Researcher

Associate Professor Kathryn Elizabeth Kasmarik

Biography

Kathryn Kasmarik is an associate professor in information technology at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW Canberra). She completed a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Sydney, including a study exchange at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in 2002. She completed a PhD in computer science through...view more

Kathryn Kasmarik is an associate professor in information technology at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy (UNSW Canberra). She completed a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Sydney, including a study exchange at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in 2002. She completed a PhD in computer science through the National ICT Australia and the University of Sydney in 2007. She moved to UNSW Canberra in 2008.

Research Interests

Kathryn's research interests lie in the field of autonomous mental development for machines (specifically computers). Research in autonomous mental development uses principles of cognitive and developmental sciences to build artificial systems capable of ontogenetic development. Such systems initially have little or no domain-specific knowledge or skills in their "infant" stage, but are equipped with generic reasoning mechanisms that permit them to acquire such knowledge and skills through interaction with their environment as they mature to an "adult" stage. Kathryn's research speciality within this domain is the development, use and evaluation of computational models of motivation.

Kathryn has contributed to the theoretical development of computational motivation in reinforcement learning, particle swarm optimisation and game theoretic settings. Applications of Kathryn's research include the control of believable digital characters in online games, intelligent sensed environments, developmental robots, anomaly detection, cyber-security and creative decision making.

Kathryn has worked as a computer programmer in the financial services industry, as an intern in digital image processing and as a research assistant at the Key Centre for Design Computing and Cognition at the University of Sydney. Her techical skills include Java and MATLAB programming, Android application development, artificial neural networks, reinforcement learning, game theory and swarm intelligence algorithms.

Publications

Kathryn has over 80 publications including two books. She has published as both Kathryn Kasmarik and Kathryn Merrick. Click the links below to view Kathryn's

Grants

Kathryn has been awarded over $1.2 million in competitive internal and external grants. Sources include the Australian Research Council, Defence Science and Technology Group, Australian Centre for Cyber Security, the NSF and EUCogII.

External

Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Barlow, M., Garratt., M., Merrick, K., (2018-19) Autonomous Coordination Policies in Ground-Air Unmanned Systems Interaction, AOARD, $54,000.

Merrick, K., O'Byrne, S., Wilson, K., Boyson, T., Ray, T., Leu, G., Do, Q (2017-18) IEEE YoWIENet ACT, Young Women in Engineering Network, $44,730, IEEE New Initiative Seed Grant.

Barlow, S., Hunjet, R., Pourbeik, P., Merrick, K., Tang, J., Lakshika, K. (2017) Trust in human-machine teaming through machine education: a skill-based agent design, $70,000, DST-G, Competitive Evaluation Research Agreement.

Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Barlow, M., Garratt, M., Merrick, K., Leu, G., Lakshika, E. (2016) Local State Scoring Relative to Global Goals for Self-organising Unmanned Systems in Contested RF Environments, $50,000, Defence Science and Technology Group Collaborative Project.

Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Barlow, M., Garratt, M., Merrick, K. (2016-19) Trusted Human-Autonomy Teaming in Teleoperations, Defence Science and Technology Group Human Performance Research Network (HPRnet), $447,980 over 4 years.

Abbass, H., Merrick, K., Tan, K. C., Bezerianos, A., (2016-20) User-task co-adaptation for effective interactive simulation environments, ARC DP, $560,000 over 5 years 

Siddique N., Rano, I., Merrick, K., (2014-19) Motivated Reinforcement Learning in Robots. University of Ulster, Faculty of Computing and Engineering, PhD Scholarship, $75,000 over 6 years.

Merrick, K., Debie, E.: (2011-12) Extending the Data Mining Capabilities of Learning Classifier Systems to High-Dimensional Search Spaces and Limited Training Data, National Computational Infrastructure Start-up Grant (Supercomputer time allocation)

Merrick, K.: (2009) Curious Characters: From Virtual Worlds to Sentient Homes, EuCogII Travel Grant, International Workshop on Intrinsically Motivated, Cumulative Learning, Versatile Robots [Invited speaker], $3,000.

Maher, M.L., Merrick, K., Saunders, R.: (2008) Achieving Creative Behaviour Using Curious Learning Agents, National Science Foundation Travel Grant, AAAI Symposium on Creative Intelligent Systems, $2,000.

Internal

Merrick, K.: (2017) Achievement, affiliation and power: computational motivation for game-playing agents, Vice-Chancellor's Childcare Support Fund for Women Researchers at UNSW, $1,740.

Tang, J., Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Barlow, M Garratt, M., Kasmarik, K., (2017) UNSW Canberra Distributed Simulation Facility, Major Infrastructure Big Bid, $102, 211.

Garratt, M., Anavatti, S., Abbass, H., Merrick, K., Barlow, M., (2017) VICON Vero Cameras, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Minor Equipment Grant, $18,550.

Ding, L., Prasad, D., Peterson, H., Merrick, K., Abbass, H., Garratt, M., Anavatti, S, (2017) Sustainable Smart Cities, Faculty of Built Envionment (UNSW Sydney) Faculty Research Grant, $12,000.

Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Arachchilage, N., Barlow, M., Garratt, M., Gulrez, T., Hu, J., Jovanoski, Z., Kasmarik, K., Lakshika, E., Leu, G., Niven, R., O'Neill, B., Pickering, M., Sarker, M., Sarker, R., Sidhu, H., Sidhu, L., Shafi, K., Towers, I., Tang, J., (2016) Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative, $42,200

Kasmarik, K.: (2016) Using Game Theory with Intrinsic Motivation to Examine Anti-Hacking Policies for Autonomous Systems, Vice-Chancellor's Childcare Support Fund for Women Researchers at UNSW, $2,000.

Barlow, M., Garratt, M., Abbass, H., Merrick, K.,  Anavatti, S.: (2016) VICON Partitioning and Virtual Reality Capability, School of Engineering and IT Big Bidding Initiative, $11,000.

Garratt, M., Pickering, M., Barlow, M., Abbass, H., Anavatti, S., Pota, H., Merrick, K.: (2015) Large Scale Motion Capture System, Major Research Equipment and Infrastructure Initiative, $29,292.

Merrick, K., Shafi, K., Hu, J.: (2015) A game theoretic approach to modelling the effects of intrinsic motivation on decision-making in information warfare scenarios, Australian Centre for Cyber Security, Competitive Internal Grant, $55,000.

Merrick, K., (2014) Interaction between audio and visual signals on perception of 3D virtual materials, School of Engineering and Information Technology, Minor Equipment Grant, $2,000.

Merrick, K., Yu, S., Hu, J.: (2012) Using Computational Models of Creativity as a Machine Learning Guide for Predicting Zero-Day Attacks on Computer Systems and Networks, Defence Related Research Funding Scheme, Competitive Internal Grant, $17,000.

Merrick, K., Gu, N., Barlow, M.: (2011) Dynamic Content Generation of Virtual Worlds for Regional Australian Communities, UNSW@ADFA Research Training Scholarship, Competitive Internal Grant, $72,180 over 3 years.

Merrick, K., Shafi, K.: (2011) Agent-based game-theoretic models of human motivation for natural resource management, UNSW@ADFA Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme, Competitive Internal Grant, $24,620.

Merrick, K., Shafi, K.: (2010) Modelling Curious Agents as an Anomaly Detection Approach to Network Intrusion Detection, UNSW@ADFA Early Career Researcher Grant Scheme, Competitive Internal Grant, $32,500.

Merrick, K.: (2010) Learning models for curious, reconfigurable robots, UNSW@ADFA Silverstar Grant, $20,000.

Merrick, K., Gu, N., Barlow, M., (2010) Dynamic content generation for adaptive virtual worlds, UNSW@ADFA Silverstar Grant, $20,000.

Merrick, K.: (2009) Evaluating Intrinsically Motivated Robots using Affordances and Point-Cloud Matrices, Vice-Chancellor's Childcare Support Fund for Women Researchers at UNSW, $2,000.

Merrick, K., Ougrinovski, V.: (2009) Modelling Motivation for Coordination in Robot Platoons, UNSW@ADFA Research Training Scholarship, Competitive Internal Grant, $64,881 over 3 years.

Merrick, K.: (2008) Modelling Motivation for Adaptive, Learning Robots, UNSW@ADFA Rector's Start-Up Grant, $10,000.

Projects

Kathryn's current projects include user-task co-adaptation, human-autonomy teaming and motivated reinforcement learning. 

Trusted Autonomy

This is a research focus area in the School of Engineering and IT at UNSW Canberra.

User-Task Co-Adaptation for Effective Interactive Simulation Environments

This is an ARC funded project

Human Performance Research Network (HPRNet)

The Trusted Autonomy group at UNSW Canberra will form a node in the new HPRNet studying psychological methods for improving mission effectiveness in human-machine teams.

Local State Scoring Relative to Global Goals for Self-Organising Unmanned Systems in Contested RF Environments

This is a DST-G funded project.

Professional Services

Kathryn has served as a reviewer for journals, conference and funding agencies both locally and internationally. She is currently serving as the chair of the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society's Technical Committee on Cognitive and Developmental Systems.  

Associate and Guest Editor Roles

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, 2016-17

Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 2014-2015

Guest Editor, Future Internet, Special Issue on Cyber Warfare, 2015

Organising Committees

Chair, UNSW Canberra Young Women in Engineering (YoWIE) Summer School, 2017

Special Session Chair, Special Session on Computational Models of Motivation for Trusted Autonomyat the IEEE Symposium on computational Intelligence for Human-like Intelligence, Athens, Greece, 2016.

Finance/Registration Chair, The 20th Asia Pacific Symposium on Intelligent and Evolutionary Systems, Canberra, Australia, 2016.

Organising Chair, The 28th Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Canberra Australia, 2015.

Special Session Organising Committee, Grounded Cognition, Creativity and Motivated Learning, at the IEEE Symposium on computational Intelligence for Human-like Intelligence, Orlando, Florida, 2014.

Registration Chair, IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Brisbane, Australia, 2012

Program Committees

American Psychology Association Technology, Mind and Society Conference, 2018.

The 30th Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2017.

The Eighth International Conference on Advanced Cognitive Technologies and Applications, COGNITIVE 2016

International High-Performance Built Environments Conference: Sustainable Built Environments (SBE 2016), Sydney, 2016

International Conference on Machine Learning Applications, ICMLA 2015

International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2013.

Special Session on Computational Intelligence for Security, Surveillance and Defense (CISSD) at the 2012 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Brisbane, Australia, 10-15 June.

The International Conference on Mobile, Ubiquitous Computing, Systems, Services and Technologies, UBICOMM 2011, 2014, 2015.

The 24th Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI-11), Australia, 2011

International Symposium on Artificial Life and Robotics, 2011-2013

International Symposium on Computational Models for Life Sciences, 2011.

The 23rd Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI-10), Adelaide, Australia, 2010

The Australasian Workshop on Computational Creativity - Melbourne, Australia, 2009

The 22nd Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI-09), Melbourne, Australia, 2009

The Fourth Australian Conference on Artificial Life (ACAL'09), Melbourne, Australia, 2009.

ACM International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE 2009), Athens, Greece, 2009

The Second IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence for Security and Defense Applications, Ottawa, Canada, 8-10 July, 2009.

International Symposium on Computational Models for Life Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2009.

The Seventh International Conference on Simulated Evolution And Learning (SEAL'08), Melbourne, Australia, 2008

The 21st Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI-08), Auckland, New Zealand, 2008

Reviewer: Conferences

International Conference on Machine Learning Applications, 2014, 2015

IEEE Symposium Series in Computational Intelligence, 2011

IEEE International Conference on Development and Learning (ICDL 2010), An Arbor, Michigan, 2010

ACM International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE 2008), Yokohama, Japan, 2008

The Third International Conference on Intelligent Sensors, Sensor Networks and Information Processing, Melbourne, Australia, 2007

The Sixth International Roundtable Conference on Computational and Cognitive Models of Creative Design, Heron Island, Australia, 2005

Reviewer: Journals

Springer, Computing Journal, 2017

Child Development Perspectives, 2017

Connection Science, 2015

IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development, 2013

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning, 2013-2017

ACM Computing Surveys, 2012

IEEE Transactions on Education, 2011, 2017

Journal of Artificial Life and Robotics, 2011-2012

Information Technology in Construction, Special Issue on eLearning, 2011

ACM Computers in Entertainment, Board of Reviewers, 2011

IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine, 2010

Information Technology in Construction, Special Issue on Use of Gaming and Virtual World Technology in AEC, 2010

Automation in Construction, 2010

IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 2010-2012, 2016

Adaptive Behaviour, 2010

Learning, Media and Technology incorporating Education, Communication and Information: Special Issue on Learning in Virtual Worlds, 2009

IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine: Special Issue on Computational Intelligence in Education, 2008.

Assessor/Reviewer: Grants

Australian Research Council (ARC) - Discovery Projects 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Australian Research Council (ARC) - Discovery Early Career Research Projects 2015, 2016

Australian Research Council (ARC) - Linkage Projects 2015, 2017

Australian Research Council (ARC) - Future Fellowships 2016

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Council of the Humanities - Creative Industries Stream 2014

Reviewer: Books

Baldassarre G., Mirolli, M., (Eds): Intrinsically Motivated Learning Systems, (2011), Springer.

Gregory, S., Lee, M., Dalgarno, B., Tynan, B. (Eds): Virtual Worlds in Online and Distance Education (2011), Athabasca University Press.

Professional Service

IEEE Technical Activities Committee (Member, 2017)

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Cognitive and Developmental Systems Technical Committee (Chair, 2017)

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society ACT Chapter (Secretary, 2015-2016; Chair 2017)

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Emerging Technologies Technical Committee (2014)

IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, Autonomous Mental Development Technical Committee (2012-2014)

IEEE Sub-committee for Women in Computational Intelligence (2011, 2015-17)

Research Students

Kathryn has supervised PhD, Masters, Honours and Chief of Defence Force (CDF) projects. Below are examples of ongoing and completed projects supervised over the past eight years. For information about prospective projects, contact Kathryn Kasmarik

Scholarship Opportunities

I am on the supervisory team for an upcoming Scientia Scholarship opportunity. Click here for details. For other scholarship opportunities (both local and international students), click here.

Current Students

Shuo Yang, (supervisor Dr Michael Barlow), PhD Candidate (2017-)

Mohammad Hassanin (co-supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass), PhD Candidate (2017-)

Dulakshi Wannigamage (supervisor Dr Michael Barlow), PhD Candidate (2017-)

Dilni Arachchige (supervisor Dr Michael Barlow) PhD Candidate (2017-)

Md Mohiuddin Khan (co-supervisor Dr Michael Barlow), PhD Candidate (2016-)

Ismail Ali (supervisor Dr Daryl Essam), PhD candidate (2016-)

Nasser Arghavani (supervisor Dr Daoyi Dong, co-supervisor Prof Jiankun Hu), PhD candidate (2017-)

Tung Nguyen (supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass) Deep learning models to assess human’s ability to complete a task, Masters Candidate (2016-)

Sherif Abdelfattah (co-supervisor Prof Jiankun Hu) Trust Aware Autonomous Systems Using Deep Learning, PhD Candidate (2015-)

Paresh Dhakan (supervisors Dr Nazmul Siddique (University of Ulster, UK), Dr Inaki Rano (University of Ulster, UK)), Motivated Reinforcement Learning for Robots, PhD Candidate.

Van Bich, (supervisor A/Prof Chris Lokan) Software quality metrics, PhD Candidate (2015-)

Xuejie Liu, (co-supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass), Using EEG to Model Player Motive Profiles in Computer Games, PhD Candidate, (2014-)

Nadia Govier (co-supervisor Dr Michael Hush) 4th Year Electrical Engineer (2018)

Past Students

2017

Sarah Bowley, Controlling a self-motivated swarm using a handheld device, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project.

John Harvey, (supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass) Predicting Swarming Behaviour Using Chaos Measures, PhD (2012-2017).

Jacob Hobbs, Computational Models of Power Motivation for Directed Flocking, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project

Matthew Boorman, Speech-based Human-Swarm Interaction, 4th Year Electrical Engineering Project.

Zhaoyang Yang, (co-supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass), Deep Reinforcement Learning for Continuous Action Control, Master of Philosophy (2016-17)

2016

Ruby Brady-Welsh, Motivated Reinforcement Learning in Neural Networks, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project 

Nadia Govier, Reinforcement Learning: Establishing the Suitability of Linear and Non-linear Function Approximation Algorithms, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project.

2015

Medria Hardhienata (co-supervisor A/Prof Valeri Ougrinovski), Task Allocation in Multiagent Systems using Models of Motivation and Leadership, PhD (2010-2015). 

Adam Klyne, Self-Motivated Task Allocation Algorithms, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project. The image dataset used in this project can be found here. The documentation for the dataset can be found here. The dataset is free to download, please reference Klyne, A., Merrick, K., (2015) Task Allocation Using Particle Swarm Optimisation and Anomaly Detection to Generate a Dynamic Fitness Function, Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence.

Ben Quinton, A methodology for applying motivated agents to non-player characters in games, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

2014

Essam Debie (co-supervisors Dr Kamran Shafi, Dr Chris Lokan), Extending the Data Mining Capabilities of Learning Classifier Systems to High-Dimensional Search Spaces and Limited Training Data,  PhD (2011-2014). Essam is now a Lecturer in the Faculty of Computers and Informatics, Zagazig University, Egypt.

Hafsa Ismail, (co-supervisor Dr Michael Barlow), A Neural Network Framework for Motivating Different Task Types in Reinforcement Learning  Masters by Research (2011-2014). Hafsa is now a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra.

Bing Wang, (joint-supervisor Prof Hussein Abbass), Autonomous Hypothesis Generation for Knowledge Discovery in Continuous Domains PhD (2011-2014). Bing is now a post doctoral researcher at the Institute of Acoustics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Michele Wilson, (co-supervisor Dr Jonathon Legg (DSTO)), Anomaly detection for surveillence track data, Masters of Defence Operations Research, Minor Thesis (2014).

2012

Nick Fraser (co-supervisor Dr Michael Barlow), Models of Creativity for Generating Creative Artefacts using Developmental Robots, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project.

2011

Les Kosowski (co-supervisor Brandon Pincombe (DSTO)), An Analysis of Infantry Combat using System Dynamics and the Army as a System Framework, Masters of Defence Operations Research, Minor Thesis (with High Distinction) (2011).

Benjamin Graham, Developing a Curious Social Force Robot for Human-Robot Interactions, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

Benjamin Graham, Improving Coordination in Multi-Agent Systems Using Models of Motivation, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

Daniel Myers, Motivated Robots Playing Mixed-Motive Games, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

Fred Rainbird, Self-Motivated Software Architectures for Reconfigurable Robots, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

2010

Muhammad Niazi (co-supervisor Dr Kamran Shafi), Masters by Research Candidate (2010-)

Gerard Martin, Using Motivation to Control a Search and Rescue Robot, Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

2009

Tom Scully, Modelling Affordances for the Control and Evaluation of Intrinsically Motivated Robots, 2nd Year CDF Project. Now a PhD candidate at UNSW Canberra.

Loyd Ocampo, Curious Mechanical Animals , Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project.

Steve Witzand (supervisor A/Prof Valeri Ougrinovski), Coordinated Lego Segways, Electrical Engineering 4th Year Project (Awarded Honours I). Final video montage.

Adam Goossens, Creative Agent Societies for Non-Player Characters in Virtual Worlds, Computer Science, CDF 3rd Year Project.

2008

Adam Goossens, Societies of Motivated Agents for Non-Player Characters in Virtual Worlds, Computer Science CDF 2nd Year Project.

Dayne Schmidt, Robotic Applications for a Curious Place , Electrical Engineering CDF 2nd Year Project

Teaching Experience

Kathryn has taught at both undergraduate and masters levels. She is currently the Coordinator for Learning and Teaching Development for the Schools of Engineering and IT and Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences.

School of Engineering and IT, UNSW Canberra

ZEIT 2103: Data Structures and Representation (2010-16)

This course develops awareness and practical skills related to the use of common data structures and algorithms. Topics covered include object-oriented design, data structures, databases, file storage, search and sorting algorithms.

ZEIT 2301: Solution Design (2011-16)

This course builds analytical and design skills within the information systems domain. Students learn to use different modelling tools to capture functional, structural and behavioural aspects of systems. Students participate in design studios and build a portfolio of designs as well as implementing a database enabled Android App.

School of Information Technologies and Electrical Engineering, UNSW@ADFA

ZITE 1001: Computer Tools for Engineers (2008-09)

This unit of study develops an awareness of the elements of a computing system and broadly how a computer works. It provides an introductory knowledge of useful computing packages; an introductory knowledge of the structured approach to problem solving using a computer; a working familiarity with the engineering language MATLAB, and the ability to employ it for problem solving.A puzzle-based learning methodology is employed in teaching.

ZITE 1302: Information Systems in Organisations (2008)

This unit of study extends introduction to information systems by looking at the role of information systems in organisations, information systems applications, security, ethical and management issues.

Research Methods Course and Optimisation Spring School (Part of the 2008 offerings)

Supporting material from the Research Methods course and 2008 Spring School on Optimisation, Learning and Complexity. These courses are for postgraduate students at UNSW@ADFA.

Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, University of Sydney

DESC 9180: Designing Virtual Worlds (2007)

The aim of this unit of study is to introduce the basic techniques for designing and building virtual worlds. The focus is on the connection between the human activities supported by the virtual world and the architecture for supporting interactive, functional, multi-user environments.

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Location

Building 15 Room 108
School of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, PO Box 7916, Canberra BC ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA

Contact

+61 2 6268 8023
+61 2 6268 8443

Publications

by Associate Professor Kathryn Elizabeth Kasmarik

Research Activities

Summary

This project aims at creating novel adaptive algorithms to automatically discover those user and task features that vary together to smartly adapt users and simulation tasks to work together harmoniously, seamlessly and effectively. By bringing the user naturally inside the simulation as a task's component, users can improve their experience while task performance is simultaneously optimized. Intended scientific outcomes include novel dynamic user-task profiling algorithms, new adaptive algorithms for user-task co-adaptation, and high impact…