Web Information Systems Group

The Software Technology department at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) started with the appointment of prof.dr.ir. Geert-Jan Houben a new group on Web Information Systems (WIS). The WIS research group concentrates in its research on engineering and science of the Web. The research specifically considers the role of Web data in the engineering of Web-based information systems. The group's research is aimed at improving the understanding of people's actions, interests, motivations, and behaviors on the Web, and subsequently leveraging that knowledge to build Web applications that are semantic, personalized and adaptive.
This includes topics in harvesting, integrating, transforming, analyzing, and retrieving Web data, with focus on the special properties of Web data, e.g. linked data, semantic data, semi-structured data. A large portion of Web data is human-made, e.g. in social networks or Twitter streams, and this brings scientific challenges in how to effectively attribute meaning to Web data. The size of the Web brings challenges in how to efficiently store, index, and analyze data at Web scale. WIS researchers and students strive to advance the state-of-the-art in relevant disciplines like user modeling, Web science, information retrieval, Web engineering, Web data management, and crowdsourcing.

"From Web Data to Information"

  • Web data and semantics - managing, integrating and linking data in web-based information systems
  • Web analysis and user modeling - understanding usage and users in web-based information systems
  • Web engineering and adaptation - engineering and adapting web-based information systems

Further details on the research activities by the WIS team are listed at Research

Trending research activities: Lambda-Lab, SocialGlassDelft Data Science (DDS), WUDE, RDFGears, ImREAL, Twitter Incident ManagementAMSGeniUS, U-Sem and Twinder.

Follow us on Twitter: @wisdelft

WIS activities & news

Full papers accepted at CIKM'17

The paper titled "Interacting Attention-gated Recurrent Networks for Recommendation" was accepted at CIKM'17. The paper is co-authored by Wenjie Pei, Jie Yang, Zhu Sun, Jie Zhang, Alessandro Bozzon, and David M.J. Tax. The paper will be presented in November 2017 in Singapore.

Hypertext '17 paper awarded "Douglas Engelbart best paper award" 

The "Clarity is a Worthwhile  quality – On the Role of Task Clarity in Microtask Crowdsourcing", and authored by Ujwal Gadiraju, Jie Yang, Alessandro Bozzon won the "Douglas Engelbart best paper award" at Hypertext'17. 


Claudia Hauff has been awarded an NWO VIDI Grant for her proposal SearchX: Integrating search and sensemaking into large-scale open online learning. 2 PhD and 1 Postdoc vacancies for this project will be announced soon.

Hypertext '17 paper nominated for "Douglas Engelbart best paper award" 

The paper accepted at Hypertext'17, titled "Clarity is a Worthwhile  quality – On the Role of Task Clarity in Microtask Crowdsourcing", and authored by Ujwal Gadiraju, Jie Yang, Alessandro Bozzon has been nominated for "Douglas Engelbart best paper award". The paper will be presented on Thursday July 6th in Prague, Czech Republic. 

Full papers accepted at IJCAI'17 and AAAI'17

Two submissions on recommender systems were respectively accepted at IJCAI'17 and AAAI'17. The paper titled "MRLR: Multi-level Representation Learning for Personalized Ranking in Recommendation" was accepted at IJCAI'17 (Melbourne, Australia). The paper titled "Exploiting both Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of Feature Hierarchy for Effective Recommendation" was accepted at AAAI'17 (San Francisco, CA, US). 

Four submissions accepted at UMAP'17

Two submissions were accepted in the Technology-Enhanced Adaptive Learning track, co-written by members of the Lambda-Lab: "Measuring student behaviour dynamics in a large interactive classroom setting" (in collaboration with researchers from Lugano) was accepted as full paper; "Certificate Achievement Unlocked: Exploring MOOC Learners' Behaviour Before & After Passing" was accepted as a late-breaking result paper.

The paper "Nudge your Workforce. A Study on the Effects of Task Notification Strategies in Enterprise Mobile Crowdsourcing" has been accepted as full paper in the Personalized Social Web track. The paper has been co-written with researchers from the IBM Amsterdam Centre of Advanced Studies, in the context of the IBM-EWI CIC collaboration. The paper is a result of the master thesis of our former WIS master student Sarah Bashirieh.

Our submission ``Sequences of Diverse Song Recommendations: An exploratory study in a commercial system'' was accepted as an extended abstract to the Recommender Systems track.

Full paper accepted at Hypertext'17

The paper titled "Clarity is a Worthwhile  quality – On the Role of Task Clarity in Microtask Crowdsourcing" was accepted at Hypertext'17 (Prague, Czech Republic). Authors: Ujwal Gadiraju, Jie Yang, Alessandro Bozzon.

Two submissions accepted at MSR '17

The papers co-written by members of the Pi-lab: "Structure and evolution of package dependency networks" (with collaborators from U. Tartu) and "Oops, my tests broke the build: An explorative analysis of Travis CI with GitHub" (with collaborators from SERG/TU Delft) were accepted as full papers at MSR '17.

WIS research featured in EEMCS Research video

WIS research is prominently featured in the official EEMCS faculty Research video.

Postdoc vacancy on Explanations in Recommender Systems

See our Vacancies page.

Postdoc vacancy on Urban Data Analytics

See our Vacancies page.

Two papers on knowledge representation and information extraction from scientific publications accepted at the workshop of WSDM 2017 and ESWC 2017

The paper titled "Describing Data Processing Pipelines in Scientific Publications for Big Data Injection" is accepted at the SWM workshop of WSDM conference in Cambridge, UK. Paper titled "Semantic Annotation of Data Processing Pipelines in Scientific Publications" is accepted at ESWC 2017 conference in Portoroz, Slovenia.

NWO Top Grant

Claudia Hauff has been awarded an NWO Top Grant to conduct “innovative or high-risk scientific research that addresses questions of high quality and urgency.” The grant will push the boundaries of large-scale collaborative search.

Vacancy Full Professor Higher Education with focus on teaching & learning processes in a digital environment [TU Delft, EEMCS, WIS]


Social Data Science research line is TU Delft Highlight of 2015

Alessandro's work on social data science has been recognised as a 2015 highlight of TU Delft. The piece mentions the successes obtained in the research lines related to urban analytics (Social Glass), crowd knowledge generation (SealincMedia and WUDE), and the Inclusive Enterprise (with IBM Benelux). 

Digital Birdwatching in the Rijksmuseum

Sunday October 4th, World Animal Day, 40 ornithologists, bird watchers and bird enthusiasts assembled in the library of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam for digital birdwatching. These bird experts were invited to use their knowledge ans skills to identify birds depicted on prints, paintings and other digital heritage objects. The event was an initiative of researchers from Delft University of TechnologyVU University Amsterdam and the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), assembled in the COMMIT/ research project SEALINCMedia, together with the Rijksmuseum, Naturalis and Wikimedia.

The digital bird watching event attracted quite some media attention, both in paper media (Trouw) and digital media (RTLParoolTelegraaf) and was even featured on the Dutch TV news (NOS, from 10:49). The full article can be read here.

Alessandro and Social Glass project featured on Dutch media

After the talk given during the Social Media Week in Rotterdam, Alessandro presented Social Glass and his work on Human-Enhanced Data Management on several Dutch media, including ad.nl and NRC.

Social Glass project at SAIL 2015

Under the umbrella of AMS, the Social Glass team and the research group lead by Prof. Serge Hoogendoorn (Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geoscience)  developed and executed a pilot live experiment in Crowd Management during SAIL 2015, the international nautical event which took place from the 19th till the 23rd of August in Amsterdam. The pilot study used a combination of various methods of real-time data collection to give an optimum picture of pedestrian flows along the SAIL route and its different areas of interest. The main focus of the study was on how to gain reliable information on pedestrian flows during large-scale public events, such as SAIL, and use this effectively for crowd management. This experiment is a first step towards the development of a real-time monitoring system that can be utilized as a support tool by stakeholders responsible for the smooth running of such large-scale events. The experiment run parallel to the established crowd-management methods used by the municipality and, therefore, had no effect on the tasks of the crowd managers.

The project attracted the attention of several media, including ParoolTelegraph, ad.nl

Joint work with IBM on the Inclusive Enterprise on Wall Street Journal site

Our work together with IBM on Inclusive Enterprise, led by Alessandro, was featured on the Wall Street Journal website: blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/07/08/ibm-researchers-try-to-measure-employee-well-being-using-technology/

Geert-Jan Houben in UMUAI Editorial Board

Geert-Jan Houben has become member of the editorial board of UMUAI, User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research.

Geert-Jan Houben appointed KIVI-chair Big Data Science

Geert-Jan Houben has been appointed as KIVI-chair on Big Data Science, connecting the TU Delft research to the engineering in practice.

WIS participates in AMS with its social data science research

The WIS group is present with its social data science research in AMS, the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. Example is the work on SocialGlass.

Video showing Accurator in the Rijksmuseum released

Together with our partners in the COMMIT project SEALINCMedia we released a video showing the Accurator platform for the art collection of the Rijksmuseum. The platform itself is demonstrated at accurator.nl.

Delft Data Science

WIS is involved with its research on social data computing and user aspects of social data in Delft Data Science (DDS). Examples are the work in SocialGlass on urban data analytics, for Accurator at Rijkmuseum on nichesourcing and social annotation, or for the Extension School on learning analytics.