About ISL

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.

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


ISL coordinates a horizontal research activity on Data Science exploiting the computational infrastructure and expertise of the research labs of the Institute in managing, analyzing and visualizing large volumes of data with the purpose of exploring the value chain related to big data. 

Core application themes:


The Center for Cultural Informatics

The Centre for Cultural Informatics (CCI) is a specialized unit of ISL which pursues a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary approach to supporting the entire lifecycle of cultural information and documentation procedures for the benefit of study, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. CCI is currently the most extensive facility of ISL in terms of manpower and external funding.

> See more about the Centre for Cultural Informatics