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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, with over 20 years’ experience in computer science and Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and education. She is also adjunct IDUN professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and best known for her work on case-based reasoning for personalised decision support systems. She serves on numerous AI programme committees including the premier international joint conference on AI (and its co-located AI&Health workshops), AAAI, IJCAI and ICCBR conference series.
Her PhD (2001) on knowledge and ontology refinement was funded as part of EPSRC project (GR/L38387). She was a post-doctoral researcher on an EPSRC funded knowledge adaptation project (GR/L38387) and thereafter gained a permanent Research Fellowship at RGU before being appointed to a Readership in 2009 and Professorship in 2016.
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.
She is the co-founder of the Attendr.app (https://www.rgu.ac.uk/your-attendance ) - a spinout (pre incorporation) initiated from a GCRF funded research project on Mobile attendance tracking and analysis research work.
|Research Interests||Lead of the Artificial Intelligence & Reasoning Research Group
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. Current application focus is on digital health and algorithms for self-management and intervention.
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 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.
She also pioneers the cause for women in computing and co-chaired the Scottish women in computing research and networking 2015 event in Aberdeen. As adjunct professor at Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, NTNU, she is also a mentor and role model on the IDUN project (https://www.ntnu.edu/idun/idun-mentors ).
|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|