Big Data Analytics

Research Group, Computer Science, University of Hull


We are the Big Data Analytics research group (BDA) in the School of Computer Science at the University of Hull. We collaborate with multiple other research groups in Computer Science, such as the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning group, the IoT group, and the Dependable Intelligent Systems (DEIS) group. We also work closely with other parts of the university, including the Viper HPC team, the Energy and Environment Institute, the Aura Centre for Doctoral Training Centre in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment, and the Centre of Excellence in Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Modelling (DAIM).

Our academic partners involve the Universities of Sheffield, Lincoln, Durham, Strathclyde, Manchester and the Open University, amongst others. Our non-academic partners involve businesses such as Reckitt, Toshiba, IBM, Spencer and Connexin, as well as public sector organisations, such as the ORE Catapult, CEFAS and the Environment Agency.

We first came together as a group in 2017 and have since been growing an interdisciplinary research portfolio in artificial intelligence and data analytics, particularly focusing on research in (deep) machine learning, interactive systems and natural language processing, and increasingly AI for sustainability and environmental modelling. We are keen to collaborate with partners in different areas to generate novel fundamental research, knowledge transfer and impact acceleration projects. This page is our home!

Our Research

Deep Learning and Data Analytics

We apply machine learning, mostly deep learning, in all our research projects, due to its ability to learn features from large datasets and identify patterns in disparate, large and noisy datasets. Most of our work on natural language processing and other time-series applications uses LSTM/GRU or transformer models (e.g. for sentiment analysis, natural language generation) while other projects in image analysis and sensory output analysis have used CNNs or autoencoders.

Our research in this area focuses on deep learning models that are transparent and interpretable and can explain the rationales behind their actions - this is important in many commercial and real-life applications to increase trust, helps to avoid bias and discrimination in AI models, and makes them generally more accountable.

We are also interested in fast learning systems and investigate topics in transfer learning, divide-and-conquer approaches to learning and efficiency. See our deep learning publications for details.

Natural Language and Social Media

Natural language processing (NLP) refers to approaches that analyse, generate and process natural language automatically using computational techniques and algorithms, mostly based on machine learning. Our strengths lie in natural language generation, that is the automatic generation of language from non-linguistic data sources, such as data-to-text generation, (spoken) dialogue systems, i.e. systems that engage in conversations with users to solve problems or provide information, sentiment analysis in text and social media and text classification and analysis.

We are also interested in social media analysis, including projects on sentiment analysis and mental health based on linguistic profiling, flood forecasting and emergency situation assessment from social media and topics in digital conservation, such as public opinion mining and the monitoring of species. See our natural language processing publications for details.

Interactive Systems and Decision Support

Interactive systems can interact with their users in different ways, including text, speech, haptic or other multimodal input. A common distinction is between task-oriented interactive systems that target a particular domain, e.g. answering user queries on restaurant or tourist attractions in the local area, and open-domain systems who attempt to answer any question, e.g. using information retrieval methods from the web. Most personal assistant fall into the latter category. Finally, chatbots have no purpose of informing but rather aim to entertain users by engaging in casual chat.

Our group is interested in human-like behaviour of interactive systems, e.g. the incremental planning of utterances and the analysis of linguistic features in different conversational contexts. Most recently we have worked on interactive decision support systems for various real-life applications, most notably in the wind domain, where we use interaction as a way to provide easy and intuitive access to the inner workings of wind turbines to support operations and maintenance. See our interactive systems publications for details.

Sustainability and the Environment

We are applying AI and machine learning techniques to help solve problems in sustainability and environmental research. We are part of the EPSRC Aura CDT on Offshore Wind and the Environment, and we have a strong interest in the digitalisation of offshore wind. As part of this, we use AI to improve operations and maintenance of wind turbines to improve their reliability and usability as an alternative to fossil fuel-based energy sources. We achieve this through detailed and explainable fault forecasting and the automatic generation of maintenance strategies from expert knowledge sources.

Other research includes the forecasting of floods from high-frequency and social media data sources and the monitoring of water quality in the North Sea from sensory data and satellite images to achieve longer-term forecasting of the effects of human activity or environmental factors on water quality. We are currently growing our research on using AI towards the conservation of species. See our sustainability publications for details.


Royal Society International Exchange

Project on Mortality Risk Prediction of ICU Patients with Sepsis Considering Dynamic Time Series Characteristics Under Uncertainty, with Chao Huang.

2023-25, Ma


We are extremely excited to have been awarded an Innovation Launchpad Network+ grant for Researchers in Residence. We will work with OREC to consolidate and expand fundamental research on using natural language to enhance O&M in OSW.

UKRI, 2023-25, Dethlefs (PI)

KTP with Connexin

We are working with broadband and IoT business Connexin on a novel speech-to-text platform that integrates sensor networks for assisted living.

Innovate UK, 2023-25, Dethlefs, Cheng

Rapid prototyping of text analysis via domain transfer

This is an impact acceleration project that enables rapid analysis of text documents from interactive feedback and sparse human labels, by leveraging our previous research in NLP and language models.

HEIF, 2022-23, Dethlefs, Dixon

Physics-informed machine learning for rapid fatigue assessments in offshore wind farms

We propose an industry-compatible advance in accumulated fatigue assessment via novel integration of physical modelling and machine learning.

With the EEI and University of Sheffield.

EPSRC Supergen ORE, 2021-22, Dethlefs

KTP with Reckitt

We develop novel algorithms to improve stability testing of new product formulations and accelerate their launch from initial conception and design through to testing and manufacturing. This will accelerate product improvement and enhance Reckitt's capacity to react to customer feedback and product reviews.

Innovate UK, 2021-23, Dethlefs

Green Talents

Working with BIBA at Uni Bremen to develop a novel computer vision approach for in-situ identification of ice on wind turbine blades.

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, 2021-22, Chatterjee

Aura CDT

We are part of the Aura CDT on Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment lead research theme "Big data, sensors and digitalisation".

With partner institutions Sheffield, Durham and Newcastle.

EPSRC, NERC 2019-27, Dethlefs

See Details

KTP with Spencer Ltd

We apply research in data analytics, NLP and AI to analyse company documents, identify patterns, extract information and generate insights towards more effective workflows and informed decision support.

Innovate UK, 2020-22, Dethlefs, Dixon

SESAME - Secure and Safe Multi-Robot Systems

Research to address the openness, uncertainty, variability, and interplay of safety and security in multi-robot systems.

See Details

EU H2020, 2021-24, Dethlefs (CI)

Deep Text Generation from Knowledge Graphs

We research hierarchical decomposition approaches for fast learning in natural language generation systems that can produce high-quality outputs from sparse and unseen knowledge graphs.

Diffbot (industry grant), 2017-19, Dethlefs

Text mining legal documents with interactive learning

The aim is to semi-automate the analysis of legal documents with an intelligent software that can extract prominent themes from a document, and identify likely areas for legal attention.

With legal firm rradar.

HEIF, 2019, Dethlefs

Seed Award in Science

Project investigating 3D Analysis of Maxillofacial Growth in Patients with Cleft Lip and Palate. With colleagues in Medical Engineering at Hull.

Wellcome Trust, 2027-19, Ma


Dr Nina Dethlefs

Senior Lecturer

Natural language processing, interactive systems, AI, deep learning.

Dr Koorosh Aslansefat


AI Safety and Explainability, Data-driven Fault Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis.

Dr John Dixon


MANETS, sensor networks, IoT, network protocols, low-power networking.

Dr Venkata Maruti Viswanath Gunturi


Geospatial Data Science, Sustainability, Graph Algorithms.

Dr Xinhui Ma


Digtial Twins, Computer Graphics, Data Science, Machine Learning.

Dr Jon Carrick

Research and KTP Associate

Data science, IoT, speech processing.

Dr Joyjit Chatterjee

Researcher & Data Scientist at Reckitt

Artificial intelligence, wind turbines, green energy, natural language processing.

Lydia Bryan-Smith

Experimental Officer, PhD Student

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, environmental modelling, social media analysis.

Victoria Bessonova

PhD student

Climate change models, offshore wind, machine learning .

Sedat Dogan

PhD student

Natural language processing, image analyis, social media, memes.

Ervands Mumdzjans

PhD student

AI, deep learning, ethics, music.

Oyinkansola Onwuchekwa (KKC)

PhD Student

AI, deep learning, music and culture.

Samuel Rose

PhD student

Deep learning, natural language processing, dyslexia, language models.

Callum Rothon

PhD student

(Deep) Computer Vision, Structural health monitoring, offshore wind.

Victoria Sherratt

PhD student

Natural language processing, AI, semiotics, memes.

Eamonn Tuton

PhD Student

Offshore wind, digital twins, deep learning, logistics.

Ifeoluwa Wuraola

PhD student

Natural language processing, social media, discourse analysis, climate change.


Dr Yifei Wang
, Research Associate, then at the Open University.   
Natural language processing, AI, deep learning

Dr Onatkut Dagtekin
, PhD student, now KTP Associate with University of Essex.   
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, environmental modelling, natural language processing

Dr Bikash Gyawali
, KTP Associate, now Data Scientist at Spencer Ltd.   
Artificial intelligence, data analysis, natural language processing

Dr Robert Houseago
, Research Associate, now Research Associate at Durham University.   
Environmental modelling, coastal geomorphology, data analytics

Dr Alex Turner
, Lecturer, now Assistant Professor at Nottingham University   
Artificial intelligence, healthcare, complex dynamical systems

Dr Annika Schoene
, PhD student, then Research Fellow at University of Manchester, now at NorthEastern.   
Deep learning, machine learning, sentiment analysis, natural language processing

Dr Darryl Davis
, Senior Lecturer, now freelancing / enjoying retirement
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, robotics

Dr Albert Dulian
, PhD student, now Deep Learning Scientist at Vicon   
Deep learning, computer vision, reinforcement learning, self-driving vehicles

Dr George Lacey
, PhD student   
Deep learning, genetic algorithms, complex dynamical systems

Dr Eva Sousa
, PhD student, then Lecturer at DAIM/Uni Hull   
Artificial intelligence, medical imaging

Dr Luana Mincarelli
, PhD student, then at Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise, Italy   
Marine biology

Dr Ric Colasanti
, Postdoctoral Researcher, now at Bournemouth University
Artificial intelligence, machine learning

Joshua Bee
, MSc (Research) student, now at META
Deep learning, computer vision

News & Activities

BDA Christmas Research Workshop 2023

It's only 11 days left until our research workshop. This year we celebrate with our own Charity Christmas tree, made by the FabLab in donation to Dove House Hospice (spot it in the picture).

Business at Cambridge

Joyjit spent his Best International KE Initiative Award fund learning about enterprise and business opportunities at the University of Cambridge, the Institute of Continuous Learning (ICL).

Internship at Toshiba

Callum worked with Tobisha Europe's Speech Technology Group at Cambridge this summer to explore the feasibility of human-in-the-loop machine learning to classify turbine blade damage from images using dialogue. Paper in the pipeline.

Innovation Network Grant

Nina will be working on a Researcher in Residence grant with the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult to embed our work on natural language for O&M into the industry in the form of a ChatOSW system. One of our smallest yet most exciting grants!

Congrats Albert!

Congratulations to Dr Albert Dulian who successfully passed his viva on Short-term motion prediction of autonomous vehicles in complex environments: A Deep Learning approach. Well done, Albert!

Language at the Science Festival

Lydia presented an amazing demo at this year's Humber Science Festival showing how modern AI models represent language in context. You can see different languages represented with an outer space touch...See Lydia's video here.

  • Nina
  • September 2023

SMARTER: Performance and reliability

Nina joined a discussion panel on data sources and analysis for offshore wind at this year's O&M Conference, hosted by Renewable UK and OREC. A very interesting day and lots to think about and explore further.

  • BDA
  • June 2023

Summer conference success

We're busy this summer with Callum and Eamonn first presenting their Offshore Wind research at WESC in Glasgow, and then at YISEC in Bradford. Victoria presented her work on meme classification at ICMR in Thessaloniki, and Joyjit headed to Alberta, Canada to present this KTP on a funded visit to Amii. Ifeoluwa had her first paper accepted at LSD and is heading to Gothenburg in September. Congrats all!

Knowledge Transfer Partnership 10 Year Celebration Event

Joyjit presented his KTP with Reckitt last evening at Uni Hull's 10-year KTP Celebration Event under the motto Team work makes the dream work. Thanks so much for representing BDA in such a positive light! You can read Joyjit's full narrative of the event on LinkedIn.

  • BDA
  • February 2023

New KTP with Connexin

Happy to announce our new KTP with Hull-based broadband and IoT business Connexin. We will develop a new Smart Speaker system for assisted living, bringing together novel aspects of speech-to-text generation and sensors. We're looking to recruit a KTP Associate (PhD-level) soon...

Congrats Onatkut!

Congratulations to Onatkut Dagtekin for passing his PhD viva on the topic of Deep Learning for the Early Detection of Harmful Algal Blooms and Improving Water Quality Monitoring. Well done Onatkut and good luck in Essex. Keep in touch!

  • BDA
  • December 2022

BDA Christmas 2022

We're excited for our annual Christmas research workshop on 7 Dec - especially as it falls together with our 5th anniversary this year! [ early pic] Here is our programme.

Reckitt visit in Salt Lake City

Joyjit spent some time at the Reckitt offices in Salt Lake City to work directly with US colleagues our KTP AI Stability tool for nutraceutical data. Read a fuller account on LinkedIn. Thanks so much to the team for hosting!

BDA at Hull Science Festival 2022

We're at the Hull Science Festival this year! Erv is demonstrating (hands-on) how AI can be used to generate create music collaboratively and Lydia is joining the Viper team to talk about the role of HPCs for AI.

Research visit in Bremen

Joyjit spent a month at the University of Bremen in Germany, collaborating with the BIBA Institute on a project on ice detection on turbine blades. This research stay was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research via the Green Talents Award. Thanks to Maite Alvela and Hannes Gelbhardt for hosting!

Climate Change Summer 2022

Onatkut participated in this year's Climate Change AI Summer School 2022, and presented this very timely research on detecting harmful algal blooms with deep learning at IJCNN in Padua, Italy this summer.

Disseminating our Wind Research

Joyjit was interviewed by IEEE Spectrum on AI's impact on wind and solar energy, stressing the urgency of more uptake, and the potential of natural language as a way to enhance explainability. Nina presented our research on wind and language to Toshiba Europe's Dialogue Systems group. It was lovely to chat with everyone there.

Forbes 30 Under 30

We are proud that our very own Joyjit has been named in Forbes 30 under 30 Europe this year under the Manufacturing and Industry category - people that create the products, methods and materials of tomorrow! Congrats Joyjit, well deserved!

Centre of Excellence in Data Science, AI and Modelling

We're part of the Faculty's new Centre of Excellence for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Modelling (DAIM). You can join us a taught MSc student, PhD student, or as a new member of academic staff.

Inspired in Hull Awards 2022

Nina is extremely excited to have received the Inspired in Hull Award for "Excellence in Supervision". What an honour seen the amazing colleagues that were nominated, having a brilliant cohort of PhD students like our BDA bunch is a real advantage!

ICRL Social on Facilitating the Renewables Transition with AI

We're thrilled to be hosting a Social session at ICRL 2022 - featuring a panel discussion with a set of experts from the wind and renewables sector, branching across academia and the industry. We hope to explore the opportunities and risks of AI in the transition towards Net Zero. See our dedicated page here.

Conversation article

Read our latest Conversation article! We discuss the carbon footprint of modern AI and how it contributes to furthering the divide between developed and developing countries.

  • BDA, EEI
  • 28 March - 1 April 2022

Hackathon in AI for Sustainability

Our (first) NERC discipline hopping Hackathon in AI for Sustainability took place w/c 28 March, jointly organised by Computer Science and the Energy and Environment Institute. We spotten hedges from the air, predicted the structural health of wind turbine monopiles, and predicted floods from social media. See our hackathon page here.

Sugergen best poster award!

Congratulations to Bobby Houseago for winning the Early Career Researcher Poster Prize at the Supergen Annual Assembly this year for his poster on rapid fatigue assessment in offshore wind farms. Yay!

BDA Christmas 2021

Thanks all who made it to our annual sparkly Christmas research workshop to present your work, discuss ideas, and eat some cake... Looking forward to next year!

Green Talents Award 2021

We're massively proud of Joyjit who got selected for a Green Talents Award from amongst 25 researchers from around the globe. The German Ministry of Education and Research awards these prestigious titles + a fully funded research stay in Germany to young people that have made an outstanding contribution to research in sustainability.

Hedgehog Rescue

The University are part of an amazing initiative to create a hedgehog-friendly campus, see here. This involves raising awareness of hedgehogs and their habitats, creating safe spaces, including bug hotels and hedgehog shelters, and keeping our campus clean and tidy. We're very excited about this!

Congrats Joyjit!

Congratulations to Dr Joyjit Chatterjee, who has successfully passed his viva, completing his PhD on Explainable AI for O&M of Wind Turbines, see here. Well done Joyjit - and we're excited that you're staying with us in a postdoctoral role.

EPSRC Supergen ORE grant

We won an EPSRC Supergen ORE grant with Agota Mockute at the EEI and Lizzy Cross from Sheffield and a group of strong industry partners. We'll be predicting fatigue levels of wind turbines using deep learning and physical modelling. See details here.

Nudge Sustainable Impact Challenge

Congratulations to Joyjit for completing the Nudge Global Impact Challenge that selects young research leaders to develop their own sustainability research plans. See Joyjit's promotional video pitching his PhD project here.

Congrats Annika!

Congratulations to Dr Annika Schoene, one of our founding members, who has successfully passed her viva and is leaving us to take up a postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester. Keep in touch, Annika!

KTP with Reckitt

We are really excited to be working with Reckitt on a 2-year KTP project to develop novel AI techniques to improve stability testing and new product development, and accelerate product development from design over testing to manufacturing. What an amazing opportunity!

EMNLP-2019 in Hong Kong

Annika went to Hong Kong to present her paper Dilated LSTM with attention for Classification of suicide notes at the LOUHI workshop at EMNLP-2019. See here.

Offshore Wind Hackathon, Glasgow

Joyjit was part of a Uni Hull team to enter the Offshore Wind Hackathon in Glasgow, applying deep learning to predict the power availability in wind farms.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership on AI / NLP

We are looking forward to working with the Spencer Group on a new Innovate UK-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to integrate artificial intelligence and natural language processing into corporate workflows. Job advert to follow shortly.

MLSS-2019, London

We are proud of Annika who was selected to attend MLSS this year - THE Machine Learning Summer School, which took place in London between 15-26 July 2019. Click here to read more on her blog.

  • Nina
  • 22-25 Jan 2019

Deep Learning Week 2019

We had over a 100 participants at our annual Deep Learning week including 4 brilliant external speakers, see here and here for our programmes. Thanks to everyone who attended, participated and contributed.

Aura Centre for Doctoral Training in Offshore Wind and the Environment

We are part of Hull's new EPSRC and NERC-funded CDT in Offshore Wind and the Environment together with partners Durham, Newcastle and Sheffield. See here for website and PhD student recruitment.

Northern Lights in Tromsø

Joyjit presented some early PhD work at the Northern Lights Deep Learning Workshop in Tromsø - doing some networking and seeing the Northern Lights. See his presentation and talk here.

GPU programming for Deep Learning -- Jan 24/25 2019

We are hosting a 2-day GPU and CUDA programming course right after the Deep Learning Winter School 2019. The aim is to gain an understanding of GPU hardware and a competence in CUDA GPU programming for scientific applications, with a particular focus on deep learning. See here for details and registration.

Christmas Poster Workshop

On 7th December the Big Data Analytics Research group gathered for its annual Poster Workshop and Christmas Lunch.

ORE Catapult Visit in Glasgow

Joyjit spent some time with the ORE Catapult in Glasgow last month. Read about this visit.

  • BDA
  • 26 Oct 2018

Christmas 2018 -- Posters Workshop and Lunch

We're excited about our upcoming Christmas Workshop and Lunch on 7 Dec. See our flyer.

2nd Deep Learning Winter School -- Jan 22/23 2019

We are organising the 2nd Deep Learning Winter School on 22-23 January 2019 as a hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of deep learning, including talks from leading researchers in the field a tour of Viper See here for details and registration.

Aura PhD Cluster - Class of 2018

The new Aura wind energy PhD cluster met for a kick-off meeting with the 4 new students, including Joyjit from the Big Data Analytics group. Read Joyjit's report.

Post-doctoral research assistant - 15 Nov

We're recruiting for a post-doctoral research assistant to work on an EPSRC-funded project on Transparent AI. See here. Deadline 15 Nov 2018.

PhD scholarship - Deep learning for water sensing

We're recruiting a PhD student on a 3-year fully-funded scholarship on data analytics (particularly deep learning) for water sensing. See here. Deadline 23 Jan 2019.

PhD scholarship - Deep learning for flood risk mapping

We're recruiting a PhD student on a 3-year fully-funded scholarship on data analytics from IoT devices for modelling flood risks. See here. Deadline 23 Jan 2019.

Research Internship at IBM

Once the start date and funding for my PhD was confirmed, I started searching the internet for what makes a successful PhD student in Computer Science. ...

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British Science Festival

David Benoit from Chemistry and Nina Dethlefs gave a talk at the British Science Festival on "Let the AI In".

Read more

The Conversation

Following up on our talk at the British Science Festival, we published an article in The Conversation --- AI: there’s a reason it’s so bad at conversation.

EPSRC First Grant

Alex Turner got his EPSRC grant on 'Using Epigenetically-Inspired Connectionist Models to Provide Transparency In The Modelling of Human Visceral Leismaniasis'.

See details.

Welcome and big data cake

Today we had "big data" cake to welcome 3 new team members who will be working on deep learning and computational biology.

Read more

KDD-2018 in London

After having my paper accepted for the 2018 WISDOM workshop at KDD, I felt both nervous but excited. ...

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Get in touch


+44 (0) 1482 465994


Email one of our team


Robert Blackburn Building
3rd floor
University of Hull
Cottingham Road
HU6 7RX, Hull, UK