Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum

There used to be two data worlds in research and application: structured data in databases, mainly numbers which were obtained with logic-based search techniques, and unstructured data in texts obtained with statistics and probability calculation.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Weikum, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Computer  Science, and his "Database and Information Systems" team help merge these two worlds to create a comprehensive database of global knowledge which provides real answers instead of just hit lists. Professor Weikum came to Saarbrücken as a Professor of Computer Science in 1994. He previously worked at the ETH Zurich and in Austin/Texas.

The "Databases and Information Systems" Department at the MPI

This age of information explosion poses tremendous challenges regarding the intelligent organization of data and effective searches for relevant information in digital libraries, scientific data repositories, and also the web. The ultimate long-term goal of the research carried out by the department is to automatically organize information from the web to provide convenient and precise search capabilities.

One area of current focus is the automatic extraction of information and facts from web and text sources using a combination of rules, pattern matching, linguistic analysis and statistical learning. In this way, the department is creating a comprehensive knowledge base that should ideally encompass all important entities and relations from encyclopedic sources, news, and literature. For effective and efficient searches in semi-structured and unstructured data, the department is developing novel methods and software tools for improved querying, ranking, and mining of XML documents, graph-oriented RDF data, and the version history of web archives. For reasons of scalability, some of these topics are being pursued in a highly distributed and dynamic peer-to-peer architecture.


Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum

Prof. Dr. Gerhard Weikum

Max-Planck-Institut Informatik
Department 5: Databases and Information Systems

Campus E1 4, Room 402
66123 Saarbrücken

Fon: +49 681 9325-5000



Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken Computer Science Department, Saarland University Saarland University Cluster of Excellence