Investigating Collaborative Personal Information Management

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

On a daily basis users struggle to organise and re-find their digital as well as physical information such as documents, photos or emails. Personal Cross-Media Information Management investigates the opportunities for providing users an alternative to the mainly used Desktop Metaphor by moving away from the file hierarchies that we use to store our information. On the other hand, users have constructed their own personal organisation during their life, including physical file systems in bookcases or piles of papers on a desk. Our current research aims to develop new interaction techniques for emerging PIM systems and at the same time to offer mechanisms for digitally augmenting a user's existing organisational structures (e.g. piles of papers) in order to guide and help users in managing and re-finding their physical and digital information items.

In this thesis we will investigate the idea of collaboratively managing our personal information. Currently, each of us has their own file system, Google Drive structure, desk organisation, bookcase organisation, etc. Of course, this organisation is often not “ideal” or we do not want to do the effort to nicely create, for example, folder structures. We will investigate what would happen if we could just re-use the organisational structures of other users. You will develop a recommendation tool which recommends the user about how to organise their documents based on what other people do.

Contact: Sandra Trullemans (
Background Knowledge: 
  • Java and JavaFX
  • HTML and CSS
  • Ontologies, RDF and Triple Stores
Technical challenges: 
  • You will learn about our OC2 framework for PIM activities
  • You will use web technologies 
  • You will discover an innovative and new domein
Academic Year: