Founded in 1986, the Information Systems Laboratory has become a major focal point in the international research community. It combines expertise in knowledge representation and reasoning, database systems, net-centric information systems, and conceptual modeling. Its grand research challenge is to succeed in the transition from traditional information systems, such as information retrieval systems, database and workflow management systems, to semantically rich, large-scale, adaptive information systems. Such systems will be characterized by large-scale semantic interoperation, massive distribution, and/or a high level of autonomy and self-adaptation.

Besides conducting theoretical work on the above issues, ISL carries out applied research work in a number of application domains, including cultural informatics, biomedical informatics, e-learning, e-commerce and IT security. Work in these domains has a strong interdisciplinary character, since it includes the aspect of understanding the respective domain and modeling it through an appropriate conceptualization.

Overall, the ISL aims to provide enabling technologies for the emergence of an information society and a knowledge economy.

The research activities of ISL are structured around four core research themes:

  • Semantic Data Management
  • Knowledge Systems
  • Service-Oriented Computing
  • Information Retrieval and Analysis

and three core application themes:

  • Cultural Informatics
  • Ambient Intelligence
  • Digital Preservation

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