Sanjaya Wijeratne

R. M. Wattegedara Sanjaya Wijeratne is a PhD student at the Computer Science Department of Wright State University. He is currently attached to Semantic Web Lab at Kno.e.sis Center and advised by Prof. Amith Sheth. Before moving to USA, he studied at the Faculty of Information Technology - University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka for his bachelors in Information Technology where he obtained a first class honors, becoming the top of the class and winning the gold medal for the best GPA obtained by an undergraduate student of the Faculty of Information Technology - University of Moratuwa. Read more about his interests here at his personal Web blog, where he writes about his technical experience and a latest copy of his resume is available here for download.

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Research Interests

Sanjaya's research is focused on Real-time Social Computing and Social Media Data Analysis, Information Filtering from Social Media, Word Sense Disambiguation, and Semantic Web.

Contact Him

Tel (Office) - 937-775-5217
E-mail - sanjaya at knoesis dot org | wijeratne dot 2 at wright dot edu
Office - 380 Joshi Research Center.

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Current Projects

  • Understanding Gang Activities in Social Media - In this project, we try to understand how street gang members (self identified in their Twitter profiles) use social media. We try to develop algorithms to identify gang member Twitter profiles automatically using the language they use in social media posts, using the profile descriptions and/or their follower/followee networks. Read more about this in our related project page: Project Safe Neighborhood - Westwood Partnership to Prevent Juvenile Repeat Offenders. See publication.
  • eDrugTrends - The ultimate goal of this project is to decrease the burden of psychoactive substance use in the United States by developing an innovative software platform capable of semi-automated processing of social media data to identify emerging trends in cannabis and synthetic cannabinoid use in the USA. My contributions lie in data pre-processing and filtering where I study how to employ Word Sense Disambiguation techniques to filter noisy tweets collected using highly ambiguous tweet collecting keywords. To read more about this project please visit this link. See publication.

Past Projects

  • Continuous Semantics for Crawling Evolving Events - Twitter has become one of the major platforms that people would go to when it comes to air their opinions on various topics such as natural disasters and politics. Moreover, it has become the platform of choice for first responders to disseminate information in disaster situations and different socially and politically active groups to communicate among themselves to carry out their campaigns, making Twitter a tool that can be used to track real world events. In this project, we investigate how we can leverage Background Knowledge-bases to track evolution of events with the help of Twitter hashtags. To read more about this project please visit this link.
  • Temporal Entity Ranking in Evolving Events - Entities (People, Places, Organizations etc.) associated with evolving events (Hurricane Sandy, US Election 2012 etc.) has a dynamic evolution with the changing nature of events. Here, we study how to rank such entities based on their importance varying over time.
  • Linked Open Data Property Alignment - Ontology Property Alignment is a fundamental problem in Ontology Alignment research. Here the focus is on studying schema independent approaches to identify and align properties (relationships) appear in different datasets published in Linked Open Data Cloud. See publication.
  • Kino Web - A browser plugin to semantically annotate the content of a Web page using vocabularies. Kino Web tool acts as a search engine and index all documents it accepts via a special interface and search them using semantic annotations added based on vocabularies. See publication. Read more about Kino architecture here.
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  • Raminta Daniulaityte, Ramzi W. Nahhas, Sanjaya Wijeratne, Robert G. Carlson, Francois R. Lamy, Silvia S. Martins, Edward W. Boyer, G. Alan Smith, Amit Sheth, “Time for dabs”: Analyzing Twitter data on marijuana concentrates across the U.S., Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Volume 155, 1 October 2015, Pages 307-311, ISSN 0376-8716, [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF]
  • Wijeratne, S.; Doran, D.; Sheth, A.; Dustin, J.L., "Analyzing the social media footprint of street gangs," in Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI), 2015 IEEE International Conference on , vol., no., pp.91-96, 27-29 May 2015 doi: 10.1109/ISI.2015.7165945. [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF] | [Poster] | [Slides Share] | [Slides]
  • R. Daniulaityte, R. Carlson, F. Golroo, S. Wijeratne, E. Boyer, S. Martins, R. Nahhas, A. Sheth, “Time for dabs”: Analyzing Twitter data on butane hash oil use. The College on Problems of Drug Dependence CPDD 2015, Phoenix, Arizona, June 13-18, 2015 (Conference Poster). [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF]


  • Sanjaya Wijeratne, Bahareh R. Heravi. A Keyword Sense Disambiguation Based Approach for Noise Filtering in Twitter. The 1st Insight Student Conference, University College Dublin, Ireland, 2014. [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF] | [Poster]


  • Kalpa Gunaratna, Krishnaprasad Thirunarayan, Prateek Jain, Amit Sheth, Sanjaya Wijeratne. A Statistical and Schema Independent Approach for Identifying Equivalent Properties on Linked Data. In: Proc. 9th International Conference on Semantic Systems (ACM 2013), Messe Graz, Austria, 2013. [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF] | [Slides]


  • Ajith Ranabahu, Amit Sheth, Maryam Panahiazar, Sanjaya Wijeratne. Semantic Annotation and Search for resources in the next Generation Web with SA-REST. W3C Workshop on Data and Services Integration, October 20-21 2011, Bedford, MA, USA. [Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [PDF] | [Slides]
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Awards & Honors

2011 - 2013


2005 - 2009

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External Reviwer/Subreviwer

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Work Experience

2011 August - Present

  • Research Assistant at Kno.e.sis Center - Working on problems related to Social Computing, Linked Open Data and Semantic Web research. Technologies Used - J2SE, RDF/RDFS, OWL, SPARQL, Hadoop/MapReduce, Storm.

2014 May - 2014 August

2009 November - 2011 July

  • Software Engineer (J2SE) at CodeGen International (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka - Contributed to designing and development of cutting edge travel software called TravelBox, integrating third-party host to host systems for flight and cruise bookings. Integrated and worked with leading GDSes while engaging in customer requirement gathering sessions. Technologies Used - J2SE, Web Services.

2007 October - 2008 April

  • Industrial Trainee at Virtusa Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka - Designed and developed self-describing on the fly GUI generation software to represent any given XML document and a tool to calculate the complexity of a XML document. Technologies Used - J2SE, Web Services, Java Swing Framework, DOM and SAX Parsers for XML processing in Java.
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2013 August - 2014 April

2013 August - 2013 October

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Fall 2013

  • CS 8920 - Independent Study (P)
  • CS 7820 - Advanced Topics in Semantic Web (A)

Spring 2013

  • CS 8920 - Independent Study (P)
  • CS 7900 - Web 3.0 (A)
  • CS 7220 - Computability and Complexity (A)

Fall 2012

  • CS 7720 - Data Mining (A)
  • CEG 7380 - Cloud Computing (A)
  • CEG 7370 - Distributed Computing (A)

Summer 2012

  • CS 895 - Independent Study (P)
  • CS 701 - Advanced Database Systems (A)

Spring 2012

  • CS 895 - Independent Study (P)
  • CS 890 - Semantic Web (A)
  • CS 784 - Programming Languages (A)

Winter 2012

  • CS 790 - Knowledge Representation for Semantic Web (A)
  • CS 707 - Information Retrieval (A)
  • CS 680 - Comparative Languages (A)

Fall 2011

  • CS 675 - Web Information Systems (A)
  • CS 610 - Theoretical Foundations of Computing (A)
  • CS 600 - Data Structures and Algorithms (B)
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