Marta Sabou

Marta Sabou

Vienna University of Technology (AT)

Balancing Scientific Rigour and Relevance with Design Science: The case of Exploratory Search on Enterprise Knowledge Graphs

The Semantic Web research area is an exciting confluence of several diverse research fields. As a side effect, a variety of styles (i.e., methodologies) to perform research are exercised, spanning a broad spectrum from basic (theoretically motivated) to applied (application oriented) approaches, with a tension between the scientific rigour guaranteed by the former approach and the relevance ensured by the latter. This can be a confusing environment for PhD students (and not only) to perform research in. While the basic research approach is a classic approach to follow, in this talk I want to share recent experiences on performing applied research and reflect on its benefits and risks. I will use as an example an industrial research project which lead to defining interesting research questions in the area of exploratory search for enterprise knowledge graphs. I argue that, exercising these two research styles in the broader spectrum of the Design Science methodology ensures research that is balanced both in terms of scientific rigour and relevance.

Dr. Marta Sabou is a Senior Researcher at the Vienna University of Technology. She holds a PhD from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, for which she won the IEEE Intelligent System’s Ten to Watch Award in 2006. Dr. Sabou has performed much of her work in the Semantic Web community where she investigated research topics ranging from ontology engineering to the creation of intelligent systems that benefit from semantic technologies in domains as varied as tourism, open government, software engineering and industrial automation in the Industrie 4.0 context. She acts as an editorial board member for three journals that publish Semantic Web research and has been engaged in senior organization activities in the main Semantic Web conferences.

Enrico Motta

KMi, Open University (UK)​

Integrating large scale data analytics with semantic technologies to make sense of research

Since 2011 my research group on scholarly analytics,, has developed a number of tools and methods which allow us to examine and make sense of the key trends and dynamics characterising the research space. Our solutions include methods to automatically generate large-scale and granular ontologies to characterise the space of research topics in a particular field, visual analytics solutions to make sense of the dynamics of research communities, an innovative approach to forecasting the emergence of new research areas before these are explicitly recognised and understood, models of technology migration across research communities, and several others. A key feature of our methods, which distinguishes them from most current work on large scale data mining, is the integration of large scale data analytics with semantic technologies, to improve not just performance but also a system’s explanation capabilities. In addition to our academic impact, we have also been collaborating closely with Springer Nature for a number of years, customising our technologies to support their editorial workflow and marketing activities.
In this talk I will provide an overview of our research on scholarly analytics, presenting both the novel technologies we have realised and the resulting commercial deployments, paying special attention to illustrating the key role played by semantic technologies. I will also take advantage of the insights provided by our analyses of the research world to provide practical advice about the dos and don’ts of conducting research.

Prof Enrico Motta has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence from The Open University, where is currently a Professor in Knowledge Technologies. His research focuses on large scale data integration and analysis to support decision making in complex scenarios. Among his recent projects, he has led MK:Smart, a £17.2M initiative that tackled key barriers to economic growth in Milton Keynes. He is also currently collaborating with Springer Nature to develop new tools that can improve the quality and efficiency of editorial processes in the academic publishing industry. He is Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies and over the years he has advised strategic research boards and governments in several countries. Together with Asun Gomez-Perez he founded the International Summer School on Ontology Engineering and the Semantic Web, which started in 2003 and provided the main international postgraduate forum for learning about semantic technologies until its final edition in 2016.

Sebastian Rudolph

Computational Logic Group, TU Dresden (DE)

Knowledge Representation and the Semantic Web – an Ontologician´s View

With the rise of the Semantic Web and in the course of the standardization of ontology languages, logic-based knowledge representation (KR) has received wide attention from academics and practitioners alike.
This talk will present a – necessarily subjective – view on the role of KR in the context of the Semantic Web. It will make a case for rigid logical underpinnings with principled analyses of expressivity and computational properties (like decidability or complexity) of KR formalisms, but also discuss the challenges that the KR community has to address in order to ensure the ongoing uptake of modern KR technology by the wider Semantic Web public and IT business in general.

Sebastian obtained a PhD in Mathematics from TU Dresden in 2006, before joining Rudi Studer’s Knowledge Management Group in Karlsruhe, where he received his habilitation in Computer Science in 2011. Since 2013, he is a full professor for computational logic at TU Dresden. His main research interests comprise Artificial Intelligence (especially Knowledge Representation and Reasoning), Database Theory, NLP and others.
Research stays have lead Sebastian to places as diverse as Oxford, Montpellier, Rennes, Santiago de Chile and Vienna. Sebastian co-authored several textbooks on Semantic Web technologies. He recently received an ERC Consolidator Grant to support his research on the decidability boundaries of logic-based Knowledge Representation.

Asunción Gómez-Pérez


OEG, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ES)​

Keynote Cancelled