Prof. Verena Rieser

Verena Rieser is a Professor in Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, where she is affiliated with the Interaction Lab.  Verena holds a PhD from Saarland University (2008) and worked as postdoctoral researcher at University of Edinburgh (2008-2011).  Her research focuses on machine learning techniques for spoken dialogue systems and language generation, where she has authored almost 100 peer-reviewed papers.  She has served as area chair for ACL for both language generation and dialogue. For the past two years,  Verena and her group were the only UK team to make it through to the finals of the Amazon Alexa Prize.  

Potential Supervisor

My interests are interaction learning, speech and multimodal technology. Please see the following link

I specialize in data-driven machine learning approaches for sequential decision making as applied to interactive systems, including human-robot interaction, spoken dialogue systems (aka. conversational agents), multimodal output generation, decision support and multi-agent systems for computational sustainability.  I currently supervise 3 MSc, 3 PhD students and 2 postdoctoral researchers in these areas. 

Potential Research topics for MSc/EngD:
1.    Strategic Interaction: Using advanced machine learning methods, such as approximate DEC-POMDPs, for effective human-robot teamwork.
2.    Cognitive Interfaces: Develop human-robot interfaces which can adapt to the cognitive load of the user, as estimated from multimodal sensor data.
3.    Deep Learning for Open Domain Interaction: Investigate Deep Neural Networks to learn optimal interaction control from unlabelled data.
4.    Situated Output Generation: Develop a data-driven framework for multi-modal output generation (including language) for Human-Robot Interaction.


Research keywords: 
NLP, reinforcement learning, spoken and multimodal interaction
0131 451 4192

Related PhD Project Topics

Related current research projects