Knowledge Aggregation, Representation and Reasoning

The research team of the University of Bern occupies itself with the possibilities of handling today’s flood of information in a more intelligent way. To achieve that they draw on a triangulation of methods, resources and instruments from computer science, the science of information systems as well as economic and social sciences. Moving toward a knowledge society, it has to be possible to extract relevant information such as web and company data from raw data. These can help single entities (e.g., a manager or a citizen) and the society as a whole to expand their knowledge. In order to achieve that, for example search architectures, experiences, interactions and patterns are analyzed. A focus lies on social software which can generate emergent semantics, fuzzy ontologies and collective intelligence. Fuzzy logic is helpful in dealing with imprecisions, partial truths and uncertainty which can appear when dealing with such software. Summarized, the umbrella terms semantic search, social media and soft computing can be understood as a research focus.

The team of the University of Bern currently researches fuzzy cognitive maps and graph databases in order to combine them with the goal of achieving a more intelligent handling of information. Fuzzy cognitive maps support a structured and comprehensible storage of the data elements and allow imprecision, vagueness and uncertainty in data elements. They reveal existing mutual dependencies and this improve the comprehension and interpretation of the links between the data elements. Fuzzy cognitive maps have to be saved in a structured manner and context-dependently in order to be selectively retrievable. For this task, graph databases, a sub-group of the NoSQL core systems, are suitable. The advantage of these databases is that they can process large amounts of data (i.e., in terra to peta data fields). Are data elements stored in fuzzy cognitive maps and those again in graph databases, information can be efficiently retrieved.

Furthermore, there is also a cross-faculty cooperation in the field of Digital Humanities and an oncoming cooperation in climate research. Various research priorities are set. One of them is e-health. This is explored along with the Swiss Post. In this context, the search user interfaces as a specific type of graphical user interfaces (GUI’s) are examined in order to personalize the fields of e-health and Vivates. Another research issue is Smart City. More information on this research is in the description of the research project Smart and Cognitive Cities.


D'Onofrio, Sara; Papageorgiou, Elpiniki; Portmann, Edy (2018). Using Fuzzy Cognitive Maps to Arouse Learning Processes in Cities (In Press). In: Designing Cognitive Cities. Springer

Meier, Andreas; Portmann, Edy; Stoffel, Kilian; Terán, Luis (eds.) (2017). The Application of Fuzzy Logic for Managerial Decision Making Processes. Latest Research and Case Studies [Edited Textbook] . Fuzzy Management Methods. Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-54048-1

Portmann, Edy (2017). The Gradual Arrival of Fuzziness in Switzerland (Submitted). Archives for the Philosophie and History of Soft Computing

D'Onofrio, Sara; Portmann, Edy (2017). Cognitive Computing in Smart Cities. Informatik-Spektrum, 40(1), pp. 46-57. Springer 10.1007/s00287-016-1006-1

Teràn, Luis; Kakenova, Ulzhan; Portmann, Edy (2017). Analyzing and Integrating Dynamic Profiles on Voting Advice Applications (In Press). In: 10th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance. New Delhi, India. 07.-09.03.2017.

D'Onofrio, Sara; Franzelli, Simone Marina; Portmann, Edy (2017). Advancing Cognitive Cities with Web of Things (In Press). In: Yager, Ronald R; Pascual Espada, Jordán (eds.) New Advances in the Internet of Things. Studies in Computational Intelligence: Vol. 715. Springer International Publishing

Portmann, Edy; D'Onofrio, Sara; Kohoutek, Sven; Müggler, Martina; Bögli, Mark; Cueni, Roman (2017). Sharing-Konzepte in Smart Cities: Praxisbeispiele der PostAuto Schweiz AG. HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik, 54(4), pp. 591-604. Springer 10.1365/s40702-017-0322-5

D'Onofrio, Sara; Wehrle, Marcel; Portmann, Edy; Myrach, Thomas (2017). Striving for Semantic Convergence with Fuzzy Cognitive Maps and Graph Databases (In Press). In: IEEE International Conference on Fuzzy Systems. Naples, Italy. 09.-12.07.2017.

D'Onofrio, Sara; Portmann, Edy; Kaltenrieder, Patrick; Myrach, Thomas (September 2016). Enhanced Knowledge Management by Synchronizing Mind Maps and Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (Unpublished). In: International Conference on Fuzzy Management Methods. Fribourg, Switzerland. 29.-30.09.2016.

Wehrle, Marcel; Osswald, Marc; Portmann, Edy (2016). Verbalization of Dependencies Between Concepts Built Through Fuzzy Cognitive Maps. In: Portmann, Edy; Finger, Matthias (eds.) Towards cognitive cities: advances in cognitive computing and its applications to the governance of large urban systems. 63: Vol. 63 (pp. 123-144). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-33798-2_7

D'Onofrio, Sara; Zurlinden, Noémie; Gadient, Dominique; Portmann, Edy (2016). Cognitive Cities: An Application for Nairobi. Text Message Participation of Slum Inhabitants to Improve Sanitary Facilities. In: Portmann, Edy; Finger, Matthias (eds.) Towards cognitive cities: advances in cognitive computing and its applications to the governance of large urban systems. 63: Vol. 63 (pp. 145-164). Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-33798-2_8

D'Onofrio, Sara; Zurlinden, Noémie; Portmann, Edy; Kaltenrieder, Patrick; Myrach, Thomas (2016). Synchronizing Mind Maps with Fuzzy Cognitive Maps for Decision-Finding in Cognitive Cities. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (pp. 363-364). New York: ACM 10.1145/2910019.2910034

Osswald, Marc; Wehrle, Marcel; Portmann, Edy; Denzler, Alex (2016). Transforming Fuzzy Graphs into Linguistic Variables (In Press). In: NAFIPS'2016 conference. IEEE IExplore

Portmann, Edy; Finger, Matthias (eds.) (2016). Towards Cognitive Cities - Advances in Cognitive Computing and its Application to the Governance of Large Urban Systems. Studies in Systems, Decision and Control: Vol. 63. Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-33798-2

Kaufmann, Michael; Waldis, Andreas; Siegfried, Patrick; Wilke, Gwendolin; Portmann, Edy; Hemmje, Matthias (2016). Intuitive Knowledge Connectivity: Design and Proto-typing of Cross-Platform Knowledge Networks (Submitted). In: KSEM 2016. Passau, Germany. 05.-07.10.2016.

Habenstein, Astrid; D'Onofrio, Sara; Portmann, Edy; Stürmer, Matthias; Myrach, Thomas (2016). Open Smart City: Good Governance für smarte Städte. In: Meier, Andreas; Portmann, Edy (eds.) Smart City - Strategie, Governance und Projekte. HMD Praxis der Wirtschaftsinformatik (pp. 47-71). Wiesbaden: Springer 10.1007/978-3-658-15617-6_3

Finger, Matthias; Laube-Rosenpflanzer, Annett; Portmann, Edy; Jaag, Christian; Sieber, Pascal; Morel, Denis; Stalder, Urs; Nobs, Peter; Gunc, Renato; Bertschinger, Alfred; Ständike, Georg (2016). Zukunftsstandort digitale Schweiz Voraussetzungen und Potenziale des elektronischen Bürgerdossiers für Schweizer Bürger/innen und Einwohner/innen Verein eGov Schweiz

Portmann, Edy (2016). Städte und Gemeinden im Zeitalter der Digitalisierung. IT for Gov, pp. 57-59. Netzmedien

Portmann, Edy; Metzger, Stefan (2016). PostGrid: Das smarte Netzwerk der Schweizerischen Post für eine intelligentere Stadt. Informatik-Spektrum, 40(1), pp. 88-99. Springer 10.1007/s00287-016-1012-3

Portmann, Edy; Pletscher, Claudia (2016). Transdisziplinarität als Antwort auf die digitale Transformation. BeWL Departement Betriebswirtschaftslehre(25), pp. 33-35. Departement Betriebswirtschaftslehre, Universität Bern

Meier, Andreas; Portmann, Edy (eds.) (2016). Smart City. Strategie, Governance und Projekte [Edited Textbook] . Edition HMD. Springer Vieweg 10.1007/978-3-658-15617-6

Kaltenrieder, Patrick; D'Onofrio, Sara; Portmann, Edy (2015). Applying the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process in digital marketing. In: Fuzzy Optimization and Multi-Criteria Decision Making in Digital Marketing (pp. 202-232). Hershey, PA: IGI Global 10.4018/978-1-4666-8808-7.ch010

Wehrle, Marcel; Portmann, Edy; Denzler, Alex; Andreas, Meier (28 September 2015). Developing Initial State Fuzzy Cognitive Maps with Self-Organizing Maps. In: International Workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Cognition. Turin, Italy. September 28-29, 2015.

Kaltenrieder, Patrick; Portmann, Edy; Binggeli, Nicolas Kai; Myrach, Thomas (2015). A Conceptual Model to Combine Creativity Techniques with Fuzzy Cognitive Maps for Enhanced Knowledge Management. In: Fathi, Madjid (ed.) Integrated Systems: Innovations and Applications (pp. 131-146). Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-15898-3_8

Portmann, Edy; Kaltenrieder, Patrick (2015). The Web KnowARR Framework: Orchestrating Computational Intelligence with Graph Databases. In: Pedrycz, Witold; Chen, Shyi-Ming (eds.) Information Granularity, Big Data, and Computational Intelligence. Studies in Big Data: Vol. 8 (pp. 325-346). Cham: Springer International Publishing 10.1007/978-3-319-08254-7_15

Portmann, Edy; Kaltenrieder, Patrick; Pedrycz, Witold (2015). Knowledge representation through graphs. Procedia Computer Science, 62, pp. 245-248. Elsevier 10.1016/j.procs.2015.08.446

Portmann, Edy (2015). Cognitive computing leads to the next level of answering questions on the Web. Tiny Transactions on Computer Science, 3

Portmann, Edy (2015). So wird Fiction zu Science. UniPress - Forschung und Wissenschaft an der Universität Bern(166), pp. 20-23. Abteilung Kommunikation, Universität Bern

Portmann, Edy; Regli, Stefan (2015). Smart-Logistics für Everywhere-Commerce: Wie die Post smarter logistische Dienstleistungen bereitstellen will. Verein Netzwerk Logistik(2)

Portmann, Edy; Kaltenrieder, Patrick; Zurlinden, Noémie Martina (2014). Applying Fuzzy Ontologies to Implement the Social Semantic Web. ACM SIGWEB Newsletter(Autumn), pp. 1-12. ACM 10.1145/2682914.2682918

Kaufmann, Michael; Wilke, Gwendolin; Portmann, Edy; Hinkelmann, Knut (October 2014). Combining Bottom-up and Top-down Generation of Interactive Knowledge Maps for Enterprise Search. In: Buchmann, Robert; Kifor, Claudiu Vasile; Yu, Jian (eds.) Knowledge Science, Engineering and Management. 7th International Conference on Knowledge Science, Engineering and Management: KSEM 2014. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence LNAI: Vol. 8793 (pp. 186-197). Springer 10.1007/978-3-319-12096-6_17

Portmann, Edy; Meier, Andreas; Cudré-Mauroux, Philippe; Pedrycz, Witold (2014). FORA - A Fuzzy Set Based Framework for Online Reputation Management. Fuzzy sets and systems, 269, pp. 90-114. Elsevier 10.1016/j.fss.2014.06.004

Portmann, Edy (24 April 2014). Keeping citizens, companies, and organizations informed by Web KnowARR. In: First International Conference on eDemocracy & eGovernment (ICEDEG), 2014 (pp. 3-4). IEEE 10.1109/ICEDEG.2014.6819926

Portmann, Edy; Pedrycz, Witold (2014). Fuzzy Web Knowledge Aggregation, Representation, and Reasoning for Online Privacy and Reputation Management. In: Papageorgiou, Elpiniki I. (ed.) Fuzzy Cognitive Maps for Applied Sciences and Engineering – From Fundamentals to Extensions and Learning Algorithms. Intelligent systems reference library: Vol. 54 (pp. 89-105). Springer 10.1007/978-3-642-39739-4_5

Portmann, Edy (2013). The FORA Framework - A Fuzzy Grassroots Ontology for Online Reputation Management [Textbook] . Fuzzy management methods. Heidelberg: Springer 10.1007/978-3-642-33233-3

Portmann, Edy (2012). The FORA Framework - A Fuzzy Grassroots Ontology for Online Reputation Management. (Dissertation)

Portmann, Edy; Kaufmann, Michael Alexander; Graf, Cédric (2012). A distributed, semiotic-inductive and human-Oriented approach to web-scale knowledge retrieval. In: Proceedings of the 21st ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2012) (p. 1). New York: ACM 10.1145/2389656.2389658

Portmann, Edy; Nguyen, Tam; Sepulveda, Jose; Cheok, Adrian David (2012). Fuzzy Online Reputation Analysis Framework. In: Meier, Andreas; Donzé, Laurent (eds.) Fuzzy Methods for Customer Relationship Management and Marketing: Applications and Classification (pp. 139-167). IGI Global

Portmann, Edy (2011). A fuzzy grassroots ontology for improving social semantic web search. In: Proceedings of 6th International Summer School on Aggregation Operators (pp. 189-194). Lulu

Portmann, Edy; Meier, Andreas (2010). A Fuzzy Grassroots Ontology for improving Weblog Extraction. Journal of Digital Information Management, 8, pp. 276-284. Digital Information Research Foundation