Research Interests

Currently, my main research area is engineering and science of the Web. The research specifically considers the role of Web data in the engineering of Web-based information systems.

In the Web Information Systems group, we aim at making web information system engineering more effective in processing, retrieving and interpreting human‐generated web data. Extracting semantics from people's actions and behaviors on the web enables systems that are personalized and adaptive. Our first research objective is to understand what human‐generated web data represents in terms of people's actions, interests, intents, and behaviors on the web. Through data science and web science research, we develop theories on how web data can provide insights about system users. Our second objective is to develop new solutions to meet the fundamental challenges in how systems effectively attribute semantics to human‐generated data, given the size and dynamic nature of the web. We implement and analyze approaches for augmenting web systems with the capability to process, retrieve, and interpret web data, and subsequently adapt to their users.

In this context, we investigate three research topics

  • Web‐based user modeling: How can human‐generated data that are retrieved and semantically enriched from the web, be used to enhance systems’ interpretation of people’s actions for user-adaptation?
  • Web data processing and retrieval: How to efficiently process data at web‐scale and design effective information retrieval mechanisms for domain‐specific web tasks?
  • Human‐enhanced web systems: What are effective ways to augment web‐based systems with automated, large‐scale human computation and interaction?

This research includes topics in processing, retrieving, and interpreting Web data, with focus on the special properties of Web data: 1) 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; 2) 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, user interaction, and crowdsourcing.

This research is part of the area of data science, where with Delft Data Science we aim to advance the state of the art in data science in a variety of domains, such as urban innovation, in collaboration with AMS Institute, or online education, in collaboration with TU Delft Extension School and LDE Centre for Education & Learning.

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

Journals and Conferences

Some journals and major conferences I am involved in

Some other roles: former board member of ISWE, International Society for Web Engineering, board member of SIKS, the Dutch national research school for information and knowledge systems, member of the advisory board of User Modeling Inc.

Interesting Events

Some interesting events I am/was involved in

  • TheWebConference 2020 - The Web Conference (formerly known as WWW conference), Taipei, 20-24 April 2020.
  • TheWebConference 2019 - The Web Conference (formerly known as WWW conference), San Francisco, USA, 13-17 May, 2019.
  • ACM Web Science 2018 - 10th ACM Conference on Web Science, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 27-30 May 2018.
  • TU Delft 176th Dies Natalis 2018 - Foundation Day Lecture "Data and Science we can rely on", TU Delft, 12 January 2018.
  • Special Issue on Big Personal Data in Interactive Intelligent Systems - Special Issue on Big Personal Data in Interactive Intelligent Systems in ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems.
  • ACM HT 2017 - 28th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, Prague, Czech Republic, July 4-7, 2017.
  • ACM HT 2015 - 26th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, Cyprus, September 1-4, 2015.
  • ICWE 2015 - 15th International Conference on Web Engineering, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, June 22-26, 2015.
  • UMAP 2014 - 22nd Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, Aalborg, Denmark, July 7-11, 2014.
  • ICWE 2014 - 14th International Conference on Web Engineering, Toulouse, France, July 1-4, 2014.
  • WebSci 2014 - ACM Web Science 2014 Conference, Bloomington, USA, June 23-26, 2014.
  • UMAP 2013 - 21st Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, Rome, Italy, June 10-14, 2013.
  • Web Engineering at WWW2013 - 22nd International World Wide Web Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 13-17 May 2013.
  • IJSWIS special issue on Semantic Social Media Dynamics - Special issue on Semantic Social Media Dynamics in International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems.
  • WISM 2012 (@ ER 2012) - Ninth International Workshop on Web Information Systems Modeling, at ER, October 2012.
  • ComposableWeb 2012 (@ ICWE 2012) - Fourth International Workshop on Lightweight Integration on the Web, at the International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE), July 2012. 
  • AUM 2012 (@ UMAP 2012) - Second International Workshop on Augmented User Modeling, at the international conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP), July 2012. 
  • CATCH day - Cultural Heritage Getting Social: Trust and Authority in the Crowd, NWO CATCH day at the SEALINCMedia project, May 2012.
  • MultiA-Pro (@ WWW 2012) - International Workshop on Interoperability of User Profiles in Multi-Application Web Environments, at World Wide Web Conference (WWW), April 2012.
  • MDWE 2011(@ ICWE 2011) - 7th Model-Driven Web Engineering Workshop, at the International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE 2011) in Paphos, Cyprus, June 2011.
  • ComposableWeb 2011 (@ ICWE 2011) - Third International Workshop on Lightweight Composition on the Web, at the International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE 2011) in Paphos, Cyprus, June 2011.
  • DAH 2011 (@ ACM Hypertext 2011) - International Workshop on Dynamic and Adaptive Hypertext, at the ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia (ACM Hypertext 2011), in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, June 2011.
  • AUM 2011 (@ UMAP 2011) - International Workshop on Augmenting User Models with Real-World Experiences to Enhance Personalization and Adaptation, at User Modeling, Adaptatin and Personalization (UMAP 2011), in Girona, Spain, July 2011.
  • WISM 2011(@ ER 2011) - Eight International Workshop on Web Information System Modeling, at the International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER 2011), in Brussels, Belgium, November 2011.
  • UWeb2011 (@ ESWC 2011) - User Profile Data on the Social Semantic Web
  • USEWOD 2011 (@ WWW 2011) - 1st International Workshop on Usage Analysis and the Web of Data
  • UDISW2010 (@ IUI 2010) - International Workshop on User Data Interoperability in the Social Web
  • WISM 2010 (@ ER 2010) - Seventh International Workshop on Web Information Systems Modeling
  • ComposableWeb 2010 (@ ICWE 2010) - Second International Workshop on Lightweight Composition on the Web
  • MDWE 2010 (@ ICWE 2010) - 6th Model-Driven Web Engineering Workshop
  • LUPAS 2010(@ ESWC 2010) - International Workshop on Linking of User Profiles and Applications in the Social Semantic Web
  • WABBWUAS 2010 (@ UMAP 2010) - Workshop on Architectures and Building Blocks of Web-Based User-Adaptive Systems

Web Information Systems group and Education

For more information on the group at TU Delft, including information on vacancies or education, have a look at the page of the WIS group ( or follow us on Twitter (@wisdelft). G.J.P.M. Houben

Visiting Address
Building 28

Room: 840 West 4rd floor
Van Mourik Broekmanweg 6
2628 XE Delft
The Netherlands

Mailing Address
EEMCS, Web Information Systems
P.O. Box 5031, 2600 GA Delft
The Netherlands

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