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Department of Computer Science

"A la carte": multimodal development of tailored dashboards

Primary supervisor

Additional supervisors

  • Simon Harper

Additional information

Contact admissions office

Other projects with the same supervisor


  • Competition Funded Project (Students Worldwide)

This research project is one of a number of projects at this institution. It is in competition for funding with one or more of these projects. Usually the project which receives the best applicant will be awarded the funding. Applications for this project are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Project description

Interactive tools such as Tableau have enabled the development of data-intensive dashboards straightforwardly. While the availability of datasets opens up a plethora of possibilities in the dashboards, designers often don't know what are the variables that should be displayed, the relationships that should be explored between these variables and the statistical tests that should be computed. This results in dashboards that suffer from information overload and make decision-making non-actionable. This is particularly critical in a healthcare context, where the literature suggests that clinicians only want *the right amount of data*. While this statement may call for adaptations after dashboards are built, this project proposes tailoring the dashboards from their inception. To do so, this work will examine whether end-users can request dashboards "A la carte" by establishing a multimodal dialogue with a system that will reply to the demands of the users, and design and deploy the dashboards as a consequence. The following research questions will have to be addressed:

RQ1. Can we build systems that enable users to have dashboards developed on demand?
RQ2. Which are the modalities (text, voice and both) that cater to the scenarios of use?
RQ3. How do these systems compare with dashboard developers?

In order to address these questions, the PhD candidate will have to be willing to use a multidisciplinary approach that involves:

- Qualitative research methods (i.e. observations and interviews) to elicit the methods employed by dashboard developers.
- Controlled natural languages and dialogue systems design.
- Voice interfaces.
- Statistical analysis and visualisations.

Person specification

For information


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You must be capable of performing at a very high level.
  • You must have a self-driven interest in uncovering and solving unknown problems and be able to work hard and creatively without constant supervision.


Applicants will be required to evidence the following skills and qualifications.

  • You will have good time management.
  • You will possess determination (which is often more important than qualifications) although you'll need a good amount of both.


Applicants will be required to address the following.

  • Comment on your transcript/predicted degree marks, outlining both strong and weak points.
  • Discuss your final year Undergraduate project work - and if appropriate your MSc project work.
  • How well does your previous study prepare you for undertaking Postgraduate Research?
  • Why do you believe you are suitable for doing Postgraduate Research?