University College of Dublin, SPATIAL partner.

UCD is one of Europe’s leading research-intensive universities, where a comprehensive suite of strong disciplines forms the foundation of high quality interdisciplinary research, scholarship and innovation.

UCD is ranked within the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide. UCD has a major contractual track record in successive EU Framework Programmes since their inception to the current H2020. UCD secured 219 EU FP7 contracts, with a 21.7% success rate in EU FP7 participation.

It is a HRS4R acknowledged institution since 2012 and is committed to implementing the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. UCD received the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in 2017.

The UCD Research Impact Team specialises in maximising impact through the communication of the university’s research output, and a dedicated outreach office will facilitate dissemination to a wide range of audiences, including school children and the wider public. They will provide full support for any engagement activities


Principal Investigator

Dr. Madhusanka Liyanage
has been honoured to be ranked among the World’s Top 2% Scientists (2020), a List prepared by Elsevier BV, Stanford University, USA and received the “2020 IEEE ComSoc Outstanding Young Researcher” award by IEEE ComSoc EMEA. He received his PhD in communication engineering from the University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland. 

He is currently working as an Ad Astra Fellow/Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science, University College Dublin, Ireland. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Oulu, Finland, and an Honorary adjunct professor at the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka. He was also a recthe ipient of prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship during 2018- 2020. In 2011-2012, he was a research scientist at I3S Laboratory and Inria, Sophia Antipolis, France.  He is also an expert conthe sultant at European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and Funded Investigator of Science Foundation Ireland CONNECT Research Centre, Ireland.

His research interests are 5G/6G, AI/ML Security, Block Chain, mobile network security. He is a Senior Member of IEEE. Madhusanka is a co-author of over 125 publications including five books with Wiley.


Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Shen Wang is an Assistant Professor with the School of Computer Science, University College Dublin. He is also an academic collaborator with the CeADAR Centre ( and Performance Engineering Laboratory ( Shen received a PhD degree in 2016 from the School of Electronic Engineering, Dublin City University, Ireland, for his work on reducing urban road traffic using vehicular communications and artificial intelligence. Shen subsequently worked as the lead researcher for CeADAR on the AURORA EU H2020 project (, big streaming data framework calculating flight efficiency) and the EXPERTS industry demonstrator project (explainable graph data analyser, explainable-graph-data-analyser/) for explaining anonymous graph data identified by a machine learning algorithm. He worked with the team of Intelligent Transportation at IBM Ireland in 2013, and Natural Resources Solutions group at IBM Research Brazil in 2015. Additionally, Dr. Wang is a member of the IEEE and IEEE ITS Society. He has served as a co-chair and technical program committee member for conferences including IEEE VTC, IEEE ICC, IEEE ITSC, and IEEE ISC2. His research interests include the applications of artificial intelligence for distributed system challenges.


  1. How did you started/joined/enrolled SPATIAL?

The idea of the SPATIAL started with our discussions with Aaron (TU Delft) and Jason (Erasmus University). As we are interested in mobile network security, we wanted to look into the security impact apply AI in Beyond 5G and 6G network.  Specially, explainability and accountability of AI systems are necessary to increase the acceptance of AI technology in future telecommunication ecosystem.

  1. What are your expectations in a project of this nature?

My expectation towards this project is to maximise the impact of explainable AI on future AI-driven mobile network security. Specifically, We will be specially focusing on Beyond 5G and 6G network security and privacy. We would expect clear improvements in accountability and resilience of our use cases on Edge computing, IoT, privacy-preserving AI, and cybersecurity analysis.

  1. What can the research community expect from SPATIAL?

The existing research community has seen many successful applications of XAI in natural language processing and computer vision. SPATIAL will re-emphasise the importance of accountability in cybersecurity to further extend the power of XAI for the next generation of AI-driven mobile networks.

  1. Where do you see SPATIAL results in 10 years?

Empirically, ten years are a typical time duration required for evolving to the next generation mobile network. While we are in the commercialisation stage of 5G, SPATIAL will pave the way for building a trustworthy “human-centric” 6G networks.