.
  • Compiler Principles: 1989–1995.
  • Software Engineering Project: 1989.

Second Level

  • Object-Oriented Design and Programming: 2009–2018.
  • Logic and Computation: 2001.

First Level

  • Reasoning About Programs: 1995–1996.
  • Overview of Computer Science: 1990.

Research Management

  • Stream Leader: Data to Decisions CRC, 2016–2019.
  • Programme Leader/Project Leader: Smart Services CRC, 2008–2014.
  • Programme Manager: Smart Internet Technology CRC, 2004–2007.
  • Project Leader: Smart Internet Technology CRC, 2003–2007.
  • Project Manager: British Telecom Laboratories, 1998–2000.

Conferences

Conference Organization

  • Refugee Alternatives: Improving Policy, Practice and Public Support (Advisory), 2017.
  • 15th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (PC Co-Chair), 2012.
  • 14th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Multi-Agent Systems (Publicity), 2011.
  • Twenty-First Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (PC Co-Chair), 2008.

Workshop Organization

  • Dagstuhl Seminar on Engineering Multi-Agent Systems, 2012.
  • BT Workshop on Human-Centred Intelligent Systems, 1998.
  • Theoretical and Practical Foundations of Intelligent Agents, 1997.
  • Artificial Intelligence Teaching and Practice, 1997.
  • Social Implications of Artificial Intelligence Technology, 1997.
  • Theoretical and Practical Foundations of Intelligent Agents, 1996.
  • First Australian Workshop on Planning, 1991.

Senior Programme Committees

  • 30th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2021.
  • Third Australasian Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Health, 2013.
  • Second Australian Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Health, 2012.
  • First Australian Workshop on Artificial Intelligence in Health, 2011.
  • 23rd Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2010.
  • Twentieth Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2007.
  • Nineteenth Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2006.