Month: March 2017

PingFin 8 @ Malta – Closure & Thanks

It has been my pleasure and honour to chair the PingFin 8 workshop at Malta. I am pleased to inform you that we have ended the PingFin 8 workshop at Malta with great success. It has been a formidable 4-day experience and a real pleasure to share with a lot of talented people. I believe that all participants have learnt a lot and enjoyed themselves, we have also managed to complete design and implementation of 2 clearing house and 2 bank teams, had we had some more time, the other teams would have also finished.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of persons who were an integral part of this workshop, starting with Odisee University for having us as their partner and for coordinating this event at an international level. Thank you, Yvan Rooseleer and Stefaan Debrabandere for your invaluable time and support. This year, we have had a number of guests to deliver the professional side of SEPA, namely Mr Joseph Mallia and Mr Emerson Amaira from Central Bank of Malta, Mr David Grech and Mr Aaran Calafato from MITA.

This year, MITA has increased its support at different levels, thanks to: Mr Carm Cachia and Ms Bernardette Zerafa from eSkills Malta Foundation for their financial support; thanks to Mr Alexander Borg, Ms Deborah Maria Schiavone and Ms Tea Vrcic from MITA Innovation Hub for the venue, refreshments, laptops, service and support.

This is a testament that MCAST puts the student experience at the forefront and I would like to thank: the Principal & CEO, Mr Stephen Cachia, IICT Director Mr Conrad Vassallo and IICT Deputies Mr Mark Anthony Farrugia and Mr Jean Paul Tabone; IICT admin team Ms Stefania Aquilina, Ms Cher Tonna, Ms Nadia Schembri and Ms Sephora Said. I would like to thank my colleagues from my heart for their invaluable support, I would not have been able to do this without their help: Mr Alan Gatt, Mr Luke Vella Critien and Mr Robert Abela.

We are really glad to have hosted this event and hope that MCAST represented the Maltese culture and personality with our foreign visitors. It has been a real pleasure having you: Alpay Topalka, Ayoub Houari, Azeddine El Hammouchi, Berton Lutina Mulamba, Mohamed Lammou, Redouan Belguenani, Said Hadj, Walid Haouriqui and Yassine Azouagh.

My last, but not least, thanks go to the local students who have shown great dedication and respect to the visiting students, the hosts, the guests and staff. You have made MCAST proud and made a very positive name for yourself. Well done and thank you: Alistair Azzopardi, Andre Grech, Damian Fenech, Dylan Fenech, Francesca Micallef, Geordey Gatt, Jamie Lee Dingli Sacco, Jean-Paul Caruana, Kurt Montanaro, Luke Benjamin Cassar, Martin Meli, Michael Vella, Sigmond Gatt and Zack Gatt.

M.Sc. Research

In October 2013 I started my M.Sc. in Business Intelligence Systems and Data Mining studies at De Montfort University, and have graduated in July 2016. In this post, I would like to document my final research project: Continuous Passive User Authentication via Typing Heat Maps, part of which has been presented at the ICCE-Berlin 2016 Conference and published as an IEEE Paper.

My research was in Continuous Passive User Authentication via Typing Heat Maps, under the mentorship of Dr. Samad Ahmadi. The aim of this research was to identify whether it is possible to classify the owner of a smartphone via their typing pattern using keystroke dynamics (time interval digraphs) and touch data (position, surface area, slide distance and slide velocity) whilst typing normal text. The rationale for this research was that smartphones are the most commonly used personal devices loaded with personal, corporate and billing data. Yet, sharing practices are very common amongst family members, colleagues and friends which could lead to undesired situations such as children conceding to in-app purchases.

So first I set out to identify a set of terms that a user can type. I came across the work of the late Adam Kilgariff who created a lemmatized list based off from the British National Corpus. This process is documented in this video.

Next, I created a custom mobile keyboard and app which was used to gather a number of keystrokes from 32 different users. This led to the generation of around 32K digraph events. A walkthrough of the mobile app is found in this video. This app was used on two identify smartphones, Samsung S5, and given to 32 different individuals in supervised sessions such as what is documented in the following 3 videos: part 01, part 02, part 03.


The data was then migrated to a PC, cleaned and migrated to a DB. Some exploratory analysis was done then a Multi-Layer Perceptron Neural Network was trained for the classification. The research yielded an accuracy of 96% and a False Alarm Rate of 6% which compares very well with other research. For more detail, you can check my VIVA presentation in this video.


Kiso-Suzuki 9651

My first guitar was a second-hand Kiso-Suzuki. Not much is known, other than that it was a company from Japan that use to do Martin replicas until they were faced with lawsuits.

My research led me to believe that it is made of ash wood, manufactured in 1979 and has a 2 5/8 inch saddle (only 1 store on eBay has them). The neck has a wonderful feel, most probably solid rosewood and the guitar is very light (nothing else is solid). Surprisingly with a truss rod for calibration.

Did some modifications since it only had 1 strap pin which I replaced with a Schaller strap lock and fitted a second on the neck.

Information about:

Theme: Overlay by Kaira