Damiano Spina

Damiano Spina

Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow

School of Computing Technologies, RMIT University

About Me

Womin djeka! This is my personal—not an official RMIT—website. I’m a Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow at RMIT University (School of Computing Technologies), deputy director of the Research Centre for Information Discovery and Data Analytics (CIDDA), an Associate Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, a research collaborator of RMIT FactLab, and a member of the International Panel on the Information Environment.

My main research interests are Information Retrieval (IR), Text Analytics, and Data Science. I currently work on evaluation of information access systems and interactive information retrieval.

In my free time, I teach Capoeira at the Associação de Capoeira Descendente do Pantera (ACDP) –where I am also known as Contramestre Camaleão– and play samba with Wombatuque.

I acknowledge the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands I live, work, teach, and learn. I respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. I also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia.
  • Information Retrieval
  • Text Analytics
  • Data Science
  • PhD in Computer Science, 2014

    UNED (Madrid, Spain)


RMIT University

Senior Lecturer and DECRA Fellow, School of Computing Technologies


Deputy Director, Centre for Information Discovery and Data Analytics


Associate Investigator, Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society


Walert – Your Open Day FAQ Buddy
Woi wurrung / Boon wurrung word for ‘possum’, Walert is a conversational agent that answers questions about prgrams at the RMIT School of Computing Technolgies. We used CIDDA-GPT (an in-house deployed large language model) to rephrase questions and answers in an existing Frequently Asked Questions document for the School of Computing Technologies to train the conversation model of Walert.
Walert -- Your Open Day FAQ Buddy
EXIST: sEXism Identification in Social neTworks
EXIST is a series of scientific events and shared tasks on sexism identification in social networks. EXIST aims to capture sexism in a broad sense, from explicit misogyny to other subtle expressions that involve implicit sexist behaviours (EXIST 2021, EXIST 2022). The third edition of the EXIST shared task will be held as a Lab in CLEF 2023, on September 18-21, 2023, in the Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH), Thessaloniki, Greece.
EXIST: sEXism Identification in Social neTworks
ADM+S Project: Quantifying and Measuring Bias and Engagement
Recent developments in machine learning, information access, and AI communities attempt to define mechanisms to minimise the creation and reinforcement of unintended cognitive biases. This research aims to address research questions related to quantifying and measuring bias and engagement by focusing on information access systems that involve automated decision-making components. By partnering with experts in fact-checking, we use misinformation management as the main scenario of study, given that bias and engagement play an important role in three main elements of the automated decision-making processes: the user, the system, and the information that is presented and consumed.
ADM+S Project: Quantifying and Measuring Bias and Engagement
Cortana Intelligence Institute
Cortana Intelligence Institute was a co-funded initiative between Microsoft Research, Cortana Research and RMIT University (2018-2020), which advanced knowledge on new capabilities of digital assistants. The Institute focused on researching work-related tasks, an area that helped to develop more proactive and context-aware digital assistants. Microsoft’s researchers collaborated with RMIT team members on the development of algorithms that used a novel dataset to improve Cortana.
Cortana Intelligence Institute
RepLab: Online Reputation Monitoring
RepLab is a competitive evaluation exercise for Online Reputation Management systems organized as an activity of CLEF for the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions. RepLab focused on the task of monitoring the reputation of entities (companies, organizations, celebrities, etc.) on Twitter. The monitoring task for analysts consists of searching the stream of tweets for potential mentions to the entity, filtering those that do refer to the entity, detecting topics (i.e., clustering tweets by subject) and ranking them based on the degree to which they signal reputation alerts (i.e., issues that may have a substantial impact on the reputation of the entity).
RepLab: Online Reputation Monitoring


Scholarship Opportunities

PhD Scholarship in Automated Decision-Making and Information Retrieval

Opportunity to join the Centre of Excellence on Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) work on developing new approaches to fairness, actionable explainability or socially considerate evaluation of Automated Decision-Making in search, conversational, recommender, or other information access systems.

More info: https://www.rmit.edu.au/students/careers-opportunities/scholarships/research/phd-automated-decision-making-information-retrieval

Current PhD Students

Former PhD Students

Former Master and Honours Students

  • Reham Abdullah Altalhi, Search Results Fairness based on Analytical Hierarchy Process, RMIT University, 2022.
  • Binh Chon Nut Le, Investigating Algorithmic Bias via Crowdsourcing, RMIT University, 2020. [Paper]
  • Xinhuan Duan, Two-Step Classification for Profiling Fake News Spreaders on Twitter, RMIT University, 2020. [Paper]
  • Shubhdeep Singh, Spoken DialogWOZ : A Tool to PerformWizard of Oz Experiments in Speech-Only Question Answering Scenarios, RMIT University, 2020.
  • Assunta Cerone, Watch ’n’ Check: Towards a Social Media Monitoring Tool to Assist Fact-Checking Experts, Politecnico di Torino, 2020. [Paper]
  • Mazhar Morshed, Missing Attribute Imputation through Clustering in New Item Cold Start Job Recommendation, RMIT University, 2017.
  • Phanomsinh Homsombath, Applying Phonetic Matching to Spoken Document Retrieval, RMIT University, 2015.


The RMIT Research Awards and Prizes focus on research excellence and research impact. It is through these research contributions that RMIT continues to bridge the gap between research and impact, benefitting those beyond the academic community. The research awards and prizes acknowledge the accomplishments of individual researchers, research teams, research leaders, supervisors, and HDR candidates.
See certificate
Fair and Transparent Information Access in Spoken Conversational Assistants. This project aims to investigate how rich information needed to answer complex questions can be delivered via a speech-only communication channel. Using laboratory user studies, where users can interact with a smart speaker to ask for information about controversial or multi-perspective topics, the project expects to advance knowledge on how to expose pertinent information without creating or reinforcing biases. Expected outcomes include novel presentation strategies to access rich information via audio in a fair manner. This should significantly benefit the visually impaired and low-literacy communities by enhancing their access to topics with multiple point of views, which would impact decision making such as who to vote for in elections.
See certificate
La Barbera D., Roitero K., Demartini G., Mizzaro S., Spina D. (2020) Crowdsourcing Truthfulness: The Impact of Judgment Scale and Assessor Bias. In: Jose J. et al. (eds) Advances in Information Retrieval. ECIR 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12036. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45442-5_26
See certificate
Albahem A., Spina D., Scholer F., Cavedon L. (2019) Meta-evaluation of Dynamic Search: How Do Metrics Capture Topical Relevance, Diversity and User Effort?. In: Azzopardi L., Stein B., Fuhr N., Mayr P., Hauff C., Hiemstra D. (eds) Advances in Information Retrieval. ECIR 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 11437. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15712-8_39
See certificate
Information Processing & Management
Top Reviewer Award
In recognition of the review made for the Elsevier’s international journal Information Processing & Management (IP&M), based on number of reviews, quality of reviews, and timeliness of responses.
See certificate