Yannis Konstas

Yannis Konstas

Assistant Professor (Lecturer)

Office: EM G.55

Email: i.konstas@hw.ac.uk

Mailing Address:
School of Mathematical and
Computer Sciences,
Heriot Watt University,
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK EH14 4AS.



I am an assistant professor (lecturer according to the UK system) at Heriot-Watt University and member of the Interaction Lab. 

My main research interests focus on the area of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG) with an emphasis on data-driven machine learning methods.

In particular, I am investigating generating coherent document-level text from meaning representations, programming language code and multiple documents, as well as fact-based text summaries. I am also interested in modeling open-domain dialogue, with an emphasis on NLG, as well as grounded language acquisition through visual perception and language interaction.
I was also faculty advisor for Team Alana, HWU entry to Alexa Prize Challenge 2018 that finished 3rd (out of ~200 participants).
If you are interested in doing a PhD have a look here.
I continuously enjoy investigating new research fi elds, hence I have also acquired skills in Psycholinguistically-Motivated Parsing and Semantics, as well as Information Retrieval from my past employments.
I was a postdoctoral researcher in the department of Computer Science & Engineering, at the University of Washington, working with Luke Zettlemoyer, and Yejin Choi, between 2015 ans 2017.
I have also worked as a research associate (post-doc) at the University of Edinburgh, with Frank Keller and Mirella Lapata, on the SynSem EPSRC project, aiming to integrate semantics into a full syntactic parser. 
I completed my PhD in 2013, 'Joint Models for Concept-to-text Generation', at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Mirella Lapata.


  • Fact-acurate Text Summarisation (2020-20). The Royal Society.


  • Adobe Research Donation (2019-20)
  • Amazon AWS Research Credits (2019-20)
  • NVIDIA Academic Research Program (2016)
  • Yahoo! Faculty Research and Engagement Program Gift (2013)

Invited Talks

  • Alana: Entertaining and Informative Open-domain Social Dialogue using Ontologies and Entity Linking, AUEB / UoGlasgow / Amazon Cambridge, Winter 2018. [slides]
  • Building adaptable and scalable Natural Language Generation Systems, AUEB / ISI / Sheffield / HWU / UIC, Spring - Summer 2017. [slides]
  • Early Goals that Remain Uphill Battles, Uphill Battles in Language Processing Workshop, Austin, EMNLP 2016. [slides]
  • NeuGen: Text Generation from Meaning Representations, Microsoft Research, Redmond, May 2016. [slides]
  • Learning to generate: Concept-to-text generation using machine learning, Invited Speaker - NLG Summer School, Aberdeen, July 2015. [slides]
  • Incremental Semantic Role Labeling with Tree Adjoining Grammar, University of Edinburgh, October 2014. [slides]
  • Joint models for Concept-to-Text Generation, University of Washington, October 2013 - University of Potsdam / Saarland, January 2014. [slides]


  • F20ML - Statistical Machine Learning, Semester 1, 2018-19, 2019-20. Heriot-Wattx University. [lectures] [labs] [tutorials]
  • F28ED -  User-Centred Experimental Design, Semester 1, 2019-20, Heriot-Watt University.
  • F21RP - Research Methods and Project Planning, Semester 2, 2018-19, 2019-20. Heriot-Watt University. [lectures] [tutorials]
  • F29AI - Artificial Intelligence and Intellgience Agents (2nd half), Semester 1, 2017-18, Heriot-Watt University.