Digital Transformation and Digital Humanities Group

The Research Group "Digital Transformation and Digital Humanities" works on different research areas related to Digital Transformation, Digital Humanities, Natural Language Processing, Computational Linguistics, Machine Learning, Human-Computer Interaction, User-Adaptive Systems and Usability.
Currently, DTDH’s researchers are focusing mainly on the following fields: Digital Transformation Processing, User-Adaptive Systems, User Profiling/ Modeling, User Monitoring.

Digital transformation (DT) refers to a process of change that is based on digital technologies. The key drivers of Digital Transformation include digital technologies - traditionally referred to as information technology - such as digital infrastructures and applications. This process involves Digitization and Digitalization. 

User Profiling can be defined as the process of identifying the data about a user's interest domain. This information can be used by the system to understand more about user. This knowledge can be used to enhance data retrieval and user satisfaction. Recommender systems use this data to learn user requirements and apply them.
User profiling in general started with simply retrieving and collecting user information. The approach of older systems was focused on explicitly asking the user about the data which is needed. But this method is not considered efficient as the user is never interested in directly giving the input. So today’s research is more focused on profiling user data implicitly based on actions performed by the user, exploiting Data Mining and Machine Learning approaches. It may also be referred as “behavioral user profiling ”. Strictly related to User Profiling is User Modeling.

A user model is constituted by descriptions of what is considered relevant about the actual knowledge and/or aptitudes of a user. This information is giving to the system environment that adapts itself to the individual user. User Modeling is a process that covers the whole life cycle of a user model and includes acquisition of knowledge about the user, the construction, update, maintenance and exploitation of the user model. The main purposes of User Modeling are:

  • assisting a user during learning of a given topic,
  • offering information adjusted to the user,
  • adapting the interface to the user,
  • helping a user to find information,
  • giving to the user feedback about his knowledge,
  • to support collaborative work,
  • giving assistance in the use of a system.

User Monitoring refers to several different approaches that aim at capturing and analyzing transactions of users while they interact with a website, a service or an application. The common target is to ensure user satisfaction by detecting problems as soon as they occur and resolve any potential issues before the user gets aware of them. Progress in Machine Learning techniques lead researches in this field to focus on predicting future user actions on the basis of data collected from the continuous observation of the system in action or by tracking user behaviours with Usability tests.

All the afore - mentioned topics are addressed in our research group by exploiting state-of-the-art technologies in the fields of Machine Learning and Deep Learning,e.g. Graph Neural Networks, Computational Linguistics and Natural Language Processing.

Natural Language Processing provides methods for automatic text analysis, linguistic text annotation, or data visualization. Those methods finding place in the german digital Library or Europeana, both digital libraries, and international research infrastructures, such as CLARIN or DARIAH.

Nevertheless, due to our focus on human-centricity, researches are also made in the field of Explainable AI (XAI), an emerging subfield in Machine Learning that focuses on how “black - box models” are made and help non-expert users to understand the reason why a certain prediction was created.

In close cooperation with the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), the research group plans the establishment of a  mobile Usability-Lab (mUL) , which aims to analyse various information services and infrastructures and drive the digital transformation of research processes different user and target groups, achieving a personalized user experience adapting the tools through system or user-oriented usability test.

Last Modification: 22.10.2021 - Contact Person: Webmaster