Elena Simperl

Short CV

Elena Simperl is a Professor of Computer Science and Deputy Head of Department for Enterprise and Engagement in the Department of Informatics at King’s College London. She is also the Director of Research for the Open Data Institute (ODI) and a Fellow of the British Computer Society and the Royal Society of Arts. Elena features in the top 100 most influential scholars in knowledge engineering of the last decade.

She obtained her doctoral degree in Computer Science from the Free University of Berlin, and her diploma in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich. Prior to joining King’s, she was a Turing Fellow, and held positions in Germany, Austria and at the University of Southampton.

Her research is at intersection between AI and social computing, helping designers understand how to build smart sociotechnical systems that combine data and algorithms with human and social capabilities. Elena led 14  European and national research projects, including recently QROWDODINEData PitchData Stories, and ACTION.

She is currently the scientific and technical director of MediaFutures, a Horizon 2020 programme that is using arts-inspired methods to design participatory AI systems that tackle misinformation and disinformation online.

Elena’s interest in leading initiatives within the scientific community has also taken form through chairing several conferences in her field, including the European and International Semantic Web Conference series, the European Data Forum, and the European Semantic Technologies conference. She is the president of the Semantic Web Science Association.

Selected Awards

  • 2022-2026, Impetus – European network of 125 participatory science initiatives using technologies like AI to fight climate change (Horizon Europe, €800k)
  • 2020-2023, MediaFutures – European network bringing together artists, creatives and entrepreneurs to solve common challenges around online misinformation, polarization and engagement in democratic processes (EU H2020 IA, €300k)
  • 2019-2023, Cleopatra – European training network for doctoral students funded through the Marie Sklodowska Curie program in Horizon 2020 (EU MSCA ITN, €570k)
  • 2019-2022, ACTION – accelerator helping citizen science initiatives fight different forms of pollution (EU H2020 RIA, €700k)
  • 2017-2021, Data Stories, EPSRC grant exploring frameworks, methods and tools to engage with data in a post-truth society (UK EPSRC, £693k)
  • 2017-2019, Data Pitch – programme building a data sharing ecosystem in which data providers and start-ups work together to innovate with proprietary data and AI (EU H2020 IA, €1M)
  • 2017-2019, QROWD – Because Big Data integration is humanly possible – H2020 project building a human-in-the-loop data analytics platform for smart transport (EU H2020 IA, €651k)
  • 2015-2019, WDAqua - Question answering over the Web of Data - European training network funded through the Marie Sklodowska Curie program (EU MSCA ITN, €800k)
  • 2015-2017, ODINE - Open Data Incubator for Europe - H2020 project realising an accelerator/incubator for start-ups and SMEs interested in growing their business using open and linked data (EU H2020 IA, €6.1M)
  • 2009-2012, INSEMTIVES – EU-funded project bridging the gap between human and computational intelligence in semantic content authoring (EU FP7 STREP, €1.1M)

Research Interests

Human-centric AI, knowledge graphs, knowledge engineering, AI alignment, open and linked data, social computing, online communities, crowdsourcing, human computation, participatory approaches.

Selected Publications

1.     Elisavet Koutsiana, Gabriel Maia Rocha Amaral, Neal Reeves, Albert Meroño-Peñuela, and Elena Simperl. An analysis of discussions in collaborative knowledge engineering through the lens of Wikidata. Journal of Web Semantics (2023): 100799.

2.     Maria Priestley, Fiontann O’Donnell, Elena Simperl. A survey of data quality requirements that matter in ML development pipelines. ACM Journal of Data and Information Quality, 15(2):11, 1-39. https://doi.org/10.1145/3592616

3.     Eddy Maddalena, Luis-Daniel Ibáñez, Neal Reeves, Elena Simperl. Qrowdsmith: Enhancing paid microtask crowdsourcing with gamification and furtherance incentives. ACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1145/3604940

4.     Lucie-Aimée Kaffee, Pavlos Vougiouklis, and Elena Simperl. Using natural language generation to bootstrap missing Wikipedia articles: A human-centric perspective. Semantic Web Journal (2021): 1-30, http://doi.org/10.3233/SW-210431

5.     Gabriel Amaral, Alessandro Piscopo, Lucie-Aimée Kaffee, Odinaldo Rodrigues, Elena Simperl. Assessing the quality of sources in Wikidata across languages: a hybrid approach. Journal of Data and Information Quality, 13:4, 1–35 (2021), https://doi.org/10.1145/3484828

6.     Laura Koesten, Kathleen Gregory, Paul Groth, Elena Simperl: Talking datasets - Understanding data sensemaking behaviours. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 146: 102562 (2021), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2020.102562

7.     Laura Koesten, Elena Simperl, Tom Blount, Emilia Kacprzak, Jeni Tennison: Everything you always wanted to know about a dataset: Studies in data summarisation. Int. J. Hum. Comput. Stud. 135 (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhcs.2019.10.004

8.     Pavlos Vougiouklis, Eddy Maddalena, Jonathon S. Hare, Elena Simperl: Point at the Triple: Generation of Text Summaries from Knowledge Base Triples. J. Artif. Intell. Res. 69: 1-31 (2020), http://dx.doi.org/10.1613/jair.1.11694

9.     Laura Koesten, Pavlos Vougiouklis, Elena Simperl, Paul Groth: Dataset Reuse: Toward Translating Principles to Practice. Patterns 1(8): 100136 (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.patter.2020.100136

10.  Adriane Chapman, Elena Simperl, Laura Koesten, George Konstantinidis, Luis-Daniel Ibáñez, Emilia Kacprzak, Paul Groth: Dataset search: a survey. VLDB J. 29(1): 251-272 (2020), https://doi.org/10.1007/s00778-019-00564-x