John Thangarajah

Professor John Thangarajah

Director of Research

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John Thangarajah is passionate about innovation and leadership in both research and education.

Overview

John Thangarajah is a Professor in AI and the Director of Research of CIAIRI (Center for Industrial AI Research & Innovation) at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. He leads the research directions and also the academic partnerships.

He collaborates with industry partners and researchers both local and international and have managed various aspects of research projects and product development. He is also a member of the IFAAMAS board of directors, an International foundation whose purpose is to promote science and technology in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomous agents and multi-agent systems.

One of his strong beliefs is in applied research, and over the last five years he has been part of $4 million in research funding from the government and industrial sectors, with primary collaborations with the Defence Science Technology group.

John has over 20+ years experience in teaching and managing CS & IT related courses to undergraduate, postgraduate and industry personnel. During his time as the head of Computer Science and Software Engineering discipline, he transformed the first year education for Computer Science and Software Engineering students at RMIT moving away from the standard lecture model to hands-on experiential learning in bootcamps and studios.

His goal is to continue to be involved in developing smart systems that are not only intellectually challenging but also have practical benefit and impact.

What's Next for John Thangarajah

What drew me to technology, computers in particular, is the ability to make machines do things. I think, that was just superhero stuff.

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Research

As an active researcher in the field of Intelligent Autonomous Systems, John's interests are in Autonomous Systems Development (how do we build and construct Intelligent Systems), Agent Reasoning (how can programs behave in smart ways), Machine Learning techniques for autonomous entities (how can machines learn behaviours), and more recently on Human-Machine Teams (how do we design and build software with the human in and on the loop).

Research keywords

Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Systems, Knowledge-based Reasoning, Agent-based modelling and simulation

Research output summary

100+

Publications

20

Grants

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Autonomous Systems
  • Knowledge-based Reasoning
  • Agent-based modelling and simulation

Feature publications

Practical Modelling of Dynamic Decision Making

Springer Briefs in Intelligent Systems

Rick Evertsz, John Thangarajah, Thanh Ly. (2019).

User and System Stories: An Agile Approach for Managing Requirements in AOSE

 AAMAS 2021: 1064-1072

Sebastian Rodriguez, John Thangarajah, Michael Winikoff. (2021).

Incidental detection of prostate cancer with computed tomography scans

Sci Rep, Nature, 11, 7956

Korevaar, S., Tennakoon, R., Page, M. et al. (2021).

Key publications by year

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Awards


Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Award

Award date: 2020

Recipients: John Thangarajah

AAMAS Best Paper Blue Sky Track

Award date: 2017

Recipients: John Thangarajah

Telstra Innovation Challenge Winner: Open-ended conversation based question answering system

Award date: 2011

Recipients: John Thangarajah

Key awards by year

  • Vice Chancellor’s Leadership Award
    The award is in recognition of passion and leadership in creating networks of collaboration and excellence in Computer Science.
  •  AAMAS Best Paper Blue Sky Track
    The BlueSky track is for visionary ideas in advancing the field of research. AAMAS is the top (A*) conference in Autonomous Agents.
  • 2011 Telstra Innovation Challenge Winner
    Open-ended conversation based question answering system. Presentated to the Telstra board of execs and front page feature of 'The Australian' IT section on January 24, 2012.
  • Best demonstration award at the Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent conference
    Demonstrations were peer reviewed in a similar manner to conference papers by 3 members of a program committee. Approximately 35 demonstrations were considered.
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Grants

ARC grants:

  • Tools, methodologies and reasoning support for developing companion-toy modules. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project LP110100050 from (2011-2014)
  • Integrating and automating testing in multi-agent system development. Funded by: ARC Linkage Project LP100100037 from (2010-2013)
  • Intention Selection in Intelligent Agent Systems. Funded by: ARC Discovery Project DP1094627 (2010-2012).

Industry research income:

  • Developing the tactical development framework tool, John Thangarajah, Sebastian Rodriguez. Funded by: DST Group, Melbourne (2019-2020)
  • Tooling for human agent teaming, John Thangarajah Funded by: DST Group, Melbourne (2019)
  • Shared situation picture compilation exploiting next generation data links, John Thangarajah Funded by: DST Group, Adelaide (2018)
  • Tactical Development Framework and Tactic Elicitation Method Tool Development, John Thangarajah Funded by: DSTGroup,Perth, (2017-2018)
  •  Industry Grant Project with DST Group , Human-Agent team-training framework. John Thangarajah Funded by: 2017
  •  Explainable AI. John Thangarajah Funded by: CERA Defence grant (2017)
  • Critical Survey of Agent Behaviour and Reasoning Representation John Thangarajah Funded by: Industry Grant Project with DST Group (2017)
  • Team Tactics Specifications Methodology, John Thangarajah Funded by: Industry Grant Project with DST Group (2016/2017)
  • Modelling Team Behaviour for intelligent agent systems, John Thangarajah Funded by: DSI Grant (2016)
  • Introducing teaming to the intelligent Watch Dog (iWD) - John Thangarajah Funded by: DSI Grant together with Agent Oriented Software (2016)
  • Specification and Discovery of Team Tactical Behaviour - John Thangarajah Funded by: DSI Grant with DST Group (2016)
  • Demonstrate and Evaluate Tactical De- velopment Framework, John Thangarajah Funded by: Industry Grant Project with DST Group (2015-2016)
  • Intelligent Tutoring Environment - John Thangara- jah, Fabio Zambetta Funded by: Industry Grant Project with ACER (2015)
  •  Gamification of Retirement Planning  ($30K), Fabio Zam- betta, John Thangarajah Funded by: Industry Grant Project with ANZ (2015)
  • Tactical Simulation Elici- tation and Development, John Thangarajah Funded by: Industry Grant Project with DSTO (Defence project) (2014/2015)
  • Code Generation for Tactic Development Framework Tool - John Thangarajah Funded by:  Industry Grant Project with DSI (Defense Science Institute) (2014)
  • Tactic Development Framework Support Tool - John Thangarajah Funded by:  Industry Grant Project with DSI (Defense Science Institute) (2013-2014)
  • Modelling Tactics in BDI Agent Systems for Undersea Warfare Simulations - John Thangarajah Funded by:  Industry Grant Project with DSTO (Defence project) (2013)
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Public and media engagements

2021

2016

  • Interviewed on “The Project” (Channel 10, aired on March 16, 2016) with one of the Nao robots discussing their impact on society

2014

2013

2012

  • Interviewed for "New Angry Birds competition for Artificial Intelligence" (Angry Birds Challenge 2012), ABC Radio, December 05, 05/12/2012
  • Quoted in "Conversation calls time on call center staff" (Telstra Innovation Challenge 2011) , The Australian, Janury 24, 2012
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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.