Dr. Sofiane Abbar

Title: Mobility in Cities

On 2 December 2010, Qatar was announced to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. That was the time to celebrate the first-ever Middle Eastern country to organize the Tournament. The 1.8M population of Qatar then (2.8M today) never imagined the journey their country was about to embarked. In less than 10 years, the population grew by more than a half, pushing the available urban resources and services to their limit. At the same time, the country undertook an ambitious investment plan of $200B on various infra-structural projects including a brand-new metro network, six new stadiums, several new satellite cities, and an astonishing 4,300 km of new roads, which tripled the size of the road network in only five years. While this enterprise boosted the socio-economical life of people in Qatar, it did disrupt the way they navigate the urban space and their mobility patterns in general. Simple commutes to work, drops and pickups of kids to and from schools, became challenging and impossible to plan with daily changes in the road layout. In this talk, I’ll recount my personal journey in turning these challenges into opportunities, building a strong research agenda and a rich collaboration portfolio with key government and private entities. The talk will cover a variety of topics related to mobility, map making, traffic congestion, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data monetization, and tech transfer.


Dr. Sofiane Abbar is an ML Engineer at Meta (Facebook/Whatsapp). Prior to that, Sofiane was a Researcher at Qatar Computing Research Institute, where he led the Urban Computing project focused on using AI and big data for mobility, traffic congestion, city planning, and resilience. During his time at QCRI, Sofiane worked on several tech transfer initiatives such as data-driven O-D matrix generation for the Ministry of Transport and Communication, CDR-based contact tracing for COVID used by the Ministry of Interior, and social media analytics dashboards for the Digital Society Office. Similarly, Sofiane worked on commercializing QARTA, an AI-enabled routing engine, successfully licensed to taxi and food delivery companies in Qatar. Dr. Abbar co-authored over 60 research papers in international journals and conferences. Sofiane holds a PhD from University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-En-Yvelines, a master’s degree from University Paris Dauphine, and a CS Engineering degree from Ecole Superieur d’Informatique in Algiers.

Dr. Ali Safaa Sadiq

Title: Build Trust and Security in your AI solutions!

The greater use of AI has called for increased trust and security in data quality and model decisions, especially in regulated environments such as finance. We have therefore developed a platform called Trust Your Machine Learning Output (TYMLO), which looks to address a key issue in the sector, by helping to improve data quality and model decisions for AI solutions.

Standard AI tools, developed and adopted by most organisations, are generally not fit for purpose in these regulated settings due to the fact that they do not outline how the AI algorithms derive results. This has led to a growing lack of trust and security in the AI-based decisions and predictions being made, due to poor data quality and lack of explainability.

To fill this gap, TYMLO (web-based toolkits helping data scientists, AI, and ML developers to trust ML outcomes) was devised by an expert team at the TYMLO Technology Ltd. Consisting of three toolkits, TYMLO ensures trust, security, quality, and explainability to AI-based decisions. It’s designed to help reduce unreliability, improve data quality, and add trustworthiness to any AI platform.


Ali Safaa Sadiq (Ali) is an Associate Professor in Cybersecurity and research leader of the Cyber Security Research Group in the department of Computer Science at Nottingham Trent University. Ali is also a senior IEEE member and adjunct staff at Monash University and an honorary Associate Professor at the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research and Optimisation, Torrens University Australia. Ali has served as a senior lecturer in Intelligent Networks at the University of Wolverhampton, and a lecturer at the School of Information Technology, Monash University, Malaysia. Previously he has also served as a senior lecturer at the Department of Computer Systems & Networking Department, Faculty of Computer Systems & Software Engineering, University Malaysia Pahang, Malaysia. Ali has completed his first degree in Computer Science in 2004, after that Ali had 5 years of industrial experience in Computer Science and Networking. Ali had his MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Ali has been awarded the Pro-Chancellor Academic Award as the best student in his batch for both master and Ph.D. He has published several scientific/research papers in well-known international journals and conferences. He was involved in performing 5 research grant projects, whereby 3 of them being around network and security and the others in analysing and forecasting floods in Malaysia. Recently he has been involved as a co-investigator with a research project CYBERMIND that was funded £91k by Innovate UK Cyber Academic Start-up Accelerator 2020. Also, he has led (PI) a funded research project called TrustMe, which is funded in two phases by Innovate UK and DCMS. The project creates an innovative new platform to help AI developers and data scientists to add security, trust, and explainability to their AI-based decisions. The first phase has been funded with £31,338k, while the second phase was funded with over £60k to develop the proof of concept. Ali could manage to develop a commercialised platform called TYMLO and launched a company named TYMLO Technology Ltd. He has supervised more than 5 Ph.D. students and 6 Masters students as well as some other undergraduate final year projects. His current research interests include Cybersecurity, Wireless Communications, and AI applications in the Internet of Things and the Internet of Vehicles.