AI Messsage: An anonymised spam-protected smart messaging application

As the number of cars increases [1], parking has become increasingly difficult in Malta [2]. As a result, drivers park in front of garages or obstruct other cars. This final-year project proposes a prototype of an anonymous communication web app that proposes: 1) filtering SMS spam, and 2) communicating anonymously with different owners of objects, using the parking problem as a case study. Moreover, the project explores the potential of the internet of things (IoT), mobile app design and SMS spam filtering. The latter was deemed particularly relevant to the proposed application because, as with all other messaging applications, this application could be misused by spammers. Additionally, the application was subjected to a usability study to determine usefulness, satisfaction and collect user feedback. 

A rule-based and a machine learning technique were used to identify spam messages. The rule-based technique was applied to determine whether a message is spam, based on whether it is a new conversation, along with checks against the whitelist, blacklist, block settings, as well as the sender’s location distance. When none of the rules provided any judgment, the message’s content proceeded to the machine learning model that produced the final classification. The  vector space model, was used in combination with the artificial neural network model in the final classification. This method provided 98.74% accuracy and 0.21% misclassification of real messages as spam.

In practical terms, the car owner would have created an item within the website to represent their own car. The user would offer three access methods, namely: a QR code, a website link, and an item code that would be placed on the car. By utilising the QR code, the sender would only be required to scan the QR code to communicate with the owner. Through this application, the sender would be able to communicate with the user without having access to any personal details. Should the sender not log in prior to sending the message, the conversation would end after a single message. The process for creating an item and sending a message using a QR code is outlined in the accompanying image.

To evaluate the application, 10 participants from different age groups and levels of technological competence were interviewed in person. Most participants completed each activity in less than a minute, which suggests ease of use. Furthermore, user satisfaction regarding the system and its usefulness were calculated by using the post-study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ) [3]. This yielded an average satisfaction of 1.86 and average usefulness of 2.03.

Figure 1. The ‘create item’ and ‘send message’ processes


[1]”The number of cars on Malta’s roads passes 400,000″, Times of Malta, 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 28-Apr-2022]
[2]”Editorial: Tackling the parking problem”, Times of Malta, 2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 28-Apr-2022]
[3]”PSSUQ (Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire)”, [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 10-Dec-2021]

Student: Christabelle Saliba
Course: B.Sc. IT (Hons.) Software Development
Supervisor: Dr Conrad Attard