Saqib Iqbal, Ph.D

Director, Software Engineering and Computer Science Programs

Associate Professor

Al Ain Campus



Dr. Saqib Iqbal received his doctoral in Software Engineering from the University of Huddersfield in 2013. Prior to this, he completed his MSc in Software Engineering from the Queen Mary University of London, the UK in 2007. He has taught in various postgraduate universities for over 10 years and has worked in the industry as a Software Engineer for more than 3 years. He is actively involved in research in areas particularly related to requirements engineering, software design, model-transformation, and software testing. 



PhD in Software Engineering from University of Huddersfield, UK

MSc in Software Engineering from Queen Mary University of London, UK

MSc in Computer Science from Punjab University, Lahore Pakistan

Research Interests

Aspect-Oriented Software Development, Process Modelling, Model-Based Software Development, Requirements Engineering, and Design Patterns in Aspect-Oriented Programming

Selected Publications

  • Muhammad Farooq, Hikmat Ullah Khan, Tassawar Iqbal, Saqib Iqbal, (2019) "An index-based ranking of conferences in a distinctive manner", The Electronic Library (Scopus CiteScore: 1.47).
  • Naveed Aslam Mirza, Hikmat Ullah Khan, Tassawar Iqbal, Khalid Iqbal, Saqib Iqbal & Muhammad Imran (2018) Your comments matter: incorporating viewers’ comments for ranking online video content using bibliometrics, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, 24:4, 335-345 (Scopus CiteScore: 1.63).
  • Abubakker Usman Akram, Hikmat Ullah Khan, Saqib Iqbal, Tassawar Iqbal, Ehsan Ullah Munir, Dr. Muhammad Shafi, (2018) Finding Rotten Eggs: A Review Spam Detection Model using Diverse Feature Sets, KSII Transactions on Internet And Information Systems Vol. 12, No. 10. (Scopus CiteScore: 0.85).
  • Tassawar Iqbal, Saqib Iqbal, Syed Sajid Hussain, Iftikhar A. Khan, Hikmat U. Kha, Attiqa Rehman, (2018) Fighting Adult Illiteracy with the help of the Environmental Print Material, PLOS ONE (Scopus CiteScore:  3.01)
  • Mohammad, S., Iqbal, S., Aburezeq, I., Altoum, Y., Alameri, G., Hazem, R., Alhamrouni, S., Alzeyodi, A.M., Almarboouei, M.S., Alarab, W.A. (2018), Smart Phones & Road Collisions, International Journal of Civil Engineering & Technology (CiteScore: 2.76)
  • Muhammad Farooq, Hikmat Ullah Khan, Saqib Iqbal, Ehsan Ullah Munir, Ajmal Shahzad, (2017) DS-index: Ranking authors distinctively in an Academic network, IEEE Access (Scopus-Indexed, CiteScore: 4.9).
  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary (2017), Modelling of Aspects using Aspect-Oriented Design Language, Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology, Vol.95. No 21. (Scopus-Indexed).
  • M. Farooq, H. U. Khan, A. Shahzad, Saqib Iqbal, A. U. Akram, (2017), Finding the Top Conferences Using Novel Ranking Algorithm, International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, (ISI-Indexed)
  • M. A. Alghobiri, H. U. Khan, T. A. Malik and Saqib Iqbal (2016), A Comprehensive Framework for the Semantic Cache Systems, International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 10, (ISI-Indexed) 
  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary (2011) Designing Aspects with AODL International Journal of Software Engineering. ISSN 1687-6954 

  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary (2012), “Pointcut Design with AODL”, In the 24th International Conference of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, Redwood City, San Francisco, USA. 

  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary, “Aspect-Oriented Modeling: Issues and Misconceptions”, The Fifth International Conference on Software Engineering Advances ICSEA 2010 August 22 - 27, 2010 - Nice, France

  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary, “On Identifying and Representing Aspect”, The 2009 International Conference on Software Engineering Research and Practice (SERP'09) Las Vegas, USA 

  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary, "Representing Aspects in Design, “Third IEEE International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Software Engineering July 29 - 31, 2009, Tianjin, China.
  • Iqbal, Saqib and Allen, Gary, (2009) Aspect-Oriented design model. In: Proceedings of Computing and Engineering Annual Researchers' Conference 2009: CEARC’09. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 137 -141. ISBN 9781862180857
  • Saqib Iqbal, “Representing Aspects in Software Design”, Poster included Research Festival 2009, University of Huddersfield, UK (Won 3rd Prize in Poster Competition)
  • Iqbal, Saqib, “Two-Dimensional Process Model for Aspect-Oriented Software Development” The CWRC 
held in April, 2006 at CIIT, Wah, Pakistan. 

Teaching Courses

User Interface Design, Introduction to Programming, Object-Oriented Programming, Software Design and Development, Formal Specifications and Design Methods, Software Evolution & Maintainence


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.

This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):




IEEE - Computer Society


An index-based ranking of conferences in a distinctive manner

Published in: The Electronic Library

Mar 10, 2019

Muhammad Farooq Hikmat Ullah Khan Tassawar Iqbal Saqib Iqbal

Purpose Bibliometrics is one of the research fields in library and information science that deals with the analysis of academic entities. In this regard, to gauge the productivity and popularity of authors, publication counts and citation counts are common bibliometric measures. Similarly, the significance of a journal is measured using another bibliometric measure, impact factor. However, scarce attention has been paid to find the impact and productivity of conferences using these bibliometric measures. Moreover, the application of the existing techniques rarely finds the impact of conferences in a distinctive manner. The purpose of this paper is to propose and compare the DS-index with existing bibliometric indices, such as h-index, g-index and R-index, to study and rank conferences distinctively based on their significance. Design/methodology/approach The DS-index is applied to the self-developed large DBLP data set having publication data over 50 years covering more than 10,000 conferences. Findings The empirical results of the proposed index are compared with the existing indices using the standard performance evaluation measures. The results confirm that the DS-index performs better than other indices in ranking the conferences in a distinctive manner. Originality/value Scarce attention is paid to rank conferences in distinctive manner using bibliometric measures. In addition, exploiting the DS-index to assign unique ranks to the different conferences makes this research work novel.


Finding Rotten Eggs: A Review Spam Detection Model using Diverse Feature Sets

Published in: KSII Transactions on Internet & Information Systems

Oct 01, 2018

Abubakker Usman Akram Hikmat Ullah Khan Saqib Iqbal Tassawar Iqbal Ehsan Ullah Munir Muhammad Shafi

Social media enables customers to share their views, opinions and experiences as product reviews. These product reviews facilitate customers in buying quality products. Due to the significance of online reviews, fake reviews, commonly known as spam reviews are generated to mislead the potential customers in decision-making. To cater this issue, review spam detection has become an active research area. Existing studies carried out for review spam detection have exploited feature engineering approach; however limited number of features are considered. This paper proposes a Feature-Centric Model for Review Spam Detection (FMRSD) to detect spam reviews. The proposed model examines a wide range of feature sets including ratings, sentiments, content, and users. The experimentation reveals that the proposed technique outperforms the baseline and provides better results.


Fighting adult illiteracy with the help of the environmental print material

Published in: PLOS One

Jun 05, 2018

A. Iqbal T. Iqbal S. Hussain S.S. Khan I.A. H.U. Rehman

Adult illiteracy is a major problem worldwide especially in developing countries. Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs working in this context are not very effective due to lack of motivation for the people who are not literate. The reason is inadequate learning content and content delivery methods. This situation calls for developing novel learning content and a learner-directed content delivery approach. This paper presents an exploratory study investigating the use of the Environmental Print Material (EPM) as learning content for the non-literate population of Pakistan. The EPM content is presented to the adult non-literate population in two ethnographic studies. The most frequently recognized content is selected and utilized as learning content in a Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) application. An empirical study is conducted upon two groups with 107 participants to compare the EPM-based learning content with Traditional Learning Content (TLC). As many as 54 participants participated in the experimental group (presented with EPM-based learning content), whereas 53 participants took part in the control group (presented with TLC content). The results reveal that the experimental group performed significantly better compared to the control group in recognition, pronunciation, and recall of the presented content. The meta-analysis of the results shows a large effect size of (1.05) with confidence interval in the range (0.798–1.315). The results claim that the EPM has potential to be considered as learning content in the ABE programs.


Smart Phones and Road Collisions

Published in: International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology

Mar 07, 2018

W.A. Mohammad S. Iqbal Aburezeq I. (...) Almarboouei M.S. Alarab

Accidents on roads are primarily caused by attention diversion. Recently, smart phones and availability of internet has made the mobile-phones’ usage a biggest cause of diversion of drivers’ attention. Lately, cell phones became more dangerous than alcohol consumption while driving. The problem is as critical in the UAE as everywhere else in the world, which is evident from the statistics of Abu Dhabi Traffic department discussed in this report. To counter this problem, Al Ain University of Science and Technology (AAU) in collaboration with Al Ain Traffic and Patrols Directorate started a join research project to counter this problem, and many solutions have been discussed and suggested. One of which is disabling phones while driving. A mobile application that can disable the phone inside a vehicle if the vehicle is moving, and the phone reverts to its normal functionality if the vehicle stops. This disabling phone application has been backed up by a survey for acceptance in the UAE society. This research also shows the result of a survey carried out in UAE regarding the usage of cell phones during driving. This survey is one of many contributions of this research. Also, this research provides a detailed quantitative statistics of road accidents in UAE, in general, and that caused by mobile phone usage, in particular. Finally, this research reviews the psychological behaviors that are affected by using the mobile phone while driving.


Modelling of Aspects using Aspect-Oriented Design Language

Published in: Journal of Theoretical and Applied Information Technology

Oct 10, 2017

The Aspect-composition is a vital step in aspect modelling. Aspects are composed with each other and with base constructs through pointcuts defined in the aspects. Design languages address this composition by providing composition techniques and directives. However, most of the contemporary design languages lack support for inter-aspect and inner-aspect compositions. Another problem is resolving aspect interference which arises as a result of a composition. Although some techniques have been proposed to overcome aspect interference at the implementation level, the problem needs attention at the modelling level. The eradication of interference and conflicts related to aspect composition at the modelling stage could ensure better implementation and fewer conflicts. This paper provides a composition strategy equipped with new design notations and diagrams to provide support for aspect compositions, as well as inner-aspect compositions. The paper also provides a technique to prioritize aspect execution at the modelling stage to reduce aspect interference and aspect conflicts.


DS-index: Ranking authors distinctively in an academic network

Published in: IEEE Access

Sep 22, 2017

The impact and productivity of researchers are assessed using bibliometric parameters, such as the number of publications and citation analysis. A number of indices exist that use these parameters, but almost all of them overlook citation pattern of the researchers, which results in assigning the same index value to the two different authors with different citation patterns. In this paper, a new index called DS-index is proposed, which differentiates among the authors having even a very small change in the citation pattern of their publications. It uniquely identifies the different index values and thus the proper ranking order for authors. The index is applied to the self-developed large DBLP data set having publication data of over 50 years. The results compared with the existing indices using the standard performance evaluation measures confirm that the proposed index performs better by ranking the authors in a …


Finding the top conferences using novel ranking algorithm

Published in: International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences

Jun 01, 2017

Muhammad Farooq Hikmat Ullah Khan Ajmal Shahzad Saqib Iqbal Abubakker Usman Akram

An analysis of an academic network reveals interesting insights into the prevailing research domains. The scientometrics analysis of an academic network mainly focuses to find the top authors and top journals using Bibliometircs. There are few work identify the top conferences to help the scholars to know about the current trends in computer science and helps them to participate in the conferences to extend their interactions with other researchers. In this paper, we aim to find the top conferences in the computer science research domain. We present a novel algorithm, ConferencRank by adapting the state of the art Pagerank algorithm to rank the conferences. We use the various features as weights to rank the conferences as well. The proposed algorithm has been applied on a very large data set of the DBLP and the results confirm that the proposed algorithm is helpful to find the top conferences and ranks the conferences in a proper manner. As a future work, we will like to extend this work by finding topicsensitive ranking of the conferences.