Kumaripaba Athukorala

I am a PhD student in Ubiquitous Interaction Group (UIx group) at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki. As a Human-Computer Interaction researcher, my main focus is on developing interaction models to predict user interests and information-needs in exploratory search. In other words, I am investigating the relationship between observable user behaviors such as result viewing, and selecting actions and actual information-needs to see whether we can build predictive models of the user interest from such implicit interactions.

My previous research involved developing tools to support proper use of Creative Common licensed content. I have also conducted research on cloud computing and pervasive computing for my master's thesis.

Recent Work

Mobile Battery Awareness Application User Behaviors

Mobile devices have limited battery life, and numerous battery management applications are available that aim to improve it. This research examines a large-scale mobile battery awareness application, called Carat, to see how it changes user behavior with long-term use.

SciNet: Directing Exploratory Search

We designed a system called SciNet to support exploratory information-seeking. SciNet combines reinforcement learning with an interactive visualization to guide users through unfamiliar information spaces. Read more..

Exploratory Study on Information-Seeking

In order to develop interaction models, it is important to understand how users currently use search tools. To this end, we conducted an exploratory study of scientific information-seeking behavior of academics. We found that exploratory search is one of the most difficult search tasks for them. Read more..


Conference Papers


Athukorala K., Alan M., Kalle I., and Glowacka D., Balancing Exploration And Exploitation: Empirical Parameterization Of Exploratory Search Systems, In Proceedings of Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) 2015. ACM


Athukorala K., Oulasvirta, A., Glowacka, D., Vreeken, J., & Jacucci, G. Narrow or Broad? Estimating Subjective Specificity in Exploratory Search. In Proceedings of Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM) 2014. ACM

Athukorala K., Lagerspetz E., Kugelgen M., Jylha A, Oliner A. J, Tarkoma S., and Jacucci G. How Carat Affects User Behavior: Implications for Mobile Battery Awareness Applications. In Proceedings of CHI 2014. ACM


Athukorala, K., Hoggan, E., Lehtiö, A., Ruotsalo, T. and Jacucci, G. Information-Seeking Behaviors of Computer Scientists: Challenges for Electronic Literature Search Tools. In Proceedings of ASIST 2013.

Ruotsalo T., Athukorala K., Glowacka D., Konyushkova K., Oulasvirta A., Kaipiainen S., Kaski S. and Jacucci, G. Supporting Exploratory Search Tasks with Interactive User Modeling. In Proceedings of ASIST 2013.

Glowacka, D., Ruotsalo, T., Konyushkova, K., Athukorala, K., Kaski, S. and Jacucci, G. Directing exploratory search: Reinforcement learning from user interactions with keywords. In Proceedings of IUI 2013, 117-127

Ruotsalo, T., Jaakko, P., Eugster, M. J. A., Glowacka, D., Konyushkova, K., Athukorala, K., Kosunen, I., Reijonen, A., Myllymäki, P., Jacucci, G. and Kaski, S. Directing Exploratory Search with Interactive Intent Modeling. In Proceedings of CIKM 2013, 1759-1764


Hietanen, H., Salovaara, A., Athukorala, K., and Liu, Y. < Insert Image >: Helping in the Legal Use of Open Images. In Proceedings of CHI 2012, 599-608. ACM


Hietanen, H., Athukorala, K. and Salovaara, A. What’s with the Free Images?: A Study of Flickr’s Creative Commons Attribution Images. In Proceedings of MindTrek 2011, 265-268. ACM


Athukorala, K. Wijekoon, D. C., Tharugasini, M., Perera, I., and Silva, C. SmartEye Integrated Solution to Home Automation, Security and Monitoring through Mobile Phones. In Proccedings of NGMAST 2009, 64-69. IEEE

Journal Articles


Athukorala K. , Glowacka D. , Oulasvirta A. , Vreeken J., and Jacucci G. , “Is Exploratory Search Different? A Comparison of Information Search Behavior for Exploratory and Lookup Tasks. Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology 2015


Zhou, J., Athukorala, K., Gilman, E., Riekki, J. and Ylianttila, M. Cloud Architecture for Dynamic Service Composition. In International Journal of Grid and High Performance Computing (IJGHPC) 2012, 4(2), 17-31

Zhou, J., Sun, J., Athukorala, K., Wijekoon, D. and Ylianttila, M. Pervasive Social Computing: augmenting five facets of human intelligence. In Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing 2012. 3(2), 153-166, Springer





Room C215, Exactum, Kumpula Campus


Department of Computer Science

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