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Intelligent Systems and Data Science (ISDS)

The Intelligent Systems and Data Science team carries out research in a variety of areas relevant to the development of user-centric, intelligent, data-intensive solutions, including Data Science, Semantic Web Technologies, Visual Analytics, Robotics, Large-Scale Data Infrastructures, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, and Human-Computer Interaction. Application domains include (but are not limited to) Smart Cities, Scholarly Data and Digital Humanities.

Our research is characterised by an emphasis on developing concrete solutions for concrete user audiences, while at the same time ensuring problems are approached by means of a broader socio-technological perspective, which ensures that users play a key role in co-designing the solution in question. In addition, we also believe that most interesting problems can only be addressed through interdisciplinary approaches, hence our solutions tend to integrate different classes of computational methods, such as augmenting scalable data mining techniques with semantic technologies and background knowledge to improve both system performance and explainability. Key achievements include the development of the award-winning MK Data Hub and an innovative approach to the automatic generation of scientific taxonomies, which has been adopted by Springer Nature.

Recent highlights comprise our work on the MK:Smart project, including the development of the MK:Insight portal and the MK Data Hub infrastructure, our ongoing collaboration with Springer Nature on decision support tools for the academic publishing industry, our work on ‘robots in smart cities’ in the context of the SciRoc and Gatekeeper projects, and our collaborations with social scientists and musicologists to support and improve research methods in the Humanities.

In addition to our core R&D work, we are also closely engaged with the business community both in Milton Keynes and the wider SEMLEP region and indeed we consider innovation support a key aspect of our mission. In particular, in 2017-2019 we ran CityLabs, a programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, which enables SMEs in our region (South East Midlands) to take advantage of our expertise in Intelligent Systems and Data Science to develop innovative products and services for the digital economy.



Paul Alexander