Dr Kanchana Thilakarathna

BSc Eng (Hons) PhD
Lecturer in Distributed Computing
School of Information Technologies

J12 - The School of Information Technologies
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 6535

Website Centre for Distributed and High Performance Computing

School of Information Technologies

Biographical details

Dr Kanchana Thilakarathna is a Lecturer in Distributed Computing at the School of Information Technologies, The University of Sydney and is a member of the Centre for Distributed and High Performance Computing. He is also a Conjoint Lecturer at the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW, since 2015.

Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Kanchana was a Research Scientist at the Networks Group, Cyber-Physical Systems Research Program at Data61-CSIRO and previously NICTA during Nov 2014 - Aug 2017. Kanchana received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications from The University of New South Wales. For his PhD thesis entitled “Moving from Clouds to Mobile Clouds: Cost-Efficient Privacy-Aware Mobile Content Delivery”, Kanchana received the Malcolm Chaikin Prize in 2015 which is awarded to the Best Engineering PhD Thesis among all engineering disciplines at UNSW and iAwards 2015 for the best Postgraduate Tertiary Student in NSW, Australia. Kanchana received his B.Sc. Engineering degree with First Class Honours specialising in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from The University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He has more than three years of industry experience as a Mobile Radio Network Optimisation Engineer, before pursuing postgraduate studies. He also had a visiting researcher appointment at INRIA, France in 2012.

Kanchana’s current research interests include network and device function virtualization, Internet of Things, Cyber-security and privacy, Mobile Networks and Mixed Reality.

Research interests

While the majority of us now carry at least one smart mobile device with us every day, few of us are fully aware of the cost of this convenience in terms of exposing our personal information to third parties. Dr Kanchana Thilakarathna’s research aims to improve our security and privacy in this regard.

“Smart devices – such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and other wearables – have literally changed human lifestyles, providing endless innovative services in every aspect of our life. I am passionate about their ever-growing capabilities to take human experience far beyond expectations.

“But while we enjoy many of these services ‘for free’, they come at the cost of these devices having the ability to continuously monitor, store and transmit sensitive personal information to third parties, such as service providers.

“Most users are unaware of exactly what information service providers are collecting about them, and the majority of providers currently gather information without properly informing users or giving them an alternative.

“It is technically challenging to provide secure, private and efficient services on top of these resource-constrained devices, especially with limited battery life and without negatively impacting the cost or usability of these services.

“My research aims to develop distributed computing platforms that exploit the computational, storage and energy resources available on and around the personal area to provide safe, secure, private, useful and efficient services to mobile users.

“One example of my work is a social media app I developed called Yalut, which enables users to retain control over their own photos, videos and other content. Users keep their content on their own devices and, when they choose to share some of it with online friends – whether through Yalut or an existing social media platform – it is uploaded directly to their friends’ devices, so that it is now only on their own and their friends’ devices.

“My aim is to develop mobile apps such as these and make them available to everyone.

“I’ve been working in this field since 2010, and joined the University of Sydney in 2017.”

Awards and honours

  • Malcolm Chaikin Prize for 2015 for the Best UNSW Engineering PhD Thesis
  • Winner - iAWARDS 2015 for the Best Postgraduate Tertiary Student in NSW for the Yalut project
  • Heidelberg Laureate Fellowship to participate in the 2nd Heidelberg Laureate Forum as one of the Top 100 Young Computer Science Researchers worldwide
  • NICTA International Postgraduate Award (NIPA) Scholarship and NICTA Research Project Award (NRPA) Scholarship
  • Best Demo Award for demonstrating Yalut at IEEE iToF 2013 Demo and poster competition

International collaboration


    Domestic collaboration

      Selected publications

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      Journals

      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Gupta, K., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A deep dive into location-based communities in social discovery networks. Computer Communications, 100(3), 78-90. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Jiang, F., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A., Xie, G. (2017). Crowd-Cache: Leveraging on spatio-temporal correlation in content popularity for mobile networking in proximity. Computer Communications, 100, 104-117. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Viana, A., Seneviratne, A., Petander, H. (2017). Design and Analysis of an Efficient Friend-To-Friend Content Dissemination System. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 16(3), 702-715. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Mestre, J., Seneviratne, A. (2014). MobiTribe: Cost Efficient Distributed User Generated Content Sharing on Smartphones. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 13(9), 2058-2070. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, A., Viana, A., Petander, H. (2014). User generated content dissemination in mobile social networks through infrastructure supported content replication. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 11, 132-147. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, A., Viana, A., Petander, H. (2014). User generated content dissemination in mobile social networks through infrastructure supported content replication. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 11, 132-147. [More Information]

      Conferences

      • Shahzamal, M., Jurdak, R., Arablouei, R., Kim, M., Thilakarathna, K., Mans, B. (2017). Airborne disease propagation on large scale social contact networks. 2nd International Workshop on Social Sensing, New York, NY: ACM. [More Information]
      • Kolamunna, H., Hu, Y., Perino, D., Thilakarathna, K., Makaroff, D., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2016). AFit: Adaptive Fitness Tracking by Application Function Virtualization. 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Kolamunna, H., Hu, Y., Perino, D., Thilakarathna, K., Fieuw-Makaroff, S., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2016). AFV: Enabling Application Function Virtualization and Scheduling in Wearable Networks. 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Liu, Z., Thilakarathna, K., Li, Z., Ji, Y., Seneviratne, A. (2016). TransFetch: A Viewing Behavior Driven Video Distribution Framework in Public Transport. 2016 IEEE 41st Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2016), Piscataway: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M. (2016). UDrop: Pushing drop-box to the edge of mobile network. 13th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication Workshops (PerCom Workshops 2016), Piscataway, New Jersey, USA: IEEE. [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Kaafar, M., Rosenbaum, F., Seneviratne, A. (2015). A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Mobile Internet Traffic in Public Transportation Systems. 10th ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks, New York, NY: ACM. [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Kaafar, M., Rosenbaum, F., Seneviratne, A. (2015). A spatio-temporal analysis of mobile internet traffic in public transportation systems: A view of web browsing from the bus. 10th ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks, CHANTS 2015, France: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Jiang, F., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P. (2014). Demo: Crowd-Cache � Popular Content for Free. 12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2014). Demo: Yalut - User-centric social networking overlay. 12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Viana, A., Seneviratne, A., Petander, H. (2013). Mobile Social Networking through Friend-to-Friend Opportunistic Content Dissemination. 14th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing, MobiHoc 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Abd Karim, A., Petander, H., Seneviratne, A. (2013). MobiTribe: Enabling device centric social networking on smart mobile devices. 2013 10th Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensing and Communication in Wireless Networks, SECON 2013, United States: IEEE Computer Society. [More Information]
      • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Reconciling bitter rivals: Towards privacy-aware and bandwidth efficient mobile Ads delivery networks. 2013 5th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks, COMSNETS 2013, India: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Mestre, J., Seneviratne, A. (2012). Enabling Mobile Distributed Social Networking on Smartphones. The 15th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (MSWiM12), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Wasalthilake, D. (2011). Moving from Clouds to Mobile Clouds to Satisfy the Demand of Mobile User Generated Content. International Symposium on Advanced Networks and Telecommunication Systems, ANTS, India: IEEE. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Seneviratne, A. (2011). Performance of content replication in MobiTribe: A distributed architecture for mobile UGC sharing. 36th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2011), Bonn, Germany: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]

      2017

      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Gupta, K., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A. (2017). A deep dive into location-based communities in social discovery networks. Computer Communications, 100(3), 78-90. [More Information]
      • Shahzamal, M., Jurdak, R., Arablouei, R., Kim, M., Thilakarathna, K., Mans, B. (2017). Airborne disease propagation on large scale social contact networks. 2nd International Workshop on Social Sensing, New York, NY: ACM. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Jiang, F., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A., Xie, G. (2017). Crowd-Cache: Leveraging on spatio-temporal correlation in content popularity for mobile networking in proximity. Computer Communications, 100, 104-117. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Viana, A., Seneviratne, A., Petander, H. (2017). Design and Analysis of an Efficient Friend-To-Friend Content Dissemination System. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 16(3), 702-715. [More Information]

      2016

      • Kolamunna, H., Hu, Y., Perino, D., Thilakarathna, K., Makaroff, D., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2016). AFit: Adaptive Fitness Tracking by Application Function Virtualization. 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Kolamunna, H., Hu, Y., Perino, D., Thilakarathna, K., Fieuw-Makaroff, S., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2016). AFV: Enabling Application Function Virtualization and Scheduling in Wearable Networks. 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2016), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Liu, Z., Thilakarathna, K., Li, Z., Ji, Y., Seneviratne, A. (2016). TransFetch: A Viewing Behavior Driven Video Distribution Framework in Public Transport. 2016 IEEE 41st Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2016), Piscataway: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M. (2016). UDrop: Pushing drop-box to the edge of mobile network. 13th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communication Workshops (PerCom Workshops 2016), Piscataway, New Jersey, USA: IEEE. [More Information]

      2015

      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Kaafar, M., Rosenbaum, F., Seneviratne, A. (2015). A Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Mobile Internet Traffic in Public Transportation Systems. 10th ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks, New York, NY: ACM. [More Information]
      • Jiang, F., Thilakarathna, K., Kaafar, M., Rosenbaum, F., Seneviratne, A. (2015). A spatio-temporal analysis of mobile internet traffic in public transportation systems: A view of web browsing from the bus. 10th ACM MobiCom Workshop on Challenged Networks, CHANTS 2015, France: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. [More Information]

      2014

      • Thilakarathna, K., Jiang, F., Mrabet, S., Kaafar, M., Seneviratne, A., Mohapatra, P. (2014). Demo: Crowd-Cache � Popular Content for Free. 12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Guan, X., Seneviratne, A. (2014). Demo: Yalut - User-centric social networking overlay. 12th Annual International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services, MobiSys 2014, United States: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Mestre, J., Seneviratne, A. (2014). MobiTribe: Cost Efficient Distributed User Generated Content Sharing on Smartphones. IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, 13(9), 2058-2070. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, A., Viana, A., Petander, H. (2014). User generated content dissemination in mobile social networks through infrastructure supported content replication. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 11, 132-147. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, A., Viana, A., Petander, H. (2014). User generated content dissemination in mobile social networks through infrastructure supported content replication. Pervasive and Mobile Computing, 11, 132-147. [More Information]

      2013

      • Thilakarathna, K., Viana, A., Seneviratne, A., Petander, H. (2013). Mobile Social Networking through Friend-to-Friend Opportunistic Content Dissemination. 14th ACM International Symposium on Mobile Ad Hoc Networking and Computing, MobiHoc 2013, United States: ACM. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Abd Karim, A., Petander, H., Seneviratne, A. (2013). MobiTribe: Enabling device centric social networking on smart mobile devices. 2013 10th Annual IEEE Communications Society Conference on Sensing and Communication in Wireless Networks, SECON 2013, United States: IEEE Computer Society. [More Information]
      • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Seneviratne, S., Kaafar, M., Mohapatra, P. (2013). Reconciling bitter rivals: Towards privacy-aware and bandwidth efficient mobile Ads delivery networks. 2013 5th International Conference on Communication Systems and Networks, COMSNETS 2013, India: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]

      2012

      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Mestre, J., Seneviratne, A. (2012). Enabling Mobile Distributed Social Networking on Smartphones. The 15th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems (MSWiM12), New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). [More Information]

      2011

      • Seneviratne, A., Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Wasalthilake, D. (2011). Moving from Clouds to Mobile Clouds to Satisfy the Demand of Mobile User Generated Content. International Symposium on Advanced Networks and Telecommunication Systems, ANTS, India: IEEE. [More Information]
      • Thilakarathna, K., Petander, H., Seneviratne, A. (2011). Performance of content replication in MobiTribe: A distributed architecture for mobile UGC sharing. 36th Annual IEEE Conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN 2011), Bonn, Germany: (IEEE) Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. [More Information]

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