Centre Directors

Professor Thomas Hain

Head of the Speech and Hearing Research Group

Professor Hain is a world leader in speech recognition. He heads the Voicebase Centre for Speech and Language Technology and is a leader in the speech community.

"Talking and listening, understanding and expressive communication are skills that we all have. To this day we struggle to build machines that come close to human abilities.

"To explore and invent methods that allow us to recognise what is spoken, to understand, transform and interpret human communication has been the focus of my research. I am interested in machine learning methods that allow us to model communication and interaction, to be able to help people communicate, learn, and engage with new technology."

Examples of possible topics for supervision include:

  • Advanced modelling of speech processes.

  • Models of acoustic environments or of language.

  • Relationship between languages, and systems that transcribe spoken words, analyse them, transform the signal or the language.

  • Systems that respond to you and learn from you.

Professor Rob Gaizauskas (currently on academic sabbatical)

Natural Language Processing Research Group

Professor Gaizauskas is internationally known for his research on information extraction and text mining, temporal information processing, question answering and summarisation.

"Can we build we build computer programs that understand human language? This question is of interest from both a cognitive science and linguistic perspective, and from an applied engineering perspective.

"What are the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic mechanisms available in human languages and how do intentional agents deploy them to communicate and accomplish goals in the world?

"How can we use our current, partial understanding of NLP to engineer applications that help people to gain better access to information in massive amounts of textual data and to dynamically interact with intelligent agents via NL dialogue?"

Example of possible topics for supervision include:

  • Information extraction/text mining.

  • Automatic summarisation.

  • Semantic annotation of temporal and spatial information.

  • Automatic generation of image descriptions.

  • Common sense knowledge and NL understanding.

  • Task-oriented dialogue.

Independent Advisory Board

Professor Tanja Schultz (chair)

Bremen University, Germany

Professor Ted Briscoe

University of Cambridge, UK

Professor David Weir

Sussex University, UK

Professor Hervé Bourlard

Idiap Research Institute, Switzerland

Professor Yannis Stylianou

Apple, UK and University of Crete, Greece

Research Supervisors and Associated Academics

Dr Nikos Aletras

Supervisor and Theme Lead for: SLT Frontiers - novel methods

Research interests:

  • Natural language processing;

  • Machine Learning for NLP;

  • Social Media Analysis;

  • NLP in the legal domain.

Professor Jon Barker

Acting Co-Director, Supervisor, and Theme Lead for: Robust SLTs

Research interests:

  • Noise-robust speech recognition;

  • Speech enhancement;

  • Hearing aid signal processing;

  • Perception of speech in noise;

  • Machine listening;

  • Acoustic scene analysis.

Dr Loïc Barrault

Visiting Academic and external supervisor

Research interests:

  • Statistical and neural machine translation including linguistics aspects (factored neural machine translation)

  • Considering multiple modalities (multimodal neural machine translation).

Professor Kalina Bontcheva


Research interests:

  • Analysis of online misinformation and bots;

  • Hate speech and online abuse detection;

  • NLP methods for social media analysis, open source tools, information extraction, text analytics, social media summarisation, ethics and privacy in social media research.

Professor Guy Brown


Research interests:

  • Machine hearing;

  • Auditory modelling;

  • Speech perception;

  • Hearing impairment;

  • Robustness to noise and reverberation;

  • Active hearing (eg, in robotic systems);

  • Clinical applications of speech technology.

Professor Heidi Christensen

Supervisor and Theme Lead for: Novel SLT applications

Research interests:

  • Speech recognition for atypical voices;

  • Audio and speech processing for assistive technology;

  • Machine listening;

  • Conversational interfaces;

  • Pathological speech processing.

Professor Paul Clough


Research interests:

  • Developing effective retrieval technologies that support users as they seek to fulfil their information needs including multilingual search, retrieval of images, geo-spatial search, analysis of transaction logs, text re-use and plagiarism detection, and the evaluation of search systems.

Professor Hamish Cunningham


Research interests:

  • Language analysis infrastructure;

  • Text mining and textual big data processing;

  • Physical computing;

  • Micro-manufacturing;

  • Maker culture;

  • Raspberry Pi;

  • Privacy-preserving social media;

  • Crowdfunding.

Dr Stefan Goetze

Supervisor and Theme Lead for: Interconnecting SLT with the world

Research interests:

  • Speech processing;

  • Speech recognition;

  • Hearing loss;

  • Pattern recognition;

  • Acoustics;

  • Digital signal processing;

  • Acoustic signal processing;

  • Speech and language processing;

  • Signal processing;

  • Speech intelligibility.

Professor Phil Green

Director of Studies

Research interests:

  • Automatic speech recognition;

  • Auditory scene analysis;

  • Clinical applications of speech technology.

Dr Yoshi Gotoh


Research interests:

  • Spoken language processing;

  • Audio visual processing;

  • Information retrieval from audio visual contents.

Dr Mark Hepple


Research interests:

  • Computational linguistics and natural language processing including

    • formal grammar and parsing,

    • information extraction,

    • clinical text mining,

    • temporal information processing,

    • robust dialogue processing,

    • efficient storage of large-scale linguistic data.

Dr Chenghua Lin

Supervisor and Theme Lead for: Scalable SLTs

Research interests:

  • Natural language processing and generation;

  • Text mining;

  • Representation learning;

  • Sentiment analysis;

  • Metaphor processing;

  • Dialogue systems.

Dr Diana Maynard


Research interests:

  • Social media analysis;

  • Sentiment analysis;

  • News and information bias;

  • Semantic search;

  • Multidisciplinary work combining text analysis with behavioural and social information.

Professor Roger Moore


Research interests:

  • Spoken language processing;

  • Speech technology;

  • Voice-enabled agents/robots;

  • Vocal interactivity;

  • Speech perception and production;

  • Clinical and creative applications of speech technology.

Dr Nafise Sadat Moosavi


Research interests:

  • End-to-end reasoning;

  • Robustness and generalisation;

  • Coreference resolution;

  • Text generation;

  • Sustainability;

  • Reliable evaluation.

Dr Anton Ragni


Research interests:

  • Core speech recognition;

  • Efficient and expressive speech synthesis;

  • Spoken language translation;

  • Information retrieval;

  • Conversation modelling.

Dr Carolina Scarton


Research interests:

  • Personalised NLP;

  • Test simplification;

  • Online content verification (misinformation detection);

  • Quality estimation of machine translation;

  • Document-level evaluation of NLP tasks outputs;

  • Readability assessment;

  • Automatic construction of computational lexical resources.

Dr Xingyi Song


Research interests:

  • Natural Language Processing,

  • Computational Social Science,

  • Sentiment analysis

  • Bio-medical text processing

Professor Lucia Specia

Associated academic

Research interests:

  • Multimodal machine learning;

  • Language grounding;

  • Machine translation;

  • Text adaptation;

  • Quality estimation.

Dr Mark Stevenson


Research interests:

  • Lexical semantics and analysis of word meanings (word sense disambiguation and lexical similarity);

  • Applications including medicine (text mining for systematic reviews, biomedical relation extraction, data mining and contradiction identification);

  • Document analysis (identification of text reuse, plagiarism and author identification);

  • Information extraction.

Professor Aline Villavicencio


Research interests:

  • Lexical semantics;

  • Neural network word and phrase representation learning;

  • Word embeddings;

  • Multiword expressions;

  • Idiomatic, figurative and metaphorical language;

  • Cognitive computational modelling;

  • Algorithms for language acquisition;

  • Processing and loss;

  • Language profiling in clinical conditions;

  • Multilinguality;

  • NLP for low-resourced languages;

  • Text simplification;

  • Parsing.

Management Team

Dr Stuart Wrigley

Operations and Business Development Manager

Lizzie Pass

CDT Administrator