David Dowe


  • Scholarship available: New 2012 PhD scholarship on MML (computer science, machine learning, statistics): ``Rating and ranking sports players and teams using Minimum Message Length'' (and here) [and here, and here, and here].

  • Honours projects: D. Dowe 2012 Honours research projects.

  • Ray Solomonoff (1926-2009) 85th memorial conference (Wedn 30 Nov - Fri 2 Dec 2011), 3rd Call for Papers, 2nd Call for Papers, 1st Call for Papers.

  • I worked primarily with Prof. Chris Wallace - see, e.g., "Foreword re C. S. Wallace", Computer Journal, Vol. 51, No. 5 (Sept. 2008) [Christopher Stewart WALLACE (1933-2004) memorial special issue], pp523-560 (and here).
    In Chris Wallace (1933-2004)'s posthumous ``Statistical and Inductive Inference by Minimum Message Length'' (2005),
  • (a) I am given special mention in the preface on page vi,
  • (b) I am the only living person mentioned in the table of contents (also here: pp ix-xv, p ix, pp x-xv), where my name appears twice,
  • (c) I am the living person whose name and work are most mentioned in the index (also here),
  • (d) other than Chris Wallace himself, (in the reference list [and here]) I am the most cited author (Wallace is cited 13 times, I am cited 7 times, nextmost is 4).

  • Publications: most of my work and publications are in the theory and applications of the (information-theoretic) Minimum Message Length (MML) principle of statistical and inductive inference and machine learning (and econometrics and "knowledge discovery" and "data mining"), dating back to Wallace and Boulton (1968). MML and closely related methods (see also Minimum Description Length [MDL]) have much to say about the philosophy of science, philosophy of inference, the "Turing test", philosophy of mind and intelligence; and are useful in medicine and many other fields.

  • I was Program Chair of the Information, Statistics and Induction in Science (ISIS) conference, held in Melbourne, Australia on 20-23 August 1996; attended by R. J. Solomonoff (see also obituary: online and scanned), C. S. Wallace, J. J. Rissanen and others. (MML relates to the work of these people and Greg Chaitin, to the field variously known as Kolmogorov complexity or algorithmic information theory and to Claude Shannon (1916-2001)'s work on information theory - see. e.g., "Minimum Message Length and Kolmogorov complexity".)

  • I was an invited speaker at the iAstro Workshop and MC Meeting (Compliance and Conformity, Exception and Anomaly, in Science and Engineering), London, England, U.K., 8-9 July 2005.

  • Chris Wallace and I are authors of the Snob program for unsupervised clustering and mixture modelling, whose documentation you are invited to look at. Snob does Minimum Message Length (MML) mixture modelling of Gaussian, discrete multi-state (Bernoulli or categorical), Poisson and von Mises circular distributions. Further details on Snob are given here. The Snob software is available - subject to conditions - for private, academic use. One of many other areas I have published in includes using MML to make generalised Bayesian networks (or generalised MML Bayes nets, or generalised MML Bayesian nets, or generalised MML Bayesian networks) (or generalised directed graphical models, or generalised MML directed graphical models) with a mix of both continuous and discrete variables (Comley and Dowe, 2003) (Comley and Dowe, 2005).
    (Please see my publications to find out other MML-related things that I get up to.)

  • I am seminar co-ordinator for the departmental Minimum Message Length (MML) Research group meetings.
  • Introductory material that I have written on MML includes Wallace and Dowe (1993), "MML estimation of the von Mises concentration parameter", TR #93/193, Dept of Comp Sci, Monash. Other material includes Wallace and Dowe (1999a), "Minimum Message Length and Kolmogorov complexity", Comp. J., Vol 42, No. 4, pp270-283 [which is the Computer Journal's most downloaded ``full text as .pdf'' article - see, e.g., here].
    See also my Monash University CSSE Hons. course CSE455 Learning and Prediction II: MML Data Mining, on MML.

    Publications and academic interests
    My publications are listed here (fairly up-to-date) and here, and a selected list of some of my publications since 1992 is given here -- requestable in printed hard copy from either [more reliable] writing a letter to my ``snail mail'' postal address (see above) or [perhaps less reliable] e-mail to enquiries At cs.monash.edu.au. And a brief, sketchy outline of some of my academic interests is here (was here).

    Program committees

  • Previous program committees I have served on are: Information, Statistics and Induction in Science (ISIS, 1996) (as Program Chair and General Chair), 8th Australian Joint Conf. on Artif. Intell. (1995), 4th Pacific Rim Conf. on Artif. Intell. (also 9th Austr. Joint Conf. on AI) (1996), the 1st Pacific-Asia Conf. on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD'97), IDA-97, 5th World Meeting, International Soc. for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA-97) and the 10th Australian Joint Conf. on Artif. Intell. (and tutes) (1997). I also co-chaired a track on Complexity and information-theoretic approaches to biology for the 3rd Pacific Symposium on BioComputing (PSB-3), Hawaii, Jan. 1998; and I was on the Program Committee for the 6th Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB '98), the 4th International Colloquium on Grammatical Inference (ICGI-98) and the 7th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (Uncertainty99). I have also co-chaired a track on Information-theoretic approaches to biology (with review form) with Dr. Klaus Prank for the 4th Pacific Symposium on BioComputing (PSB99), Hawaii, Jan. 1999 (with my tutorial and panel, other tutorials and accepted papers); and I was on the Program Committee for the 3rd Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD-99) and PKDD'99 (3rd Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases). Other Program Committees I have been on include: 8th International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, the International Symposium on Adaptive Systems (La Habana, Cuba), the 5th Pacific-Asia Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (PAKDD-01), ICML 2002 (as area chair, and my ICML 2002 tutorial notes), PRICAI-02 and ICML 2003.

    Visitors : Dr Murray Jorgensen, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand; Jan - Mar 1999, Jun 2000, Nov 2000, etc.
    Prof. Geoff McLachlan, Univ. of Qld., Nov 2000.

    MML tutorials and finding out more about MML
    in Brisbane, Australia on 16th August '98.
    Past tutorials were given at AI'97, and at ANLPF in 1998, and an Information theory in biology tutorial at PSB99; and a tutorial at AI'99 on 6 December 1999 in Sydney; and at PRICAI'2000; and most recently my ICML'2002 tutorial on 9 July 2002 at ICML'2002. See also CSC423 Learning and Prediction below.

    Consulting
    Consulting, RUUG and RUUG Consulting.

    Tertiary undergraduate (1st, 2nd and 3rd Yr), 4th Yr (Hons) and postgraduate students
    First Year CS: I was and am now again first year CS co-ordinator. Fees advice for 2001-2002 summer semester.

  • Third Year CS: I am again third year co-ordinator. Link to CSE3301: Third Year Project.

  • My 2006 teaching includes CSE455 Minimum Message Length [which is the Comp Sci & SE 4th Year Hons. course on on Minimum Message Length (MML)].
    Dr David Dowe's consultation times: Fridays at 4pm in Bldg 25 straight after the lecture.


  • Please contact me if interested in my 2005 Hons. projects; other 2005 student projects.
  • My postgraduate students are : Josh Comley, Dean McKenzie, both jointly or associately supervised by Dr Lloyd Allison; and Greg Collie; and Lara Kornienko and Suzie Molloy, jointly supervised with Dr David Albrecht; and Peter Tan and Adrian Bickerstaffe.
    Some other possible Master's and Ph.D. postgrad. projects are given here, but others are definitely possible.
  • My 2002 Hons. students included Ryan Baird, Andrew Ruan and Andy Serelis.
  • My 2001 Hons. students include Lara Kornienko (co-supervised with Dr David Albrecht), Peter Jing Tan and Ryan Baird.
  • My 2000 Hons. students included Edmund Lam (MML), Scott Needham (MML and Ockham's razor), and Richard Wallbrink (chess- and game-player behaviour).
  • My 1999 Hons. students included Lachlan Champion, Joshua Comley, (with Alan Dorin) Terry Lee, and Cuong Ta.
  • My 1997 Hons. student projects were on :
    MML factor analysis in mixture modelling (& Snob) with R. Edwards,
    (co-supervised with G. Farr) on MML inductive inference of game-player behaviour with A. Jansen, (co-supervised with G. Farr and A.J. Hurst) on probabilistic prediction of football with M. Doran, and (co-supervised with K.B. Korb, who turned up to a few meetings) on MML Forecasting of Financial Markets with A. Pan.
  • Past teaching and past students.
  • Undergraduate subject, Honours (project) and Postgraduate Course Information.

    Secondary students
    I am a member of the Australian Informatics Olympiad committee.
    Probabilistic football-tipping competition (and outline of probabilistic prediction), free with prizes.
    Monash Open Day and other School Liaison Activities.

    Other links - links to pages on:

  • Minimum message length (MML) [compare with AIC or with MDL],
  • Chris Wallace (1933-2004) (developer of MML in 1968),
  • Wallace, C.S. (2005) [posthumous] Book: Statistical and Inductive Inference by Minimum Message Length, Springer (Series: Information Science and Statistics), 2005, XVI, 432 pp., 22 illus., Hardcover, ISBN: 0-387-23795-X. (Link to table of contents, chapter headings and more.)
  • Wallace, C.S. (with D.L. Dowe), "Minimum Message Length and Kolmogorov complexity", Comp. J., Vol 42, No. 4 (1999a), pp270-283 [which is the Computer Journal's most downloaded ``full text as .pdf'' article - see, e.g., here; and which is also Chris Wallace's most cited work which is co-authored by a still active MML researcher]
  • Wallace and Dowe (1999b), Wallace and Dowe (1999c), and other publications by C. S. Wallace and by D.L. Dowe (on, e.g., MML decision trees, MML decision graphs, MML and generalised hybrid Bayes nets, MML SVM, etc.)
  • Bayesian belief networks,
  • clustering and mixture modelling,
  • comparisons between MML and the subsequent MDL principle,
  • data repositories,
  • decision trees,
  • David Dowe publications,
  • Occam's razor (Ockham's razor),
  • Snob (program for MML clustering and mixture modelling, MML finite mixture models),
  • (econometric) time series using MML,
  • medical research,
  • a probabilistic sports prediction competition (and further reading on probabilistic scoring),
  • chess and game theory research;
  • some useful links, TheHungerSite, TheRainforestSite, "do-goody"/"do-goody stuff, improving the world and saving the planet";
  • CSSE Clayton seminars; an internal link, FAQs and semester dates;
  • David Dowe's computer footy tips were in Friday's The Australian, starting Sat. 28th March 1998 through till the end of 2000.

  • Please e-mail me if you would like to know more.
  • This page, http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~dld, was last updated no earlier than 23rd July 1998.

    Copyright David L. Dowe, Monash University, Australia, 1995, 23 Apr 1998, 23 July 1998, etc.
    Copying is not permitted without expressed permission from David L. Dowe.