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Professor Giovanni Montana

I am a data scientist and machine learning researcher. I am currently Professor of Data Science at the University of Warwick. In this role, I have a joint appointment with the Department of Statistics and Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), facilitating a collaborative interdisciplinary environment. My career path has taken me through different institutions and roles. During my time at King’s College London, I worked as a Professor of Bioinformatics & Biostatistics in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Before that, I had the opportunity to lead a statistical learning group in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, serving as an Associate Professor (Reader). My professional journey began in earnest after I earned my PhD in Computational Statistics from the Department of Statistics at Warwick. Following this, I spent three years in the USA working on statistical models for genetic and genomic data. Initially, I served as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Chicago and later took up a position as a data scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton. Since 2006, I have been a Chartered Statistician and Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. I'm also an active member of the Turing Institute’s University Partners Board and am honoured to hold a UKRI Turing AI Acceleration Fellowship for the period of 2021-25. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to serve on numerous grant review panels for various funding bodies such as the EPSRC, MRC, Royal Society, and CRUK, amongst others. These experiences have broadened my perspective and enriched my understanding of the diverse ways in which data science can contribute to important societal challenges.


With a keen interest in the complexities of real-world, intricate data, my work focuses on developing advanced statistical and machine learning methods. These methodologies effectively harness these datasets, offering valuable insights. The motivation for my research spans a broad range of scientific challenges, with a particular focus on bioinformatics and medical imaging, as well as practical industry applications. Currently, I am particularly interested in the development of reinforcement learning algorithms for tasks requiring sequential decision making. My work's progress has been generously supported by a variety of funding bodies such as the EPSRC, Wellcome Trust, CRUK, MRC, and Innovate UK, to name a few. Additionally, I have received backing from various private companies, which has allowed for a more diverse and dynamic research environment. Below are some representative publications. For a complete and up-to-date list see Google Scholar.

Reinforcement learning and planning

  • LeNSE: learning to navigate subgraph embeddings for large-scale combinatorial optimisation (with D. Ireland), ICML 2022
  • Reinforcement learning for robotic manipulation using simulated locomotion demonstrations (with O. Kilinc), Machine Learning 2021
  • Solving challenging dexterous manipulation tasks with trajectory optimisation and reinforcement learning (with H. Charlesworth), ICML 2021
  • PlanGAN: model-based planning with sparse rewards and multiple goals (with H. Charlesworth), NeurIPS 2020
  • Improving coordination in small-scale multi-agent deep reinforcement learning through memory-driven communication (with E. Pesce), Machine Learning 2020

Machine learning in computer vision

  • Video object segmentation using point-based memory network (with M. Gao et al), Pattern Recognition 2022
  • A persistent homology-based topological loss for CNN-based multi-class segmentation of CMR (with N. Byrne et al), IEEE Transactions in Medical Imaging 2022
  • Automated triaging of adult chest radiographs with deep artificial neural networks (with M. Annarumma et al), Radiology 2019
  • Learning to detect chest radiographs containing pulmonary lesions using visual attention networks (with E. Pesce et al), Medical Image Analysis 2019
  • Predicting brain age with deep learning from raw imaging data results in a reliable and heritable biomarker (with J.H. Cole et al), NeuroImage 2017

Network data modelling

  • Real‐time estimation of dynamic functional connectivity networks (with R. Pio Monti et. al.), Human Brain Mapping 2017
  • Learning population and subject-specific brain connectivity networks via mixed neighborhood selection (with R. Pio Monti and C. Anagnostopoulos), Annals of Applied Statistics 2017
  • Characterising brain network topologies: a dynamic analysis approach using heat kernels (with A.H. Chung et. al.), NeuroImage 2016
  • Differential analysis of biological networks (with D. Ryan and A. Young), BMC Bioinformatics 2015
  • Estimating time-varying brain connectivity networks from functional MRI time series (with R. Pio Monti et. al.), NeuroImage 2014

Regularised multivariate models

  • Machine learning shows association between genetic variability in PPARG and cerebral connectivity in preterm infants (with M. Krishnan et. al.), PNAS 2017
  • Sparse multi-view matrix factorization: a multivariate approach to multiple tissue comparisons (with Z. Wang and W. Yuan), Bioinformatics 2015
  • The graph-guided group lasso for genome-wise association studies (with Z. Wang ), Regularisation, optimisation, kernels and support vector machines (book) 2014
  • Network-guided regression for detecting associations between DNA methylation and gene expression (with Z. Wang and E. Curry), Bioinformatics 2014
  • Discovering genetic associations with high-dimensional neuroimaging phenotypes: a sparse reduced-rank regression approach (with M. Vounou et. al.), NeuroImage 2010

Bayesian optimisation

  • Identification of test cases for automated driving systems using Bayesian optimization (with B. Gangopadhyay et. al.), IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference 2019
  • Dissociating frontoparietal brain networks with neuroadaptive Bayesian optimization (with R. Lorenz et al), Nature Communications 2018
  • The automatic neuroscientist: a framework for optimizing experimental design with closed-loop real-time fMRI (with R. Lorenz et al), NeuroImage 2016
  • Stopping criteria for boosting automatic experimental design using real-time fMRI with Bayesian optimization (with R. Lorenz et al), NIPS Workshop on Machine Learning and Interpretation in Neuroimaging 2015

Distance-based statistical models

  • Random forest regression for manifold-valued responses (with D. Tsagkrasoulis), Pattern Recognition Letters 2018
  • Distance‐based analysis of variance: approximate inference (with C. Minas), Statistical Analysis & Data Mining 2014
  • Random forests on distance matrices for imaging genetics studies (with A. Sim and D. Tsagkrasoulis), Statistical Applications in Genetics & Molecular Biology 2013
  • A distance-based test of association between paired heterogeneous genomic data (with C. Minas and E. Curry), Bioinformatics 2013
  • Distance-based differential analysis of gene curves (with C. Minas and S.J. Widdell), Bioinformatics 2011

High-dimensional data clustering

  • A Bayesian mixture of lasso regressions with t-errors (with A. Cozzini et. al.), Computational Statistics & Data Analysis 2014
  • Subspace clustering of high-dimensional data: a predictive approach (with B. McWilliams), Data Mining & Knowledge Discovery 2014
  • Model-based clustering with gene ranking using penalized mixtures of heavy-tailed distributions (with A. Cozzini and A. Jasra), Journal of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology 2013
  • Multi‐view predictive partitioning in high dimensions (with B. McWilliams), Statistical Analysis & Data Mining 2012
  • Predictive subspace clustering (with B. McWilliams), IEEE Conference on Machine Learning & Applications 2011

Functional data analysis

  • A skew-t-normal multi-level reduced-rank functional PCA model for the analysis of replicated genomics time course data (with M. Berk), IDA 2012
  • Longitudinal analysis of gene expression profiles using functional mixed-effects models (with M. Berk et. al.), Advanced Statistical Methods for the Analysis of Large Data Sets (book), 2012
  • Functional modelling of microarray time series with covariate curves (with M. Berk), Statistica 2011
  • A statistical framework for biomarker discovery in metabolomic time course data (with M. Berk and T. Ebbels), Bioinformatics 2011
  • Modelling short time series in metabolomics: a functional data analysis approach (with M. Berk and T. Ebbels), Software Tools and Algorithms for Biological Systems (book), 2011

Streaming data modelling

  • Adaptive regularization for lasso models in the context of nonstationary data streams (with R. Pio Monti and C. Anagnostopoulos), Statistical Analysis & Data Mining 2018
  • Sparse partial least squares regression for on-line variable selection with multivariate data streams (with B. McWilliams), Statistical Analysis & Data Mining 2010
  • Dynamic modelling of mean-reverting spreads for statistical arbitrage (with K. Triantafyllopoulos), Computational Management Science 2009
  • Learning to trade with incremental support vector regression experts (with F. Parrella), International Workshop on Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Systems 2008
  • Flexible least squares for temporal data mining and statistical arbitrage (with K. Triantafyllopoulos and T. Tsagaris), Experts Systems and Applications 2008

Recent grant support

  • HyperSolver: AI controller for integrated Air Traffic Control & Flow Management (2023-2025, EU, CoI)
  • Turing AI Fellowship: Advancing multi-agent reinforcement learning (2021-2025, EPSRC, PI)
  • Sulis Tier 2 User Community Expansion and Training (2021-2022, EPSRC, CoI)
  • UKRI Center for CircularMetal (2021-2024, EPSRC, CoI)
  • Adcumen: AI platform for intelligent video advertising (2020-2022, Innovate UK, PI)
  • JADE 2: Joint Academic Data Science Endeavour (2020-2023, EPSRC, CoI)
  • AI Triage & Prioritisation System for Chest X-Rays (2019-2022, Wellcome Trust, PI)
  • AI System for Real-Time Risk Assessment at Mammography Screening (2019-2024, CRUK, PI)
  • SUSTAIN Manufacturing Hub (2019-2026, EPSRC, CoI)
  • Study of Early Adversity Impact on Brain Maturation and Mental Health in Adolescents (2019-2023, MRC, CoI)
  • Robotic Grasping Applications in Manufacturing (2018-2019, HVM Catapult, PI)

Selected media coverage