Keynote speakers

July 1, 2024

Prof. Dr. Biswajeet Pradhan


Director - Centre for Advanced Modelling and Geospatial Information Systems (CAMGIS)
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & IT
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence for Enhanced Spatial Analysis of Natural Hazard Assessments


In the realm of natural hazard assessments within spatial domains, the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents a paradigm shift, revolutionizing the way we conceptualize, model, and interpret environmental risks. This keynote address illuminates the profound impact of AI technologies, particularly machine learning algorithms and data-driven approaches, in reshaping our understanding and prediction capabilities concerning natural disasters.

By assimilating and scrutinizing vast spatial datasets, AI-driven models offer unparalleled accuracy and efficiency, facilitating timely and precise hazard assessments. Real-time processing of geospatial information not only enables rapid predictions but also forms the cornerstone of proactive disaster management strategies. Furthermore, AI's capacity lies in its adeptness at deciphering intricate spatial patterns inherent to natural hazards, unraveling subtle cues and previously unnoticed correlations within the data fabric.

This keynote delves into how AI's nuanced interpretation, coupled with advanced algorithms, elevates hazard modeling, providing deeper insights into the spatial dynamics of environmental risks. By augmenting traditional methodologies and revealing hidden patterns, AI fosters comprehensive risk assessments, fostering informed decision-making processes. The fusion of AI and natural hazard assessments in spatial domains heralds a more resilient approach to disaster preparedness and response.

Join us in embracing this transformative era, where AI's sophisticated modeling techniques and precise spatial interpretations converge, heralding proactive and effective mitigation strategies amidst the ever-evolving landscape of environmental challenges.

Short Bio

Distinguished Professor Dr. Biswajeet Pradhan is an internationally established scientist in the field of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and image processing, complex modelling/geo-computing, machine learning and soft-computing applications, natural hazards and environmental modelling. He is the Director of the Centre for Advanced Modelling and Geospatial Information Systems (CAMGIS) at the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology, Sydney (Australia). He is listed as the World’s Most Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics Report for five consecutive years: 2006-2020 as one of the world’s most influential minds.

He ranked number one (1) in the field of "Geological & Geomatics Engineering" during the calendar year 2021-2023, according to the list published by Stanford University Researchers, USA. This list ranks the world's top 2% most highly cited researchers based on Scopus data. In 2018-2020, he has been awarded as World Class Professor by the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Indonesia. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship from Germany. Between 2015-2021, he served as “Ambassador Scientist” for Alexander Humboldt Foundation, Germany.

Professor Pradhan has received 58 awards since 2006 in recognition of his excellence in teaching, service and research. Out of his more than 850 articles (Google Scholar citation: 70,000, H-index: 129), more than 750 have been published in Science Citation Index (SCI/SCIE) technical journals. He has authored/co-authored ten books and thirteen book chapters.

July 2, 2024

Prof. Carl K. Chang


Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University, USA

Software Engineering Research in a New Situation


With the rise of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), epitomized by Large Language Models (LLMs), a profound shift has unfolded in software engineering research.
In this presentation, I will traverse my four-decade journey in software engineering research, focusing on situational awareness in the era of the Internet of Things (IoT).
I have witnessed the turbulence brought forth by the AI community that demands changes in our approaches. Meanwhile, owing to the pervasiveness of services computing, services became the first-class citizen in modern-day software engineering methodologies.

I argue that situational awareness must permeate the entire lifecycle to consistently deliver software services that align with the dynamic needs of users and the ever-evolving environments.
I will elucidate this argument by reviewing the Situ framework, offering a comprehensive illustration of my perspective. Furthermore, I will outline my vision regarding the formidable research challenges considering the rapidly shifting landscape dominated by an irresistible and profoundly disruptive generative AI tsunami.

Short Bio

Carl K. Chang is former department chair and Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Iowa State University. His research interests include requirements engineering, net-centric computing, situational software engineering and digital health. Chang is the 2004 President of the IEEE Computer Society. Previously he served as the Editor-in-Chief for IEEE Software (1991-1994), and as the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Computer, (2007-2010). He is the 2012 recipient of the Richard E. Merwin Medal from the IEEE Computer Society. Chang is a Life Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of AAAS, and a Life Member of the European Academy of Sciences (EurASc).

July 3, 2024

Prof. My Thai


University of Florida (UF) Research Foundation Professor

Associate Director of UF Nelms Institute for the Connected World

Interpretability and Privacy Preservation in Large Language Models (LLMs)


Large Language Models (LLMs) have transformed the AI landscape, captivating researchers and practitioners with their remarkable ability to generate human-like text and perform complex tasks. However, this transformative power comes with a set of critical challenges, particularly in the realms of interpretability and privacy preservation. In this keynote, we embark on an exploration of these pressing issues, shedding light on how LLMs operate, their limitations,
and the strategies we can employ to mitigate risks. We begin by examining the interpretability in LLMs, which often function as enigmatic “black boxes.” Their complex neural architectures make it challenging to understand how they arrive at specific outputs. This lack of transparency raises questions of trust and accountability. When deploying LLMs in real-world applications—whether for chatbots, content generation, or decision-making—it becomes crucial to demystify their decision paths.

We will use explainable AI (XAI) to offer faithful explanations, from the black-box to white-box models, and from feature-based to neuron circuits-based explanations. By visualizing attention mechanisms, feature importance, and saliency maps, we empower users to comprehend LLM predictions. XAI not only fosters trust but also encourages responsible utilization of LLMs.

We next turn our attention to one of the utmost concerns and challenges: data privacy. LLMs process vast amounts of data, raising risks of data leakage, model inversion, the right to be forgotten, and inadvertent exposure of sensitive information. Furthermore, the integration of LLMs into diverse applications also significantly brings these challenges to the next level.
This talk explores strategies to protect privacy, including differential privacy, federated learning, and data encryption.

Short Bio

My T. Thai is a University of Florida (UF) Research Foundation Professor, Associate Director of UF Nelms Institute for the Connected World, and a Fellow of IEEE and AAAI.
Dr. Thai is a leading authority who has done transformative research in Trustworthy AI and Optimization, especially for complex systems with applications to healthcare, social media, critical networking infrastructure, and cybersecurity. The results of her work have led to 7 books and 350+ publications in highly ranked international journals and conferences, including several best paper awards from the IEEE, ACM, and AAAI.

In responding to a world-wide call of responsible and safety AI, Dr. Thai is a pioneer in designing deep explanations for black-box ML models, while defending against explanation-guided attacks, evident by her Distinguished Papers Award at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference on AI, 2023. At the same year, she was also awarded an ACM Web Science Trust Test-of-Time award, for her landmark work on combating misinformation in social media. In 2022, she received an IEEE Big Data Security Women of Achievement Award.  In 2009, she was awarded the Young Investigator (YIP) from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and in 2010,
she won the NSF CAREER Award. She is presently the Editor-in-Chief of Springer Journal of Combinatorial Optimization, IET Blockchain Journal, and book series editor of Springer Optimization and Its Applications.