As a center for web science research, the WeST Research Institute is your experienced partner for the World Wide Web - the basic IT infrastructure of the 21st century. Together with industry partners like Microsoft, HP, and SAP, we conduct different activities which range from basic research until the development of Web applications.
With our international team, we own the necessary skills and organizational structure to offer you competent IT-consulting services. We act as an interface between business and science that will help our partners to identify and strengthen their comprehension of the phenomenon Web. Our expertise covers both the technological aspects of the Web as well as the social and economic aspects. In cooperation with our team you benefit from knowledge transfer to realize yours ideas. By cooperating with our team who is living knowledge transfer your idea realization can benefit.
Furthermore, researchers of our institute regularly publish high qualitative research articles at international conferences. In the last few years, WeST has also hosted several important international conferences, as a local partner, such as the International Semantic Web Conference in 2011.
We do research
As an interdisciplinary research institute, we deal with the exploration of the World Wide Web as a socio-technical system.
Our research areas include
- Semantic Web,
- Social Web and Web Retrieval,
- Interactive Web and Human Computing,
- and the interdisciplinary field of "Web Science and Management".
In the interdisciplinary research group "Web Science and Management", in collaboration with the Institute of Management at the University of Koblenz-Landau, we explore social processes on the Web, by examining inter alia the following contexts:
- how companies can control innovation activities that happen beyond their legal boundaries,
- how companies can tap the creative potential of individuals outside the firm, and
- how companies can increase their reputation by actively managing social processes in the Web.
We also cooperate with GESIS, the Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. The aim of this collaboration is to perform and consult in social science research for the benefit of society. As part of this mandate, GESIS provides large-scale infrastructure not only for its own social scientists, but for all national social science researchers.
We do consulting
We do research, but we also love to share our knowledge. We can support you in using modern web technologies or in making sense of your data.
For example, in cooperations with Microsoft, we did research in data-driven programming. We supported the German National Library in the integration of Linked Data technologies. With our scientific expertise, enigeering skills, and knowledge about the latest developments, we bring your projects forward!
We can also provide you with talks and seminars on the latest web topics and related issus. With our lectures about, e.g. Web 2.0, service-oriented computing, or usability, we enriched the further training of companies such as Debeka.
We do software
Software development is our daily business! We develop software and research prototypes. One example for our work is eLISA, an application for a map-based visualization of open governmental data. It allows users to identify attractive areas of cities concerning different criteria like density of traffic or population density. These criteria could be freely chosen. eLISA won the APPS4Deutschland challenge in 2012.
Besides that, our institute won the Billion Triple Challenge several times. In 2008 the Semaplorer - an application for the interactive exploration and map-based visualization of distributed semantic data - won the challenge. In 2012, another of our applications, named SchemEx, won the same challenge. With SchemEx, a search index for the Web of Data was implemented with the goal to identify relevant data.
Other successful software products developed by our institute are LITEQ - an innovative programming paradigm for Linked Data -, LODatio - a search engine for Linked data and SensorMiner - a program for presenting sensor data. Our institute develops software that analyzes, generates and visualizes data.
Our application areas are diverse. They include the analysis of web contents, e.g., of photos of the hosting page Flickr, the analysis of relations in social networks as they occur on platforms like Facebook and the generation of information by means of analyzing user behavior.