Position: Associate Professor
  School of Computing and Information Systems
  Melbourne School of Engineering
  The University of Melbourne
Contact details: Room 6.08, Doug McDonell Building
 Ph: +61 3 8344 1401
  Email: mkirley@unimelb.edu.au
Qualifications: PhD; GDip(Computing); BEd(Mathematics)
picture of Michael Kirley


Research interests

My research interests are focussed within the areas of evolutionary computation and multi-agent systems, or more generally, complex adaptive systems.

Evolutionary computation is the collective name for a range of machine learning algorithms in which a population of individual entities adapts according to the selection pressures exerted by an environment. Evolutionary algorithms are frequently used to tackle complex search and optimization problems. Multi-agent systems consist of a population of interacting autonomous agents. Such systems, can be used to solve problems that are difficult or impossible for an individual agent to solve. More generally, multi-agent systems can be used to model both natural and artificial systems.

Typically, research projects undertaken incorporate a combination of theoretical inquiry, computational modelling and empirical study using evolutionary-based multi-agent systems.

Current research projects include:

An up-to-date list of my publications describing outcomes for these projects (and previous projects) is now available. My Google Scholar and DBLP listing (Computer Science Bibliography) are also available.


Research student supervision

I am always on the "look out" for new postgraduate students. If you are interesting in one of the projects listed above (or a related project in the evolutionary computation / multi-agent systems domains), and have strong programming and algorithms skills, please send me an email with your resume. You should also consult the Graduate Research Opportunities guide in the Melbourne School of Engineering for scholarship and application information.

Research staff

Professional Activites



At the University of Melbourne, my teaching responsibilities have included the following subjects:

Teaching Administration

In the period 2004-2007, I was the coordinator of the Tutor and Demonstrator Support (TADS) program in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering. The major objective of this program was to foster the development of quality teaching skills for casual staff members - approximately 70 tutors and laboratory demonstrators per semester.

Research and Teaching Awards