I am currently a third year PhD student at UCLA jointly supervised by Prof. Song-Chun Zhu and Prof. Joyce Chai. I work at the intersection of computer vision and natural language processing (NLP), with the focuses on explainable AI (XAI) models. I also work closely with Prof. Sinisa Todorovic (Oregon State University), Prof. Arash A. Amini (UCLA), Dr. Xiaodan Liang (CMU) and Dr. Changsong Liu (DMAI)

Prior to this, I was a Research Software Engineer at IBM Research AI in the Cognitive Research Department supervised by Dr. Gargi B Dasgupta. I did my Bachelors and Masters (by Research) in Computer Science and Engineering at IIIT Hyderabad, India. For my masters thesis, I worked on Question Answering Systems and Dialogue Systems at Language Technologies Research Center (LTRC) under the supervision of Prof. Radhika Mamidi and Prof. Rajeev Sangal.

Academic Activities
Reviewer/Sub-Reviewer: CVPR 2019ECCV 2018EMNLP 2018ICON 2018EMNLP 2017ICON 2017
Panelist: UCLA Data Science Workshop 2018

Selected Conference publications

A Novel Approach towards Incorporating Context Processing Capabilities in NLIDB system
Arjun Akula, Rajeev Sangal and Radhika Mamidi.
International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (IJCNLP 2013)
[abs] [pdf]
A Novel Approach towards Building a Portable NLIDB system using the CPG Framework
Abhijeet Gupta, Arjun Akula, Deepak Malladi, Puneeth Kukkadapu, Vinay Ainavolu and Rajeev Sangal.
International Conference on Asian Language Processing (IALP 2012)
[abs] [pdf]
Classification of Attributes in a Natural Language Query into Different SQL Clauses
Ashish Palakurthi, Ruthu S.M., Arjun Akula, and Radhika Mamidi.
Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2015)
[abs] [pdf]
Towards Auto-Remediation in Services Delivery: Context-based Classification of Noisy and Unstructured Tickets
Gargi Dasgupta, Tapan Nayak, Arjun Akula, Shivali Agarwal, Shripad Nadgowda.
International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing (ICSOC 2014)
[abs] [pdf]


Automatic problem extraction and analysis from unstructured text in IT tickets
S Agarwal, V Aggarwal, Arjun Akula, Gargi Dasgupta, G Sridhara
IBM Journal of Research and Development 2017
[abs] [pdf]


Analyzing Unstructured Ticket Text Using Discourse Cues in Communication Logs
Arjun Akula, Gargi B Dasgupta, Tapan K Nayak
Disclosure Number: IN920150227, July 2015. US Patent App.
A System and Method for Structured Representation and Classification of Unstructured Tickets in Services Delivery
Shivali A, Arjun Akula, Gargi B, Tapan K, Shripad J.
Disclosure Number: IN820140677, Oct 2014. US Patent App.
Measuring Effective Utilization of a Service Practitioner for Ticket Resolution via a Wearable Device
Arjun Akula, Gargi Dasgupta, Vijay Ekambaram, Ramasuri Narayanam.
Disclosure Number: IN920160178US1, Aug 2016. US Patent App


University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Sep. 2016 -- Present
PhD candidate
Advisor: Prof. Song-Chun Zhu, Prof. Joyce Chai
IIIT Hyderabad, India
Jun. 2012 -- Mar. 2014
Masters (by Research/Thesis) in Computer Science and Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Radhika Mamidi, Prof. Rajeev Sangal
IIIT Hyderabad, India
Aug. 2008 -- Jun. 2012
Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering


  • Research Award - 2012 at IIIT Hyderabad for outstanding research work on Question Answering Systems.
  • Research Division Award - 2016 at IBM Research for proposing a novel text classification algorithm to classify problem tickets in IT Incident Management Process.
  • Outstanding Research Accomplishment Award - 2015 at IBM Research for designing and developing a web based reporting tool to measure adoption, utilization and business benefits of dynamic automations in IT Incident Management Process.

Invited Talks

Context based Natural Language Interfaces to Databases (NLIDB) and Dialogue Systems
Sixth IIIT-H Advanced Summer School on NLP (IASNLP 2015). Hyderabad, India