About Me

I am a Masters student at the Computer Science Department, Wright State University, Dayton, OH. I am attached to the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled Computing (Kno.e.sis) and I am advised by Dr. Amit Sheth and Dr. Derek Doran . My primary research interests are Data Mining in Social Media and Knowledge Discovery. I am also interested in Machine Learning and Big Data.

I am orginially from Sri Lanka, a beatutiful tropical isalnd in Indian Ocean. I received my B.Sc in Information Technology from the Faulty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

Contact Details

Lakshika Balasuriya
Kno.e.sis Center
380 Joshi Research Center
Wright State University
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, Ohio 45435

Tel (office) : (937) 775-5217
Email : lakshika at knoesis dot org |
   balasuriya dot 3 at wright dot edu


Finding Gang Members on Twitter

In this project, we try to understand how street gang members (self-identified street gang members on Twitter) use social media. We have developed machine learning models to automatically identify street gang members’ Twitter profiles using the content they share on social media (such as tweets and YouTube videos), profile descriptions, profile/cover images, and their emoji usage.

EmojiNet and Emoji Understanding

The goal of this project is to build tools and algorithms to improve machine understandability of emoji. We built the first machine-readable sense inventory for emoji called EmojiNet and currently working on emoji similarity and emoji sense disambiguation applications.

Context-Aware Harassment Detection on Social Media

The aim of this project is to develop comprehensive and reliable context-aware techniques to glean information about the people involved and their interconnected network of relationships to determine and evaluate potential harassment and harassers. My work focuses on automatically classifying aggressive tweets posted on Twitter.

Contrast Pattern Mining Aided Clustering (December 2015 - September 2011)

I explored developing a contrast pattern-based clustering algorithm for Abbreviation Disambiguation in unlabelled clinical data. I have also worked on contrast pattern aided Ontology Alignment (focused on classes) for Linked Open Data.


  • Sanjaya Wijeratne, Lakshika Balasuriya, Amit Sheth, Derek Doran. EmojiNet: Building a Machine Readable Sense Inventory for Emoji. In 8th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016). Bellevue, WA, USA; 2016.[Kno.e.sis Library Page] | [DEMO]
  • Lakshika Balasuriya, Sanjaya Wijeratne, Derek Doran, Amit Sheth. Signals Revealing Street Gang Members on Twitter. In Workshop on Computational Approaches to Social Modeling (ChASM 2016) co-located with 8th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016). Bellevue, WA, USA; 2016. [Kno.e.sis Library Page]
  • Lakshika Balasuriya, Sanjaya Wijeratne, Derek Doran, Amit Sheth. Finding Street Gang Members on Twitter. In 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM 2016). San Francisco, CA, USA; 2016.[Kno.e.sis Library Page]
  • Sanjaya Wijeratne, Lakshika Balasuriya, Derek Doran, Amit Sheth. Word Embeddings to Enhance Twitter Gang Member Profile Identification. In IJCAI Workshop on Semantic Machine Learning (SML 2016). New York City, NY: CEUR-WS; 2016.[Kno.e.sis Library Page]
  • Balasuriya L., Perera K., Bandara N., Perera S., Amarasena D., Dias D. : InforMate - A GIS for Diverse Mobile Devices, eASiA 2009 conference, Sri Lanka.


  • Graduate Studies January 2016

    Currently enrolled in Masters in Computer Science, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

  • Graduate Studies August 2011 - December 2015

    PhD student (Drop out) in Computer Science, Wright State University, Dayton, OH.

  • Undergraduate Studies 2005 - 2009

    Bsc.(Sp)(Hons) in Information Technology , Faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (2005 - 2009). Completed with a Second Upper Class Honours

  • High School 2004

    G. C. E Advanced Level Examination in Biology (2004), Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo -04, Sri Lanka


  • CS 705 Data Mining
  • CS 790 Advanced Data Mining
  • CS 7830 Machine Learning
  • CS 7800 Information Retrieval
  • CS 875 Semantic Web
  • CS 7220 Computability/Complexity
  • CEG 7370 Distributed Computing
  • CEG 7380 Cloud Computing
  • CS 7900 Web 3.0: Next Gen Web & Apps
  • CS 784 Programming Languages
  • CS 701 Database Sys & Design
  • CS 680 Comparative Languages
  • CS 610 Theory of Computing
  • PTX 8013 Communication in Science



I worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for CEG2350 Operating System Concepts and Usage from Fall 2012 to Spring 2016


Research Assistant

I worked as Research Assistant (September 2011 - August 2012, May 2016 - August 2016) at Kno.e.sis Center.


  • I worked as a Software Engineer in a leading telecommunication provider in Sri Lanka, Lanka Communication Services (Pvt) Ltd (November 2009-July 2011). Involved in project management, client communication, system analysis and design and application development.

  • During my undergraduate studies I worked as an Intern at Virtusa Corporation Pvt. Ltd for six months.


  • Programming Languages


  • Scripting Languages

    PHP, JSP, XML, JavaScript, HTML, Python

  • Deep/Machine Learning Tools/Packages

    Word2Vec, scikit-learn, Weka

  • Databases

    MySQL, MongoDB

  • Operating Systems

    Windows and Linux

  • Cloud Computing

    Hadoop/MapReduce (Basic)