Kees van Deemter
Computing Science department
University of Aberdeen


Background (My profile on Google Scholar)

I am an academic working in Computational Linguistics, the part of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science where Computer Science meets Linguistics. My areas of (some) expertise are Computational Semantics and especially Natural Language Generation. I take a lively interest in logical and philosophical issues arising from this computational work. More recently I've started to work closely with psycholinguists interested in algorithmic models of language production. I'm a member of Aberdeen's vibrant Natural Language Generation group.

Brief CV (Extended version, last updated Nov 2013)

Current and recent teaching


My research centers around the question how information (including "big data") can be expressed in a way that is most suitable for human recipients. Examples include the use of computers for generating summaries from the numbers or formulas in a knowledge base, and the design of Embodied Conversational Agents. One of my specific interests is the generation of referring expressions, as when we program a computer to refer, saying 'your last email to University Registry', or 'the icon at the top-left of your screen', or 'the moment when it started to rain'. I am intrigued by situations where communication appears to be flawed, as when we use expressions that are ambiguous or vague. Ambiguity was the topic of the seminal collection "Semantic Ambiguity and Underspecification" (review). Vagueness is the focus of my book "Not Exactly: in Praise of Vagueness", which aims to reach an audience beyond academia. See the web site of the book for reviews and background. I try to bridge the gap that sometimes exists between theoretical and applied work, solving practical problems in a theoretically sound way (on a good day!) and using computer programs to address theoretical problems. This often brings me in contact with neighbouring disciplines such as mathematical logic and (incleasingly) psycholinguistics.

Projects (after 2000):

Publications: I try to keep a complete listing in my extended CV. See also my Google Scholar profile.
Here are some selected publications, organised by research topic (hence with duplicates). In the spirit of open access, I've made (near-)final versions downloadable wherever I can.

Other interests

Contact Details

Kees van Deemter
Computing Science
Meston Building
King's College
University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen AB24 3UE
Scotland, UK

Email: k.vdeemter atnospam abdn dot ac dot uk