Oliver Obst; robot
I am a Senior Research Scientist, and Leader of the Data Mining Research Team at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in Sydney. In my team, we solve practical problems around making sense of data in industrial projects – for example, finding patterns, or detecting anomalies, but also selecting informative features or placing sensors for classification, prediction, or to make the best decisions based on past experience. We contribute to a range of application areas, from smart electrical energy, environmental monitoring, to intelligent materials and robots, cyber-security or preventative health.


My research interest is in machine learning and intelligent & complex systems, with a focus on recurrent neural networks for prediction and classification. Recurrent neural networks are particularly well suited for sequential and time-series data. I am investigating efficient training methods, and also ways to distribute computation in large neural networks.
Artificial neural network approaches take inspiration from information processing in brains, and mimicking self-organised mechanisms for learning may help to develop successful learning approaches that can be easily distributed, or implemented on non-conventional hardware (e.g., using chemistry). To investigate and compare computational properties of this self-organisation, we use and extend approaches from complex systems research and information theory (information dynamics), with the goal to guide this self-organisation into a desired direction. I am also interested in effects that artificial neural networks may inherit from their biological counterparts, like visual illusions.

Publications, Projects, Code, News and more information

The links in the menu above lead to more information about my publications, selected projects, academic activities, and about some code that I have produced. I also try to maintain a blog about some of these activities (Evil Robots, an anagram of my name :).

Supervision and student projects

If you are a student, and enrolled at an Australian University, please contact me if you are interested in an Honours or PhD project. If you are looking for a job or a paid internship, please note that you have to apply for any open positions through our web page – I usually do not reply to unsolicited applications.