Introducing PhD Candidate, Menasha Thilakaratne

Menasha is a full-time PhD student with us at CSER, supervised by Professor Falkner and Dr Atapattu. She has recently completed the first year Major Review milestone. Before joining the University of Adelaide, Menasha completed the Bachelor of Computer Science (Hons) from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and was awarded two gold medals for best academic performance within the degree and for best industrial placement. Her research interests are in the areas of Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Data Mining, and Network Analysis.

Menasha’s doctoral work is in Literature-Based Discovery (LBD) discipline and titled as “Automating Cross Domain Knowledge Discovery Process by Leveraging Technical Literature”. Her research aims to develop a novel knowledge discovery approach that assists research scientists by suggesting most promising research pathways that can be deduced to generate and validate scientifically sensible novel research hypotheses. Since the suggested research pathways have the potential to lead to novel scientific innovations, her research can significantly influence the knowledge acquisition and the research development process. The outcomes of the LBD knowledge discovery process also alleviate the problem of knowledge overspecialization by encouraging cross-disciplinary research (connecting the dots). To accomplish this aim, her research incorporates a deep analysis of the scientific literature through the use of NLP techniques by focusing on domains that have not been attempted by the previous LBD research. The ultimate goal of Menasha’s work is to fully automate the LBD process without any human intervention to guide the knowledge discovery process and to develop an LBD solution that will be suitable for any research domain.


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