The model for likelihood to participate in conferences can be used to improve communities

Originally posted at Aalto University news.

Modelling revealed that the probability of participating in the same conference again increases in relation to previous regular participation.

Illustration about the associative nature of conference participation

Here we illustrate the idea of the associative nature of conference participation via a simple example. Jim participated in a conference twice, then skipped one and participated once again, but did not participate at all after that. Tim participated the first five times and, although he skipped one conference, he then participated three times. The colors illustrate the likelihood to participate (red more probable, blue less probable).

Researchers at Aalto University, Institute of Physics Belgrade and the Saha Institute in Kolkata have used a computational model to prove that participants make a more favourable decision to participating in scientific conferences the more often they have previously participated in the conference. The likelihood to participate grows regardless of the qualities of the conference, like its location, size or specialization.

“This first result opens up a novel, very rich research field. It will be interesting to study whether  the same behavior can be discovered  in other types of participations as well. Further on, the research agenda can include studying what kinds of actions increase community feelings and thus get people to participate. Our model can be used to research and understand participation phenomena, and perhaps can be used as a basis for new community building methods”, says docent Tomi Kauppinen from the Aalto University.

The researchers collaborated to analyse data from six scientific conferences of different sizes and programmes, held in different locations. The data comprised approximately 100 000 individual participation details covering a period of up to 30 years. The calculations are based on the so called Pólya Urn model, which is a probability theory based model used to make quantitative analysis of large sets of data. The result of the study was recently published in the scientific PLOS ONE journal.

“Modelling revealed that the probability of a researcher participating in the same conference again increases in relation to previous regular participation, and reduces when participation is irregular,’ explains the person responsible for the modelling, Marija Mitrović Dankulov from the Institute of Physics Belgrade. ‘The outcome is a fairly obvious one, but community inclusiveness, the common factor that we perceived, is apparent in all conference participation, and for the first time we were able to show this with the help of modelling.”

The result is in line with the so-called power law, which is a common physical law that is realised in many natural phenomena like the sizes of earthquakes or moon craters. Further on, also man-made phenomena like word frequencies in most languages follow the power law.

Digital information provides physicists and data scientists interested in societal phenomena and other researchers with immense possibilities to model social phenomena. The researchers already have thoughts about future research topics.

“It will be interesting to study whether our model can explain participation patterns of events organized both in physical places and online. Further on, by studying scientific assets that are interconnected according to the Linked Science approach, it could perhaps be possible to find interesting laws about how science works beyond these participation laws”, says Tomi Kauppinen.

Two of the co-authors Marija Mitrović Dankulov and Arnab Chatterjee, Saha Institute, are alumni of Aalto University.

The PLOS ONE publication:  A theoretical model for the associative nature of conference participation, PLOS ONE 11 (2016) e0148528

More information:

Tomi Kauppinen, Project Manager, Docent, Ph.D.
Tel: +358504315789
Aalto University School of Science
twitter: @LinkedScience

Marija Mitrović Dankulov, Dr.
Phone: +381 11 3713068
Institute of Physics Belgrade

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ESWC 2016 Special Track on Smart Cities, Urban and Geospatial Data


ESWC is one of the key academic conferences to present research results and new developments in the area of the Semantic Web. For its 13th edition, ESWC will be back in Hersonissou, Crete, between Sunday May 29th and Thursday June 2nd 2016.

This time, ESWC will feature a special track on smart cities, urban and geospatial data:

Track Description

More than half of the world’s population is already living in urban areas today. UN projections show that this proportion will grow to 66% by 2050, adding another 2.5 billion people to our cities. Geospatial data provided by sensor networks, different remote sensing technologies, citizen scientists, social networks, as well as Open Data initiatives helps cities address these challenges and transform into smart cities.

However, in such a diversity of information, it is a fact that large amounts of valuable open data and sensor information remain unused, and aggregation of information from various sources is typically limited to specific application domains, with organizations and cities reaping the benefits often only after extensive investments. With the very most of the world’s information today still handled in siloes, there is an enormous potential for better information management, search, discovery and reuse of heterogeneous urban data using Semantic Technologies, in order to make cities more intelligent, innovative and integrated beyond the boundaries of isolated applications.

In this track, we invite submissions that address the use of Semantic Web technologies in the context of this transformation process. Submissions to this track should contain original, unpublished research that shows how urban and smart city applications can benefit from Semantic Web technologies. Authors are strongly encouraged to include concrete application examples, ideally using real data, in their papers. Papers in this track will be evaluated on the basis of the impact of semantic technologies in the society and the extent to which they address real-life problems in the context of cities. Papers are also expected to evaluate or provide a deeper insight on the significant advantages of a semantic solution over state of the art, common practitioner no semantic solutions.


  • Semantic integration and processing of remotely sensed data and data from in-situ sensors
    Semantic models for spatial-temporal change
  • The city as an API
  • Semantics of urban sensor networks
  • Semantic integration of distributed urban data
  • Semantic analysis of data streams
  • Semantic Web applications addressing urban topics such as transport, energy, building, safety, water, food, waste, or emissions
  • Semantics for citizen-centric Smart cities
  • Application of semantic technologies, sensors and semantic streams for e-Health, Life Sciences, e-Government, Environmental Monitoring, Cultural Heritage, Utility Services or Social Sensing
  • Intelligent User Interfaces and Interaction Paradigms that profit from semantics and knowledge graphs over Web Data, open government and corporate data relating to cities
  • Context- and location-aware (mobile) applications based on semantic technologies and geo-semantics
  • Provenance, access control, trust and privacy-preserving issues in smart cities
  • Semantic-based cloud applications for Smart Cities
  • Semantic reasoning, event detection, knowledge extraction and analytics for smart city platforms
  • Big data and scaling out in semantic cities. Managing real time and historical city data using knowledge representation models
  • Semantic platforms, knowledge acquisition, publishing, consumption, evolution and maintenance of city data


All deadlines are at 23:59 Hawaii Time.

Compulsory abstract submission for all papers: Friday 11th December 2015
Compulsory full paper submission: Friday 18th December 2015
Authors rebuttal: Friday 29th Jan – Friday 5th Feb 2016
Acceptance notification: Monday 22nd February 2016
Camera ready: Monday 7th of March 2016

Track Chairs

Carsten Kessler, Hunter College, City University of New York
Vanessa Lopez, IBM Research Ireland

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Opening Reproducible Research project is hiring

Opening Reproducible Research (ORR) project at the Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Münster, Germany has announced the following two open positions (deadline for applying October 15, 2015):

If your institute has open positions related to Open Science or Linked Science (or both!), please share news about them to us via @LinkedScience or and we will add them to


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Five papers accepted to COSIT workshop on Teaching Spatial Thinking

We accepted the following five papers to be presented at the Workshop on Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives at COSIT2015:

Announcement by Tomi Kauppinen (co-chair), on behalf of the organizing committee.

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Six papers accepted to Linked Science 2015

We are happy to announce that the following papers were accepted to this year’s Workshop on Linked Science organized at ISWC2015 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA on October 12th, 2015.

  • Tony Hammond and Michele Pasin. The ontologies portal
  • Da Huo, Jaroslaw Nabrzyski and Charles Vardeman. An Ontology Design Pattern towards Preservation of Computational Experiments
  • Carsten Keßler. Using the Web as a Data Source: Challenges for Linked Science
  • Tobias Kuhn. nanopub-java: A Java Library for Nanopublications
  • Paulo Pinheiro, Deborah McGuinness and Henrique Santos. Human-Aware Sensor Network Ontology: Semantic Support for Empirical Data Collection
  • Rui Yan, Brenda Praggastis, William Smith and Deborah McGuinness. Towards Cache Maintenance for Ontology Based, History-Aware Stream Reasoning

Announced by Tomi Kauppinen, Co-chair of the 5th Workshop on Linked Science 2015— Best Practices and the Road Ahead (LISC2015)

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Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Workshop on Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives (SPATIALTHINKING2015)

When: October 12, 2015
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
Collocated with Conference on Spatial Information Theory XII (COSIT 2015)
Workshop URI:
Hashtag: #SpatialThinking2015

The “Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives” (SPATIALTHINKING2015)  workshop’s goals are to:
1) Assist educators in developing interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking.
2) Develop a repository of educational materials that educators could use to create interdisciplinary courses on spatial thinking.

Organizers of SPATIALTHINKING2015 are Heather Burte (UCSB), Tomi Kauppinen (Aalto Uni) and Mary Hegarty (UCSB).

Read more and welcome to join!



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Tutorial on Visual Analytics at ESWC2015

We are happy to announce that we will arrange the Tutorial on Visual Analytics with Linked Open Data and Social Media (VisLOD2015) at ESWC2015 in Portoroz, Slovenia on May 31 or June 1, 2015.

In the tutorial we will focus on mining and visualizing of interesting spatial, temporal and thematic patterns from Linked Open Data and Social Media.

The teachers of the tutorial are Dr.  Suvodeep Mazumdar (Uni Sheffield), Dr  Tomi Kauppinen (Aalto Uni) and Dr.   Anna Lisa Gentile (Uni Sheffield).

[more information on ViSLOD2015…]

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The program of #VISUAL2014

We are happy to announce the program of VISUAL2014 (International Workshop on Visualizations and User Interfaces for Knowledge Engineering and Linked Data Analytics).

When: November 24, 2014
Where: Linköping, Sweden
Collocated with EKAW2014, 19th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management
Workshop URI:
Hashtag: #VISUAL2014

Workshop Program

09:15 – 09:25: Opening
09:25 – 10:30: Session I: Ontology Visualization (Session Chair: Valentina Ivanova)
09:25 – 09:50: A Vision for Diagrammatic Ontology Engineering (full paper), Gem Stapleton, John Howse, Adrienne Bonnington, Jim Burton
09:50 – 10:15: OntoViBe – An Ontology Visualization Benchmark (full paper), Florian Haag, Steffen Lohmann, Stefan Negru, Thomas Ertl
10:15 – 10:30: Discussion Session I

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee Break

11:00 – 12:30: Session II: User-Oriented Ontology Alignment (Session Chair: Steffen Lohmann)
11:00 – 11:20: What Can the Ontology Describe? Visualizing Local Coverage in PURO Modeler (short paper), Marek Dudas, Tomas Hanzal, Vojtech Svatek
11:20 – 11:45: User Involvement for Large-Scale Ontology Alignment (full paper), Valentina Ivanova, Patrick Lambrix
11:45 – 12:00: Discussion Session II
12:00 – 12:30: Wrap Up Sessions I+II

12:30 – 14:00: Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:00: Session III: Visual Approaches to Linked Data (Session Chair: Valentina Ivanova)
14:00 – 14:25: Sensemaking on Wikipedia by Secondary School Students with SynerScope (full paper), Willem Robert Van Hage, Fernando Nunez-Serrano, Thomas Ploeger, Jesper Hoeksema
14:25 – 14:45: Towards a Visual Annotation Tool for End-User Semantic Content Authoring (short paper), Torgeir Lebesbye, Ahmet Soylu
14:45 – 15:00: Discussion Session III

15:00 – 15:30: Coffee Break

15:30 – 17:00: Session IV: Demo Jam (Session Chair: Steffen Lohmann)
15:30 – 16:30: Impromptu demos (everyone is invited to join and present)
16:30 – 17:00: Wrap Up Sessions III+IV
17:00 – End of Workshop

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4th Workshop on Linked Science 2014— Making Sense Out of Data

4th Workshop on Linked Science 2014— Making Sense Out of Data (LISC2014)

We are proud to announce that we will have Dr Harith Alani from the Open University, UK as our keynote speaker for LISC2014.

Here once again the temporal and spatial coordinates for joining the Linked Science 2014 workshop:

When: October 19, 2014 (Full-day)
Where: Riva del Garda, Trentino, Italy
Collocated with the 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2014).
Workshop URI:

You may also join remotely by following the hashtag #LISC2014.


9.15 – 9.30: Opening and introduction

9.30 – 10.30: Keynote: Harith Alani (Open University)

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 – 12:20: Paper presentation session I: Making sense out of scholarly data

11:00 – 11:20 Hajar Ghaem Sigarchian, Ben De Meester, Tom De Nies, Ruben Verborgh, Wesley De Neve, Erik Mannens and Rik Van de Walle. EPUB3 for Integrated and Customizable Representation of a Scientific Publication and its Associated Resources

11:20 – 11:40 Angelo Di Iorio, Silvio Peroni, Fabio Vitali and Jacopo Zingoni. Semantic lenses to bring digital and semantic publishing together

11:40 – 12:00 Francesco Osborne, Silvio Peroni and Enrico Motta. Clustering Citation Distributions for Semantic Categorization and Citation Prediction

12:00 – 12:20 Olga Giraldo, Alexander Garcia and Oscar Corcho. SMART Protocols: SeMAntic RepresenTation for Experimental Protocols

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Paper presentation session II: Modelling Scientific Data

14:00 – 14:20 Laleh Kazemzadeh, Maulik Kamdar, Oya Beyan, Stefan Decker and Frank Barry. LinkedPPI: Enabling Intuitive, Integrative Protein-Protein Interaction Discovery

14:20 – 14:40 Jodi Schneider, Paolo Ciccarese, Tim Clark and Richard D. Boyce. Using the Micropublications ontology and the Open Annotation Data Model to represent evidence within a drug-drug interaction knowledge base

14:40 – 15:00 Simon Jupp, James Malone and Alasdair J. G. Gray. Capturing Provenance for a Linkset of Convenience

15:00 – 15:20 Evan Patton and Deborah McGuinness. Connecting Science Data Using Semantics and Information Extraction

15:20 – 16:00 coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 Co-writing session: how can linked science techniques help with ‘sense making out of (scientific) data’ 2+45 minutes

  • 1st 45 minutes: produce linked science matrix in breakout groups, correlating sense-making challenges and technologies used to address these challenges

  • 2nd 45 minutes: merging matrices into consensus view and/or paper ideas/blog post, by identifying common challenges, technology bridges and/or gaps


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Visualizing and Animating Large-scale Spatiotemporal Data with ELBAR Explorer

Visual exploration of data enables users and analysts observe interesting patterns that can trigger new research for further investigation. With the increasing availability of Linked Data, facilitating support for making sense of the data via visual exploration tools for hypothesis generation is critical. Time and space play important roles in this because of their ability to illustrate dynamicity, from a spatial context. Yet, Linked Data visualization approaches typically have not made efficient use of time and space together, apart from typical rather static multivisualization approaches and mashups. We developed ELBAR explorer that visualizes a vast amount of scientific observational data about the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. The core contribution is a novel mechanism for animating between the different observed values, thus illustrating the observed changes themselves.

ELBAR-explorer will be demoed at ISWC2014 in October, 2014. The following paper will give more details:

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