Data Driven


In 2017, Swinburne University of Technology launched five new Research Institutes to drive industry engaged, interdisciplinary research in specific sectors. Data Science is one of these Research Institutes, led by Prof Timos Sellis – it is focused on using data science to transform the way that businesses and governments operate.

Data is a common factor underlying the digital disruption sweeping the world, including in manufacturing, commerce and science. The outcomes of the Data Science Research Institute’s work have been similarly wide-ranging. A project on traffic analysis is combining complex data to improve traffic flow in the aftermath of car accidents. “We bring together data about the weather, where people go typically throughout the day, and from where they start, to their destination, to understand typical traffic patterns,” said Prof Sellis. Analysing this data, Swinburne researchers used algorithms to predict the effect of weather or a car accident on city traffic. Such predictions cannot currently be made by data-rich programs such as Google Maps, and are useful for the future consideration of governments and town planners.

Through the Institute, Swinburne researchers have also used machine learning, a burgeoning tool in which computers make predictions based on patterns detected in large amounts of data, to understand and quantify seemingly intangible concepts, such as the transfer of knowledge. The Institute has partnered with Swinburne’s Centre for Transformative Innovation to understand how knowledge flows from research to commercialisation. The work has piqued the interest of organisations such as IP Australia, the federal agency responsible for administering intellectual property rights.

Read more about the Data Science Institute and its work on page 12 of our Research Impact magazine: