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Professor Nirmalie Wiratunga
Associate Dean for Research
|Biography||Nirmalie Wiratunga is a Professor in Intelligent Systems at RGU's School of Computing, and the Associate Dean for Research in the school, with over two decades of experience in computer science and AI research. She has held positions such as post-doctoral researcher on EPSRC funded projects, and was appointed Readership in 2009, and Professorship in 2016. Nirmalie is also an adjunct IDUN professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Nirmalie lead's the Artificial Intelligence & Reasoning Research Group (AIR) in the School of Computing.
She has been involved in numerous funded AIR projects, including the development of platforms for reusable explainable AI experiences and initiatives in healthcare. Additionally, she co-founded the Attendr.app, a spinout for mobile attendance tracking of students at the university and attendees at conferences.
|Research Interests||Nirmalie’s research interests include both theoretical and practical aspects of machine learning and intelligent systems with particular focus on Case-based Reasoning (CBR), Text Mining and Machine Learning.
The underlying aim of her research is to reduce the demand on manual intervention through the development of knowledge-rich representations for intelligent monitoring and decision support systems that reason with data, text and multimedia content. A common theme applicable across all content is to exploit similarity knowledge for effective modelling and semantic indexing.
She is an executive member of the British Computer Society’s Specialist Group on AI since 2002 and was editor of their Expert Update magazine (2005-2010). She has organised many research workshops on XAI, digital health, textualCBR, webCBR, SocialMedia Mining and more recently on Evolving systems and Deep Learning. She co-chaired the international CBR conference in 2011 and 2022. Externally, Nirmalie has been a member of the programme committees of ECCBR, ICCBR, ECML/PKDD, IJCAI, AAAI and FLAIRS.
Her current work (iSee, £0.3M, total £0.9M) funded through EPSRC (EP/V061755/1) and EU's CHISTERA scheme is developing a platform to reuse explainable AI experiences. Here case-based reasoning forms the underpinning methodology to capture explanation experiences for neural computation model outputs. The need for interactive natural dialogue and the use of behaviour trees for conversational AI to support the delivery of explanations has led to a further related project (Talk2Health) in the healthcare domain funded by InnovateUK. She has several PhD students working on these projects including conversational AI in healthcare. Her previously funded projects include: EU’s Horizon2020 and future & emerging technology schemes to explore learning with few-data for chronic MSD self-management (SelfBACK.eu, €0.5M, Total €5M) , InnovateUK projects on Sentiment Analysis for Product recommendation, Diabetes Self-Management and industry funded projects with British Telecom and British Geological Survey.
|Teaching and Learning||Link coordinator for RGU and IIT validation courses: MSc Big Data Analytics; MSc Business Analytics; and BSc AI and Data Science.
Module coordinator for SoC: Research Methods; and Advanced AI.
|Scopus Author ID||13405064600|