Laurie Hirsch

Laurie Hirsch

Senior Lecturer in Computing


I am a senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University in the department of computing.


My research falls into two main areas. The first concerns the application of evolutionary algorithms to text classification. In recent years we have evolved accurate and human readable Apache Lucene search queries to solve problems in text classification. The most successful system is also the simplest and uses a genetic algorithm to generate SpanFirst queries. More complex systems using genetic programming and a range of query operators such as AND, NOT and SpanNear have also been created. The second area involves the automatic generation of a graph from unstructured online text. The graph is based on word co-occurrence and word frequency and can be used as a summary of large and small documents or document collections. You can test a slightly limited version for yourself here.

I am currently working in the area of opinion mining and sentiment analysis.

I am course leader for the MSc Web and Cloud Computing. I also teach in the area of web application development (most recently with a focus on Groovy and Grails) and intelligent web applications with a particular focus on collective intelligence.


Department of Computing

College of Business, Technology and Engineering


Journal articles

Ogunleye, B., Maswera, T., Hirsch, L., Gaudoin, J., & Brunsdon, T. (2023). Comparison of topic modelling approaches in the banking context. Applied Sciences, 13 (2), 797.

Hirsch, L., & Brunsdon, T. (2018). A comparison of Lucene search queries evolved as textclassifiers. Applied Artificial Intelligence, 32 (7-8), 768-784.

Domdouzis, K., Akhgar, B., Andrews, S., & Gibson, H. (2016). A social media and crowd-sourcing data mining system for crime prevention during and post-crisis situations. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 18 (4), 364-382.

Hirsch, L., Saeedi, M., & Hirsch, R. (2005). Evolving text classification rules with genetic programming. Applied Artificial Intelligence: An International Journal, 19 (7), 659-676.

Hirsch, L., Saeedi, M., & Hirsch, R. (2004). Evolving Text Classifiers with Genetic Programming. .

Hirsch, L., Saeedi, M., Cornillon, J., & Litosseliti, L. (2004). A structured dialogue tool for argumentative learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20 (1), 72-80.

Conference papers

Hirsch, L., Di Nuovo, A., & Prasanna, H. (2021). Document Clustering with Evolved Single Word Search Queries. In IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Krakow, Poland (Virutal), 28 June 2021 - 1 July 2021. IEEE:

Haddela, P., Hirsch, L., Gaudoin, J., & Brunsdon, T. (2021). Human Friendliness of Classifiers: A Review. In 2nd International Conference on Emerging Technologies in Data Mining and Information Security, Kolkata, West Bengal, India, 2 July 2020 - 4 July 2020 (pp. 293-303). Springer:

Kankanamalage, P.H., Hirsch, L., Brunsdon, T., & Gaudoin, J. (2020). Use of interpretable evolved search query classifiers for sinhala documents. Proceedings of the Future Technologies Conference (FTC) 2020, 790-804.

Baldwin, J., Brunsdon, T., Gaudoin, J., & Hirsch, L. (2018). Towards a social media research methodology: Defining approaches and ethical concerns. International journal on advances in life sciences, 10.

Hirsch, L., & Di Nuovo, A. (2017). Document clustering with evolved search queries. In 2017 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC), Proceedings : 5-8 June 2017, Donostia - San Sebastián, Spain, (pp. 1239-1246). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE:

Robert Wilson, B.M., Khazaei, B., & Hirsch, L. (2017). Towards a cloud migration decision support system for Small and Medium enterprises in Tamil Nadu. 2016 IEEE 17th International Symposium on Computational Intelligence (CINTI).

Robert Wilson, B.M., Khazaei, B., & Hirsch, L. (2016). Cloud adoption decision support for SMEs Using Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). 2016 IEEE 4th Workshop on Advances in Information, Electronic and Electrical Engineering (AIEEE).

Andrews, S., & Hirsch, L. (2016). A tool for creating and visualising formal concepttrees. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 1637, 1-9.

Hirsch, L., & Andrews, S. (2016). Visualising text co-occurrence networks. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, 1637, 19-27.

Robert Wilson, B.M., Khazaei, B., & Hirsch, L. (2016). Enablers and barriers of cloud adoption among Small and Medium Enterprises in Tamil Nadu. In IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing for Emerging Markets, Bangalore, India, 25 November 2015 - 27 November 2015 (pp. 140-145). IEEE:

Robert Wilson, B.M., Khazaei, B., Hirsch, L., & Kannan, S.T. (2015). CMDSSI : a decision support system for cloud migration for SMEs in India. In IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research (ICCIC), Coimbatore, India, 2014 - 2014. IEEE:

Wilson, B.M.R., Khazaei, B., Hirsch, L., & Kannan, S.T. (2015). CMDSSI: A decision support system for cloud migration for SMEs in India. 2014 IEEE International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Computing Research, IEEE ICCIC 2014, 293-299.

Gibson, H., Andrews, S., Domdouzis, K., Hirsch, L., & Akhgar, B. (2014). Combining Big Social Media Data and FCA for Crisis Response. In 2014 IEEE/ACM 7th International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing, (pp. 690-695). The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers:

Brewster, B., Andrews, S., Polovina, S., Hirsch, L., & Akhgar, B. (2014). Environmental Scanning and Knowledge Representation for the Detection of Organised Crime Threats. In Hernandez, N., Jäschke, R., & Croitoru, M. (Eds.) Graph-Based Representation and Reasoning, (pp. 275-280). Springer International Publishing:

Domdouzis, K., Andrews, S., Gibson, H., Akhgar, B., & Hirsch, L. (2014). Service-Oriented Design of a Command and ControlIntelligence Dashboard for Crisis Management. In Big Data, Intelligence Management and Analytics Workshop (BDIMA 2014), 7th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing (UCC 2014), London, 2014 - 2014.

Andrews, S., Akhgar, B., Yates, S., Stedmon, A., & Hirsch, L. (2013). Using formal concept analysis to detect and monitor organised crime. In Larsen, H.L., Martin-Bautista, M.J., Vila, M.A., Andreasen, T., & Christiansen, H. (Eds.) Flexible Query Answering Systems, (pp. 124-133). Heidelberg: Springer:

Hirsch, L., & Tian, D. (2013). Txt2vz: a new tool for generating graph clouds. In 20th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, ICCS 2013, Mumbai, India, 10 January 2013 - 12 January 2013 (pp. 322-331). Berlin: Springer:

Hirsch, L. (2010). Evolved Apache Lucene SpanFirst Queries are Good TextClassifiers. Evolutionary Computation, IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, 1-8.

Hirsch, L., Saeedi, M., & Hirsch, R. (2007). Evolving Lucene search queries for text classification. In Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, London.

Hirsch, L., Saeedi, M., & Hirsch, R. (2005). Evolving rules for document classification. In 8th European Conference, EuroGP 2005, Lausanne, Switzerland, 30 March 2005 - 1 April 2005 (pp. 85-95). Berlin: Springer:

Hirsch, L., & Saeedi, M. Modelling exchange using the prisoner’s dilemma and genetic programming. In Proceedings of the Computer Society of Iran Computing Conference 1999.

Robert Wilson, B.M., Khazaei, B., & Hirsch, L. (2016). A cloud migration decision support system for SMEs in Tamil Nadu (India) using AHP. In International Symposium of the Analytic Hierarchy Process, London, United Kingdom, 4 August 2016 - 7 August 2016.

Book chapters

Andrews, S., Day, T., Domdouzis, K., Hirsch, L., Lefticaru, R.-.E., & Orphanides, C. (2017). Analyzing crowd-sourced information and social media for crisis management. In Akhgar, B., Staniforth, A., & Waddington, D. (Eds.) Application of social media in crisis management : advanced sciences and technologies for security applications. (pp. 77-96). Springer International Publishing:


Hill, R., Hirsch, L., Lake, P., & Moshiri, S. (2013). Guide to cloud computing: principles and practice. London: Springer.

Theses / Dissertations

Haddela Kankanamalage, P.S. (2023). An analysis of search query evolution in document classification and clustering. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Hirsch, L.

Ogunleye, B.O. (2022). Statistical learning approaches to sentiment analysis in the Nigerian banking context. (Doctoral thesis). Supervised by Gaudoin, J., Brunsdon, T., Maswera, T., & Hirsch, L.

Postgraduate supervision

Maasoumi Sarvestani, Mohammad: 'A Comparative Study of E-Learning for programming in the UK and Iran' (Second Supervisor)

Attard, Kenneth: 'Increasing Efficiency in Cloud Computing from the User Perspective by Adaptive Profiling' (Second Supervisor)

Gopolang, Bontle: 'Using technology to improve sexual and reproductive health education in secondary schools in Botswana' (Second Supervisor)

Robert Wilson, Berlin: 'A Decision Support System for Cloud Migration for SMEs in South India' (Second Supervisor)

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