Research Topics

Cross-Media Information Spaces and Architectures (CISA)

We investigate conceptual models and architectures for the representation and integration of information across media boundaries. It is time to question existing document formats which are very much based on the simulation of paper on static desktop computers and to come up with innovative information concepts for the representation of open and fluid cross-media "documents".

Dynamic Data Physicalisation

We are developing a conceptual as well as software framework that can be used for the rapid prototyping and experimentation with dynamic data physicalisation solutions. For a more systematic approach in the design and development of data physicalisations, there is a need for a conceptual data physicalisation framework which can then also serve the development of a software framework for dynamic data physicalistion.

Tangible Holograms (TangHo)

We are developing a tangible hologram (TangHo) platform for simulating reconfigurable physical objects via tangible "holograms". The combination of holograms, created by a Microsoft HoloLens, and a pair of wearable robotic arms with spherical controllers enables innovative ways of interacting with tangible holograms and experiencing their numerous physical variables including shape, texture or temperature. We are applying our mobile TangHo solution for the collaborative exploration of large data sets (Big Data) via dynamic data physicalisation.

End-User Computing & Domain-Specific Tools

Domain experts, such as pharmacologists, are often faced with a steep learning curve when adopting computational approaches developed and still under development in the domain of computer science (CS) as they often have a limited CS background. The  absence of CS experts or knowledge are stalling the uptake of these technologies in many domains. By using an end-user computing approach (Goodall & Howie, 1997) this can be remediated. End-user computing refers to systems in which non-programmers can create their own software applications.

Internet of Things and Smart Environments

Nowadays, the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) and Web of Things (WoT) start to play a more important role in our daily lives, given that many appliances are connected to the Internet. Solutions such as the popular If This Then That (IFTTT) enable users to define rules for implicit interactions with their IoT-enabled devices. However, existing IoT solutions do not support human-computer interactions across platform boundaries and we therefore investigate the necessary concepts and architecture for a cross-platform IoT middleware.

 

Location-based Services

A Location-based Service (LBS) is a generic term for a service that provides the location of a person or asset. Such services can be used in various use cases, ranging from emergency services that request your position to navigation applications that use your location to determine directions. 

Serious Games

Serious games have great potential as they allow people to acquire knowledge and skills as they play. Serious games include board and card games, as well as digital games. In particular, digital games provides opportunities that traditional methods cannot offer, e.g., simulations that immerse the player into different situations, or incorporating social aspects such as interpersonal skills.

Personalisation of Serious Games

Although, dedicated tools, methods, guidelines and knowledge are essential to realise effective serious games, they still are not a guarantee for success. An important reason is that all people are different: they have different preferences, different abilities, different performance motivations, different personality treats, and so on. What works for one person, may not work for another person. A (serious) game that is engaging and effective for one person may not be engaging and effective for another person.

Personal Cross-Media Information Management

On a daily basis users struggle to organse and re-find their stored documents, photos or emails. Personal Cross-Media Information Management investigates the opportunities to provide the user with an alternative to the Desktop Metaphor where we step away from the file hierarchies used to store our information. Our cross-media PIM system is a solution which unifies all organisational structures such as email, bookmark and file hierarchies but also the physical classification structures such as bookshelves or piles of papers on the desk.

Conceptual Modeling

One of the core research topics of WISE is conceptual modeling. During conceptual modeling, we create models for the system to be developed or for the domain under considerration without consideration implementation aspects. While in the past, the conceptual modeling techniques, such as ORM, UML or ER where very general and could be used for different domains, nowadays domain-specific modeling languages are preferred. These domain-specific modeling languages are tailored to their domain and provide first-class modeling concepts for concepts that are specific for the domain under consideration.

Interactive Paper and Augmented Reality

While there have been dramatic increases in the use of digital technologies for information storage, processing and delivery over the last few decades, the affordances of paper have ensured its retention as a key information medium. We are interested in conceptual models and software platforms for the integration of paper with digital as well as other cross-media resources.

Presentation Tools

With more than 30 million PowerPoint presentations that are created every single day, we cannot ignore the widespread and heavy use of slideware presentations in domains such as education or business. Within WISE various projects revolve around the domain of presentation tools and their related aspects.

Multimodal and Multi-Touch Interaction

We are developing multimodal and multi-touch interaction frameworks with a focus on the declarative definition of gestures and interaction patterns and the reusability as well as extensibility of existing gestures. Our solution supports the rapid prototyping and investigation of novel multimodal and multi-touch gestures.

Design Methods for Serious Games

The purpose of this research topic is to perform research on development methods for serious games, which are games used for training, advertising, simulation, education, ....  

The goal is to develop multidisciplinary tools to assist the development of serious games, as well as dedicated development methods, guidelines and knowledge about serious games. Essential is that these tools, methods and guidelines explicitly support the integration of knowledge from different domains, i.e. they deal with the interdisciplinary character of serious games and allow for a greater involvement of the different stakeholders during the development process. 

Domain-specific Modeling Language for Narrative-based Serious Games

ATTAC-L is a visual domain-specific modeling language for specifying the educational scenarios of serious games. Its syntax is based on a Controlled Natural Language (CNL), which is a strict and controlled subset of natural language. The models are specified in a graphical way. Using a CNL-based syntax for our DMSL provides an easy and human-readable, yet flexible and expressive way to specify (i.e., model) the story of a game. This makes it significantly easier for people without programming knowledge (such as most subject-matter experts) to understand, and even create models, and in this way a better communication and collaboration within multidisciplinary teams can be achieved. ATTAC-L also allows to specify the pedagogical design used fro the game and the pedagogical interventions needed during the story. This is done by an annotations system.

ATTAC-L is supported by a web-based tool and a simulator is available to try out the modeled stories in a 3D environment.

Context-aware Applications

Context-aware applications are applications that take into account a user's context (e.g. personal preferences, characteristics, agenda) and environment (e.g. people, places and things in the user's vicinity), in order to provide an improved user experience.

E-learning

Different research topics and projects of WISE are related to e-learning.

Mobile Applications

In this research we concentrate on the development of mobile applications running on mobile devices such as smartphones.

Visualization to Support Transparency and Interaction

We are researching visualization techniques to support transparency of and interaction with a wide variety of applications.

Ontologies

Ontologies are an important research domain in the context of the Semantic Web. In general, WISE is applying the research results from the domain of ontologies in its own research. However also some research on ontology evolution has been performed in the past.

Semantic Web Languages and Technology

Semantic Web technology and languages (like RDF(S) and OWL) is an important area in Web Engineering and for semantic interoperability. WISE is mainly using the results of research done in this domain, but we also contribute to it in the context of different research project.

Web Development Methods

This research track focusses on methods for designing and developing web systems.