Dr Alistair Baron


Research Overview

My primary research areas are Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Cyber Security, with a particular focus on developing solutions to the problems associated with the vast amounts of textual data in online settings; for example, deception and multiple personae detection techniques to assist in countering the use of fake profiles for nefarious purposes. The noisy characteristics of online texts, e.g. the abundance of irregular language and its multi-lingual nature, pose significant barriers to many NLP methods. A primary aim of my research is to build robust NLP tools which are able to cope with, and take advantage of, these features. Relatedly, I am interested in developing machine learning techniques and other technologies which assist users in making informed decisions, such as for forensic investigations, or for crisis management.

Selected Publications

Who am I? Analysing Digital Personas in Cybercrime Investigations
Rashid, A., Baron, A., Rayson, P., May-Chahal, C., Greenwood, P., Walkerdine, J. 04/2013 In: Computer. 46, 4, p. 54-61. 8 p.
Journal article

Children Online: A survey of child language and CMC corpora
Baron, A., Rayson, P., Greenwood, P., Walkerdine, J., Rashid, A. 2012 In: International Journal of Corpus Linguistics. 17, 4, p. 443-481. 39 p.
Journal article

"i didn't spel that wrong did i. Oops": Analysis and normalisation of SMS spelling variation
Tagg, C., Baron, A., Rayson, P. 2012 In: Lingvisticæ Investigationes. 35, 2, p. 367-388. 22 p.
Journal article

Word frequency and key word statistics in corpus linguistics
Baron, A., Rayson, P., Archer, D. 2009 In: Anglistik. 20, 1, p. 41-67. 27 p.
Journal article

Technological solutions to offending
Rashid, A., Greenwood, P., Walkerdine, J., Baron, A., Rayson, P. 03/2012 In: Understanding and preventing online sexual exploitation of children. London : Willan p. 228-243.
Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Fool’s Errand: Looking at April Fools Hoaxes as Disinformation through the Lens of Deception and Humour
Dearden, E., Baron, A. 22/02/2019
Conference contribution/Paper

A time-sensitive historical thesaurus-based semantic tagger for deep semantic annotation
Piao, S.S., Dallachy, F., Baron, A., Demmen, J.E., Wattam, S., Durkin, P., McCracken, J., Rayson, P.E., Alexander, M. 11/2017 In: Computer Speech and Language. 46, p. 113-135. 23 p.
Journal article

Panning for gold: automatically analysing online social engineering attack surfaces
Edwards, M., Larson, R., Green, B., Rashid, A., Baron, A. 08/2017 In: Computers and Security. 69, p. 18-34. 17 p.
Journal article

The simulated security assessment ecosystem: Does penetration testing need standardisation?
Knowles, W., Baron, A., McGarr, T. 09/2016 In: Computers and Security. 62, p. 296-316. 21 p.
Journal article

SCC (Data Science)

Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Cyber Security)

SCC (Data Science), Security Lancaster, Security Lancaster (Cyber Security)

  • Cyber Security Research Centre (Data)
  • DSI - Foundations
  • SCC (Data Science)
  • Security Lancaster
  • Security Lancaster (Academic Centre of Excellence)
  • Security Lancaster (Cyber Security)
  • UCREL - University Centre for Computer Corpus Research on Language