Alan P. Sprague


Department of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Phone: 205-934-8513
Email: sprague at cis dot uab dot edu

Research Interests


  • Since 2013 I have been involved in collaborative research efforts to detect cyberbullying in social networks. Collaborators include Dr. T. Solorio at the University of Houston and her student Suraj Maharjan and Dr. R. Diaz-Sprague, Visiting Scholar at UAB. The goal of this research is to explore technological ways to reliably detect invective in social network communications and possibly nudge users toward wisdom.

    Applying Data Mining to Internet Security

  • We cluster spam email messages in order to gain an understanding of the world of spam. The largest spam campaigns commonly show up as the largest clusters. Sometimes our methodology is to cluster the spammers' hosting domains, rather than clustering the emails themselves. One goal is to enable law enforcement to focus on the largest spammers.
  • Spam Data Mine
  • We are also working on phishing and malware. We are using clustering to study phishing, and closed frequent sets to study malware.
  • Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research

    Fundamental Algorithms in Data Mining

  • KDDM Lab web page
  • Algorithms to compute frequent itemsets, especially closed frequent itemsets; use of network flow to discover outliers.

    Graph Algorithms

  • Algorithms for special classes of graphs. The emphasis here is on efficiency. Often, this involves exploring the "border" between polynomial time problems and NP-complete problems.

    Grammar Inference

  • Inferring a context free grammar for a domain specific language, given (positive) samples of the language.


    Ph.D. Computer Science, Ohio State University, 1988
    Advisor: Ten-Hwang Lai.
    Ph.D. Mathematics, Ohio State University, 1973
    Advisor: Dijen K. Ray-Chaudhuri.

    Recent Publications

    Finite State Automaton (Nondeterministic) Simulator


    KDDM Lab


    High School Programming Contest