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17.10.2013 10:36 Age: 7 yrs

Guest Talk: "Human-Centered Information Systems and Query Processing"

We're pleased to announce a guest talk by Prof. Wolf-Tilo Balke, TU Braunschweig.

Prof. Wolf-Tilo Balke

When: Friday, October 18th, 2013, at 10:30
Where: i4 seminar room, building E3, room 0.19
Title: "Human-Centered Information Systems and Query Processing"


The Web as a global Information System has revolutionized everyday life. As one of the most disruptive technologies of the last decades, the Web was responsible for drastic technological, economical, and social developments: it is well established as main source of information and entertainment, but is also the most influential infrastructure for commerce and business. Especially, the advent of information retrieval and data mining technology had far reaching consequences and search engines revolutionized effective information access and navigation in large knowledge spaces. Since then, the Web has prospered, diversified and developed into the largest and omnipresent information source.

However, users also face an ever increasing flood of information on the Web. Unfortunately, the respective interaction and navigation methods with the underlying information systems have been progressing comparatively slowly. Even modern systems use only basic techniques for retrieving, finding, and navigating information like those developed a decade ago: techniques like e.g. hierarchical categorization, list browsing, filtering, online forms, or simple keyword searches are still predominant as sole method of accessing content or services. These techniques represent a system-centric approach towards retrieving information and mainly focus on efficient implementation and scalability. However, with the advent of Web 2.0 applications the Web began to change and adopted a more user-centric approach. Web 2.0 focuses on people's participation: in contrast to just consuming content, now everybody can contribute something to existing Web content and services. While this development had immediate impact on our usage of the Web (social networking, Wikis, blogging, etc.) it had only a minor impact on navigation and access patterns to information sources. In brief, although the availability of user provided tags, votes, comments, tweets, blogs, or social network links allows for new techniques like e.g. popularity votes, social recommendations, or tag cloud summaries, the main means of searching and locating information are still keyword search and categorical browsing. In this talk, alternative approaches are discussed which go far beyond categories and keywords, as for example capturing individual perceptional concepts or crowd-sourced information gathering.

Short Bio

Wolf-Tilo Balke currently holds the chair for information systems at Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany, and serves as a director of L3S Research Center at Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany. Before, he was the associate research director of L3S and a research fellow at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. His research is in the area of databases and information service provisioning, including personalized query processing, retrieval algorithms, preference-based retrieval and ontology-based discovery and selection of services. In 2013 Wolf-Tilo Balke has been elected as a member of the Academia Europaea. He is the recipient of two Emmy-Noether-Grants of Excellence by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Scientific Award of the University Foundation Augsburg, Germany. He has received his B.A and M.Sc degree in mathematics and a PhD in computer science from University of Augsburg, Germany.
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