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Dr Advaith Siddharthan

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Reader
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • Knowledge Media Institute
  • advaith.siddharthan

Professional biography

Dr. Advaith Siddharthan, a Reader at KMi, read Physics at the University of Delhi, and Computer Science at the University of Cambridge before gained his PhD in Computational Linguistics at the University of Cambridge (2003). After Postdoctoral research at Columbia University and the University of Cambridge, he took up his first faculty position at the University of Aberdeen in 2009 before joining the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute in 2017 as a Reader covering Citizen Science and Computational Linguistics. Advaith has over 80 peer-reviewed publications. He has been PI on grants from the EPSRC and ESRC, Co-I on grants from EPSRC and NERC and Associate-I in UoA’s RCUK funded Digital Economy hub (2011-15, £12M). Advaith is a member of the EPSRC College, Association for Computational Machinery (ACM) and Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).

Research interests

Siddharthan's research specialisation is in Computational Linguistics and Data Science, with a focus on communicating complex data and making information and data (particularly telemetric data) accessible through text analytics, summarisation, reformulation and natural language generation. I have a particular interest in Citizen Science, and in particular, technologies that break down the divide between professional scientists and lay public and facilitate the meaningful engagement of the public with science.

Impact and engagement

Siddharthan (with Van der Wal) has led the development of novel technologies aimed at public engagement with nature conservation schemes. Two of these, Blogging Birds ( and BeeWatch ( were among the 8 selected to feature in the RCUK impact summary report for its Digital Economy theme “Celebrating Success in the Digital Economy". Blogging Birds demonstrated our ability to generate complex automated data-driven texts, and received an EPSRC prize (Telling Tales of Engagement Competition) following extensive press coverage (e.g. New Scientist, Wired, Telegraph, Scotsman, BBC Radio Scotland). Our final study on how the blogs are appraised has been accepted for publication in the prestigious Communications of the ACM (Siddharthan et al., 2019). BeeWatch is an online citizen science initiative that has proved itself to be a successful system for generating valuable bumblebee records across the UK. The value of feedback provision using Natural Language Generation (NLG) has been recognised as a ‘way forward in Citizen science to allow continued engagement, retention and training of users’ among influential players in the conservation field (SNH, SEPA). BeeWatch has featured in local and national media (e.g. BBC, Scotsman, Countryfile magazine, Guardian Environment blog, with BBC’s Beechgrove Gardens television show viewed by more than 250K viewers). These projects have been co-created in partnership with leading UK charities, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and Royal Horticultural Society (BeeWatch).




From citizen science to citizen action: analysing the potential for a digital platform to cultivate attachments to nature (2019-01-17)
Sharma, Nirwan; Sam, Greaves; Colucci-Gray, Laura; Siddharthan, Advaith and van der Wal, René
Journal of Science Communication, 18(1) (pp. 1-35)
SaferDrive: an NLG-based Behaviour Change Support System for Drivers (2018-07)
Braun, Daniel; Reiter, Ehud and Siddharthan, Advaith
Natural Language Engineering, 24(4) (pp. 551-588)
Blogging Birds: Telling informative stories about the lives of birds from telemetric data (2018)
Siddharthan, Advaith; Ponnamperuma, Kapila; Mellish, Chris; Zeng, Chen; Heptinstall, Danny; Robinson, Annie; Benn, Stuart and van der Wal, René
Communications of the ACM ((In Press))
Extractive and Abstractive Sentence Labelling of Sentiment-bearing Topics (2018)
Barawi, Mohamad Hardyman; Lin, Chenghua; Siddharthan, Advaith and Liu, Yinbing
Frontiers of Computer Science ((In Press))
Recognizing cited facts and principles in legal judgements (2017-03)
Shulayeva, Olga; Siddharthan, Advaith and Wyner, Adam
Artificial Intelligence and Law, 25(1) (pp. 107-126)
Crowdsourcing Without a Crowd: Reliable Online Species Identification Using Bayesian Models to Minimize Crowd Size (2016-07-14)
Siddharthan, Advaith; Lambin, Christopher; Robinson, Anne-Marie; Sharma, Nirwan; Comont, Richard; O’Mahony, Elaine; Mellish, Chris and Van Der Wal, René
ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology, 7, Article 45(4)
The role of automated feedback in training and retaining biological recorders for citizen science (2016-06-01)
van der Wal, René; Sharma, Nirwan; Mellish, Chris; Robinson, Annie and Siddharthan, Advaith
Conservation Biology, 30(3) (pp. 550-561)
Mapping species distributions: A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording (2015-11-01)
van der Wal, René; Anderson, Helen; Robinson, Annie; Sharma, Nirwan; Mellish, Chris; Roberts, Stuart; Darvill, Ben and Siddharthan, Advaith
Ambio, 44(Suppl 4) (pp. 584-600)
Automated data analysis to rapidly derive and communicate ecological insights from satellite-tag data: A case study of reintroduced red kites (2015-11)
van der Wal, René; Zeng, Cheng; Heptinstall, Danny; Ponnamperuma, Kapila; Mellish, Chris; Ben, Stuart and Siddharthan, Advaith
Ambio, 44(Suppl 4) (pp. 612-623)
Incorporating Constraints into Matrix Factorization for Clothes Package Recommendation (2018-07-11)
Wibowa, Agung; Siddharthan, Advaith; Masthoff, Judith and Lin, Chenghua
In : User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (8-11 Jun 2018, Singapore) (pp. 111-119)
Understanding how to Explain Package Recommendations in the Clothes Domain (2018)
Wibowo, Agung Toto; Siddharthan, Advaith; Masthoff, Judith Francoise Maria and Lin, Chenghua
In : Joint Workshop on Interfaces and Human Decision Making for Recommender Systems (IntRS) in the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems (RecSys) (2018)
Generating Summaries of Sets of Consumer Products: Learning from Experiments (2018)
Kuptavanich, Kittipitch; Reiter, Ehud; van Deemter, Kees and Siddharthan, Advaith
In : Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Natural Language Generation (5-8 Nov 2018) (pp. 403-407)
Matrix Factorization for Package Recommendations (2017-08-18)
Wibowo, Agung Toto; Siddharthan, Advaith; Lin, Chenghua and Masthoff, Judith
In : Proceedings of the RecSys 2017 Workshop on Recommendation in Complex Scenarios (ComplexRec 2017) (31 Aug 2017, Como, Italy) (pp. 23-28)
Should Learning Material's Selection be Adapted to Learning Style and Personality? (2017-07-09)
Alhathli, Manal; Mastho, Judith and Siddharthan, Advaith
In : UMAP 2017 - Adjunct Publication of the 25th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (9-12 Jul 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia) (pp. 275-280)
Automatically Labelling Sentiment-Bearing Topics with Descriptive Sentence Labels (2017-06-21)
Barawi, Mohamad Hardyman; Lin, Chenghua and Siddharthan, Advaith
In : International Conference on Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems (21-23 Jun 2017, Liège, Belgium) (pp. 299-312)
Bumblebee friendly planting recommendations with citizen science data (2017)
Wibowo, Agung Toto; Siddharthan, Advaith; Anderson, Helen; Robinson, Annie; Sharma, Nirwan; Bostock, Helen; Salisbury, Andrew; Comont, Richard and van der Wal, René
In : Proceedings of the International Workshop on Recommender Systems for Citizens (31 Aug 2017, Como, Italy)
Summarising News Stories for Children (2016-09-05)
Macdonald, Iain and Siddharthan, Advaith
In : The 9th International Natural Language Generation Conference (5-8 Sep 2016, Edinburgh) (pp. 1-10)
Scrutable Feature Sets for Stance Classification (2016)
Mandya, Angrosh; Siddharthan, Advaith and Wyner, Adam
In : ArgMining2016: the Third Workshop on Argument Mining (7-12 Aug 2016, Berlin, Germany) (pp. 60-69)