• Research Projects

    Current Projects

    SOCIAM – The Theory and Practice of Social Machines

    This EPSRC Programme Grant with Edinburgh and Oxford Universities will research methods of supporting purposeful human interaction on the World Wide Web, of the kind exemplified by phenomena such as Wikipedia and Galaxy Zoo. These collaborations are empowering, as communities identify and solve their own problems, harnessing their commitment, local knowledge and embedded skills, without having to rely on remote experts or governments. Such interaction is characterised by a new kind of emergent, collective problem solving, in which we see (i) problems solved by very large scale human participation via the Web, (ii) access to, or the ability to generate, large amounts of relevant data using open data standards, (iii) confidence in the quality of the data and (iv) intuitive interfaces. There is as yet no theory of how to fully describe these social machines nor design methods to build  them.

    Coarse geometry and cohomology of large data sets

    The project is seeking to develop new mathematical methods from geometry and topology to represent and reason over very large datasets. The new methods being investigated allow efficient representation of data and for patterns to be discernable within the representations. Applications include genomics, environmental science and open government data.

    Doctoral Training Centre in Web Science

    The Web Science Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Southampton is part of a £250 million investment in the future of UK science and technology by the RCUK Digital Economy Programme. The DTC is providing around 80 fully funded studentships and scholarships for 4 year PhD training in Web Science. The DTC also runs courses MSc and PhDs in Web Science and Web Technology.

    International Technology Alliance (ITA)

    This MoD and ARL funded Research Collaboration is a multimillion-pound, 10-year grant to undertake basic research in Network Science for Defence. It involves 24 partners from the UK and US investigating the complex interplay between networks, security, sensors and decision making.

    Recent Projects

    EnAKTinG: Forging the Web of Linked Data

    EnAKTing was an EPSRC-funded project dedicated to solving fundamental problems in achieving an effective web of linked data. EnAKTing transformed data sets from www.data.gov.uk into linked data and to create simple, useful visualisations that everyone can explore. EnAKTing developed services that facilitate the use of linked data by applications by easing discovery, reuse, alignment, and link enrichment through reasoning.

    Integrated Products and Services – IPAS

    This DTI funded Research Collaboration involves 11 academic and industrial partners one of whom is Rolls-Royce the target client of the project. Following on from the AKT project Southampton’s contribution is to deliver semantic-aware and ontology driven software to support more effective working practices. In particular, knowledge transfer between three very different worlds; new service design, new product design and the operation of existing products and services in the field.


    This EU funded Research Collaboration is helping define Semiotic Dynamics, a new field that studies how semiotic (meaningful) relations can originate, spread and evolve over time in populations. It is investigating web-scale collaborative tagging behaviour to further our understanding of the dynamics of information in online communities.


    This EU funded Research Collaboration aims to build a peer to peer architecture to support interaction and coordination in the Semantic Web. The research is grounded in two testbed areas: bioinformatics and emergency response.


    This MoD funded project is part of the Data and Information (DIF) Defence Technology Centre. This project focuses on the creation of infomation brokerage services that incorporate ontology mediation techniques as the basiss for meaning-preserving modes of information exchange between diverse user communities.


    This MoD funded project is part of the Data and Information (DIF) Defence Technology Centre. The project is addressing the challenges faced by military and civillian agencies when attempting to use an increasing torrent of information to support enhanced situational awareness. The project combines state-of-the-art approaches to text mining and resource classification with semantic technologies that support information retrieval, knowledge discovery, text summarization, knowledge dissemination and decision making. Our partner in this project is QinetiQ.


    This MoD funded project is part of the Data and Information (DIF) Defence Technology Centre. We are working with the University of Cardiff and General Dynamics to investigate how effects-based operations can be supported using Semantic Web technologies. The chosen domain to illustrate the approach is stability and support operations in the context of Information Operations.

    Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) IRC

    EPSRC funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration is a multimillion-pound, six-year grant to undertake pure and applied research in the provision of methods, tools and techniques for the support of the knowledge life cycle. It draws on research from AI, Psychology, Linguistics and Multimedia. The five partners in AKT are the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Southampton and the Open University.


    This MoD funded project was part of the Data and Information (DIF) Defence Technology Centre. Its aim was to explore the use of Semantic Web technologies arising from the AKT project to support Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) – specifically humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Results from the project led to significant interest from defence funding agencies and the use of knowledge assets generated by the project in the deployment of British Forces in theatre.

    MIAKT UK e-Science IRC Project

    EPSRC two year project is funded by the EPSRC e-Science Core Programme. It is a collaboration between the AKT and Medical Images and Signals IRCs. It is attempting to use the methods and techniques originating out of the two IRCs to support collaborative medical decision making and information management in the domain of symptomatic breast disease.

    CoAKTinG UK e-Science IRC Project

    This is also a two year project funded by the EPSRC e-Science Core Programme. It is investigating the use of knowledge technologies in a collaborative context using multicast videoconference technologies such as the Access Grid.

    GEODISE UK e-Science Pilot Project

    This EPSRC funded three year project is funded by the EPSRC e-Science Programme. It aims to support designers in the complex task of engineering optimisation. A range of Knowledge Technologies have been used to provide rich mark up and decision support in this domain.

    Memories for Life Network

    This EPSRC funded project is establishing a Network of researchers to pursue common interests in the area technologies to support and understand the the management of aspects of human memory. The Network comprises researchers from a range of disciplines and originated out of the UKCRC sponsored Grand Challenges Workshop and the OST’s Cognitive Systems Programme.

    Knowledge Acquisition by Software Agents

    The World Wide Web contains vast amounts of information in a wide variety of formats. This work is building Software Agents to help capture, model and analyse knowledge from this type of distributed resource. A framework for building the agents has been developed and experiments conducted in a number of application areas.

    Modelling Neural Plasticity

    This research has attempted to understand the mechanisms underlying the ability of the nervous systems to remodel themselves. In particular, mathematical analyses and computer simulations have been developed that reproduce a range of findings reported in neuroscience. These include the development of various cortical maps and the effects of pharmacological and other interventions on these maps. The models are based on activity driven competition for an important class of molecules known as neurotrophic factors. The models are now being implemented on actual robots to further investigate their properties. This work is carried out jointly with Dr Terry Elliott who is funded through the award of a Royal Society University Research Fellowship.

    Earlier Projects

    Structured Process Elicitation Demonstrations Environment (SPEDE)

    Diagrammatic Knowledge Acquisition (DKA)

    Knowledge Acquisition Training Programme (KAT)

    EPSRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training (CREDIT)

    Recognition Primed Decision Making (RPD I & II)

    Planning Support for Search and Rescue (SAR)

    AI Support System for Shipyard Repair (REPAY)

    Life Cycle Support for KBS System Development (VITAL)

    Knowledge Acquisition Workbench for KBS System Development (ACKnowledge)

    Structured Elicitation Toolkit (SET)

    Evaluation of Knowledge Elicitation Methods

    Integrated Formalisms for Epistemic Reasoning (INFORMER)

    Epistemic Logics for Multiple Agents (ELMA)

    Experiments in Planning and Instruction (EXPLAIN)

    AI System for Plant Layout (PLS)

    Discourse Generation via Planning (MASON)