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See detailLa défense des Droits et Libertés fondamentaux au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. Rôle, contribution respective et concertation des organes impliqués
Gerkrath, Jörg UL

Book published by Larcier (2020)

Le Grand-Duché est candidat pour un siège au Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies. La question de la défense des droits et libertés se pose donc au plan national. Le Gouvernement a adopté son ... [more ▼]

Le Grand-Duché est candidat pour un siège au Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies. La question de la défense des droits et libertés se pose donc au plan national. Le Gouvernement a adopté son Plan d’Action National pour la mise en oeuvre des Principes directeurs des Nations Unies relatifs aux entreprises et aux droits de l’homme. La révision constitutionnelle, en chantier depuis 2009, marque cependant un arrêt. L’espoir de disposer, dès 2020, d’un chapitre rénové relatif aux droits et libertés s’est éloigné. Le rôle actif des institutions locales des droits de l’homme mérite d’être tiré de l’ombre. Leur regroupement en un lieu unique, appelé « Maison des Droits de l’Homme » (Mënscherechthaus), permettra de remédier à leur fragmentation. Il a paru salutaire de dresser un bilan de la défense des droits humains en s’intéressant aux rôles respectifs et à la concertation des acteurs nationaux et européens. Le présent ouvrage reprend les travaux d’une conférence qui s’est tenue à l’Université le 16 décembre 2019. Il agrège les contributions actualisées d’éminents universitaires, magistrats, avocats et défenseurs des droits de l’homme. Complété d’un riche matériel de référence, l’ouvrage renouvelle la réflexion sur la défense concrète des droits humains et devrait interpeller, au-delà des cercles initiés, tout(e) citoyen(ne) intéressé(e). [less ▲]

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See detailSTEAM in special needs education in an elementary school in Luxemburg
Haas, Ben; Lavicza, Zsolt; Kreis, Yves UL

Scientific Conference (2020, June 25)

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See detailInnovative uses of technologies for STEAM education in elementary schools in Luxemburg
Haas, Ben; Kreis, Yves UL

Scientific Conference (2020, June 23)

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See detailConferences and international collaboration revisited in times of the coronavirus: Experiences from a digital transition and lessons for the future
Epping, Elisabeth UL; Lohse, Anna Prisca; Graf, Lukas et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

"Everything was booked and ready to go for a two-day scientific workshop on education policies in Europe, scheduled for April 23-24, 2020 at the Hertie School in Berlin. The workshop intended to take ... [more ▼]

"Everything was booked and ready to go for a two-day scientific workshop on education policies in Europe, scheduled for April 23-24, 2020 at the Hertie School in Berlin. The workshop intended to take stock of developments at the European, national and sub-national levels given the European Union’s wrap up of its decade-long Education & Training 2020 strategy (ET 2020), a framework for cooperation in education and training. However, on March 12, we had to cancel the physical meeting on short notice due to the coronavirus crisis. In the following, we share our experiences with the subsequent transition to an alternative online workshop format that took place on April 23, involving 25 participants from 10 countries, and 16 paper presentations. After sketching the workshop’s virtual setup, we discuss strengths, weaknesses, and challenges related to this digital transition. Furthermore, we explore the prospects of such online formats for future academic conferences and networking." [less ▲]

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See detailPIAF: Developing Computational and Algorithmic Thinking in Fundamental Education
Parmentier, Yannick; Reuter, Robert UL; Higuet, Sarah et al

in Proceedings of EdMedia + Innovate Learning (2020, June 23), 2020(1), 315-322

In this article, we present the objectives and first achievements of the PIAF project supported by the European Union and aiming at developing computational and algorithmic thinking in basic education ... [more ▼]

In this article, we present the objectives and first achievements of the PIAF project supported by the European Union and aiming at developing computational and algorithmic thinking in basic education. This project brings together researchers in educational sciences and computer science from four countries (Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg) around the theme of teacher training. More concretely, the aim is to define a framework (competency framework, pedagogical scenarios) enabling teachers to (i) appropriate the concept of computational and algorithmic thinking and (ii) implement learning activities that promote the development of this kind of thinking in children. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of innovative concrete mixtures aggregates
Chewe Ngapeya, Gelen Gael UL; Waldmann, Daniele UL

Scientific Conference (2020, June 22)

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See detailDecision Triggered Data Transmission and Collection in Industrial Internet of Things
He, Jiguang; Kong, Long UL; Frondelius, Tero et al

in 2020 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC) (2020, June 19)

We propose a decision triggered data transmission and collection (DTDTC) protocol for condition monitoring and anomaly detection in the industrial Internet of things (IIoT). In the IIoT, the collection ... [more ▼]

We propose a decision triggered data transmission and collection (DTDTC) protocol for condition monitoring and anomaly detection in the industrial Internet of things (IIoT). In the IIoT, the collection, processing, encoding, and transmission of the sensor readings are usually not for the reconstruction of the original data but for decision making at the fusion center. By moving the decision making process to the local end devices, the amount of data transmission can be significantly reduced, especially when normal signals with positive decisions dominate in the whole life cycle and the fusion center is only interested in collecting the abnormal data. The proposed concept combines compressive sensing, machine learning, data transmission, and joint decision making. The sensor readings are encoded and transmitted to the fusion center only when abnormal signals with negative decisions are detected. All the abnormal signals from the end devices are gathered at the fusion center for a joint decision with feedback messages forwarded to the local actuators. The advantage of such an approach lies in that it can significantly reduce the volume of data to be transmitted through wireless links. Moreover, the introduction of compressive sensing can further reduce the dimension of data tremendously. An exemplary case, i.e., diesel engine condition monitoring, is provided to validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed scheme compared to the conventional ones. [less ▲]

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See detailPoint Collocation Methods for Linear Elasticity Problems
Jacquemin, Thibault Augustin Marie UL

Presentation (2020, June 19)

Point collocation is the oldest way to solve partial differential equations. Methods based on collocation have been studied since decades and many variations have been proposed over the years. More ... [more ▼]

Point collocation is the oldest way to solve partial differential equations. Methods based on collocation have been studied since decades and many variations have been proposed over the years. More recently, those methods have shown a greater interest thanks to the advances in computing hardware. The collocation methods offer a great flexibility with regards to the discretization of a defined domain and the approximation of the field derivatives. This presentation will introduce the bases of the collocation methods and of the generalized finite difference method. The importance of the selection of the nodes involved in the approximation of the field derivatives will then be presented. Finally two aspects for which the method is particularly attractive will be detailed: the solution of a PDE from a given geometry with minimum discretization effort and the adaptivity of a model based on a posteriori error estimation. [less ▲]

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See detailZEB1/miR-200c/AGR2: A New Regulatory Loop Modulating the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Lung Adenocarcinomas
Sommerova, Lucia; Ondrouskova, Eva; Martisova, Andrea et al

in Cancers (2020), 12

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process involved not only in morphogenesis and embryonic development, but also in cancer progression, whereby tumor cells obtain a more aggressive metastatic ... [more ▼]

Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process involved not only in morphogenesis and embryonic development, but also in cancer progression, whereby tumor cells obtain a more aggressive metastatic phenotype. Anterior gradient protein 2 (AGR2) maintains the epithelial phenotype and blocks the induction of EMT, thus playing an undeniable role in tumor progression. However, the mechanism through which AGR2 expression is regulated, not only during EMT, but also in the early stages of cancer development, remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we show an inverse correlation of AGR2 with ZEB1 (zinc finger enhancer binding protein, EF1) that was verified by analysis of several independent clinical data sets of lung adenocarcinomas. We also identified the ZEB1 binding site within the AGR2 promoter region and confirmed AGR2 as a novel molecular target of ZEB1. The overexpression of ZEB1 decreased the promoter activity of the AGR2 gene, which resulted in reduced AGR2 protein level and the acquisition of a more invasive phenotype of these lung cancer cells. Conversely, silencing of ZEB1 led not only to increased levels of AGR2 protein, but also attenuated the invasiveness of tumor cells. The AGR2 knockout, vice versa, increased ZEB1 expression, indicating that the ZEB1/AGR2 regulatory axis may function in a double negative feedback loop. In conclusion, we revealed for the first time that ZEB1 regulates AGR2 at the transcriptional level, while AGR2 presence contributes to ZEB1 mRNA degradation. Thus, our data identify a new regulatory mechanism between AGR2 and ZEB1, two rivals in the EMT process, tightly associated with the development of metastasis. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic Architecture of Parkinson's Disease in the Indian Population: Harnessing Genetic Diversity to Address Critical Gaps in Parkinson's Disease Research.
Rajan, Roopa; Divya, K. P.; Kandadai, Rukmini Mridula et al

in Frontiers in neurology (2020), 11

Over the past two decades, our understanding of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been gleaned from the discoveries made in familial and/or sporadic forms of PD in the Caucasian population. The transferability ... [more ▼]

Over the past two decades, our understanding of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been gleaned from the discoveries made in familial and/or sporadic forms of PD in the Caucasian population. The transferability and the clinical utility of genetic discoveries to other ethnically diverse populations are unknown. The Indian population has been under-represented in PD research. The Genetic Architecture of PD in India (GAP-India) project aims to develop one of the largest clinical/genomic bio-bank for PD in India. Specifically, GAP-India project aims to: (1) develop a pan-Indian deeply phenotyped clinical repository of Indian PD patients; (2) perform whole-genome sequencing in 500 PD samples to catalog Indian genetic variability and to develop an Indian PD map for the scientific community; (3) perform a genome-wide association study to identify novel loci for PD and (4) develop a user-friendly web-portal to disseminate results for the scientific community. Our "hub-spoke" model follows an integrative approach to develop a pan-Indian outreach to develop a comprehensive cohort for PD research in India. The alignment of standard operating procedures for recruiting patients and collecting biospecimens with international standards ensures harmonization of data/bio-specimen collection at the beginning and also ensures stringent quality control parameters for sample processing. Data sharing and protection policies follow the guidelines established by local and national authorities.We are currently in the recruitment phase targeting recruitment of 10,200 PD patients and 10,200 healthy volunteers by the end of 2020. GAP-India project after its completion will fill a critical gap that exists in PD research and will contribute a comprehensive genetic catalog of the Indian PD population to identify novel targets for PD. [less ▲]

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See detailRadio-feature „100 Jahre Ostbelgien“ Folge 6: Politische Streitkultur von 1970 bis 2000
Brüll, Christoph UL; Fickers, Andreas UL

Speeches/Talks (2020)

Seit 1973 verfügen die deutschsprachigen Belgier über ihre eigene parlamentarische Versammlung. Wahlkämpfe in der deutschen Kulturgemeinschaft wurden so zu zentralen Momenten der politischen ... [more ▼]

Seit 1973 verfügen die deutschsprachigen Belgier über ihre eigene parlamentarische Versammlung. Wahlkämpfe in der deutschen Kulturgemeinschaft wurden so zu zentralen Momenten der politischen Auseinandersetzung und des Parteienstreits. In dieser Folge von „100 Jahre Ostbelgien“ wollen Andreas Fickers und Christoph Brüll diese Wahlkämpfe auf der Grundlage von Wahldebatten beleuchten, die der BHF/BRF in den Jahren 1974 bis 1999 ausgestrahlt hat. [less ▲]

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See detailNational responses to date during the COVID-19 crisis in the areas of migration and asylum
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL

Scientific Conference (2020, June 17)

The COVID-19 took by surprise most Member States of the European Union, as they underestimated the rapid spread of the contagion in the continent. The response of the Member States was asymmetrical ... [more ▼]

The COVID-19 took by surprise most Member States of the European Union, as they underestimated the rapid spread of the contagion in the continent. The response of the Member States was asymmetrical, individualistic and significantly slow. The first measures taken were to close down the internal borders. The response of the European Union was even slower to the point that and it was not until March 17th 2020 that the external borders were closed. These actions affected legal migration into the European Union from four perspectives: 1) it affected the mobility of those third country nationals who were on temporary stay in the Member States; 2) the entry of third country nationals to do seasonal work; 3) the entry and stay of legal migrants; and 4) the status quo of the third country nationals already residing in the Member States, especially those who have a loss of income. This article will deal with the measures taken by Member States on who to manage the immigration services during the crisis as well as the measures taken in order to deal with overstayers, seasonal workers and other legal migrants. Finally, we will focus in the vulnerable situation that third-country national salaried workers are exposed due to the loss of income or loss of employment in the Member States and the risk of being returned to their country of origin. This presentation will also analyse the access to unemployment benefits. [less ▲]

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See detailDigraph3 Python Software Collection
Bisdorff, Raymond UL

Software (2020)

Python3 resources for implementing decision aid algorithms in the context of a bipolar-valued outranking approach. These computing resources are useful in the field of Algorithmic Decision Theory and more ... [more ▼]

Python3 resources for implementing decision aid algorithms in the context of a bipolar-valued outranking approach. These computing resources are useful in the field of Algorithmic Decision Theory and more specifically in outranking based Multiple Criteria Decision Aid (MCDA). They provide the practical tools for a Master Course on Algorithmic Decision Theory at the University of Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimisation of the mechanical properties of Miscanthus lightweight concrete (Top 10 Journal)
Pereira Dias, Patrick UL; Waldmann, Danièle UL

in Construction and Building Materials (2020)

In this paper, Miscanthus fibres are used to develop lightweight concrete. The amount of Miscanthus and cement, as well as the water/cement ratio, are varied to analyse the behaviour of the mixture ... [more ▼]

In this paper, Miscanthus fibres are used to develop lightweight concrete. The amount of Miscanthus and cement, as well as the water/cement ratio, are varied to analyse the behaviour of the mixture concerning the physical and mechanical properties. The Miscanthus was pre-treated with a silicate sealant or a cement-based fluid. The current paper analyses the impact of the pre-treatment of the Miscanthus fibres on the compressive strength as well as on the long-term deformations. The specimens with a pre-treatment based on a silicate sealant reached a compressive strength of 19.3 MPa, which is higher than the compressive strength of a conventional LC 16/18, a Young's Modulus above 9.9 GPa and a shrinkage deformation of 2244 μm/m. Nevertheless, considering the density the pre-treatment showed not to be beneficial. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic regulators of ventral midbrain gene expression and nigrostriatal circuit integrity
Gui, Yujuan UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Complex traits are a fundamental feature of diverse organisms. Understanding the genetic architecture of a complex trait is arduous but paramount because heterogeneity is prevalent in populations and ... [more ▼]

Complex traits are a fundamental feature of diverse organisms. Understanding the genetic architecture of a complex trait is arduous but paramount because heterogeneity is prevalent in populations and often disease-related. Genome-wide association studies have identified many genetic variants associated with complex human traits, but they can only explain a small portion of the expected heritability. This is partially because human genomes are highly diverse with large inter-personal difference. It has been estimated that every human differs from each other by at least 5 million variants. Moreover, many common variants with small effect can contribute to complex traits, but they cannot survive from stringent statistical cutoff given the currently available sample size. Mice are an ideal substitute. They are maintained in a controlled condition to minimize the variation introduced by environment. Each mouse of an inbred strain is genetically identical, but different strains bear innate genetic heterogeneity between each other, mimicking human diversity. Hence, in this work we used inbred mouse strains to study the genetic variation of complex traits. We focused on ventral midbrain, the brain region controlling motor functions and behaviors such as anxiety and fear learning that differ profoundly between inbred mouse strains. Such phenotypic diversity is directed by differences in gene expression that is controlled by cis- and trans-acting regulatory variants. Profound understanding on the genetic variation of ventral midbrain and its related phenotypic differences could pave the way to apprehend the whole genetic makeup of its associated disease phenotypes such as Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. Therefore, we set out to investigate the cis- and trans-acting variants affecting mouse ventral midbrain by coupling tissue-level and cell type-specific transcriptomic and epigenomic data. Transcriptomic comparison on ventral midbrains of C57BL/6J, A/J and DBA/2J, three inbred strains segregated by ~ 6 million genetic variants, pinpointed PTTG1 was the only transcription factor significantly altered at transcriptional level between the three strains. Pttg1 ablation on C57BL/6J background led to midbrain transcriptome to shift closer to A/J and DBA/2J during aging, suggesting Pttg1 is a novel regulator for ventral midbrain transcriptome. As ventral midbrain is a mixture of cells, tissue level transcriptome cannot always reveal cell type-specific regulatory variation. Therefore, we set out to generate single nuclei chromatin accessibility profiles on ¬ventral midbrains of C57BL/6J and A/J, providing a rich resource to study the transcriptional control of cellular identity and genetic diversity in this brain region. Data integration with existing single cell transcriptomes predicted the key transcription factors controlling cell identity. Putative regulatory variants showed differential accessibility across cell types, indicating genetic variation can direct cell type-specific gene expression. Comparing chromatin accessibility between mice revealed potential trans-acting variation that can affect strain-specific gene expression in a given cell type. The diverse transcriptome profiles in ventral midbrain can lead to phenotypic variation. Nigrostriatal circuit, bridging from ventral midbrain to dorsal striatum by dopaminergic neurons, is an important pathway controlling motor activity. To search for phenotypes related to dopaminergic neurons, we measured the dopamine concentration in dorsal striatum of eight inbred mouse strains. Interestingly, dopamine levels were varied among stains, suggesting it is a complex trait linked to genetic variation in ventral midbrain. To understand the genetic variation contributing to dopamine level differences, we conducted quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping with 32 CC strains and found a QTL significantly associated with the trait on chromosome X. As expression changes are likely to be underlying the phenotypic variation, we leveraged our previous transcriptomic data from C57BL/6J and A/J to search for genes differentially expressed in the QTL locus. Col4a6 is the most likely QTL gene because of its 9-fold expression difference between C57BL/6J and A/J. Indeed, COL4A6 has been shown to regulate axogenesis during brain development. This coincides with our observation that A/J had less axon branching in dorsal striatum than C57BL/6J, prompting us to propose that Col4a6 can regulate the axon formation of dopaminergic neurons in embryonic stages. Our study provides a comprehensive overview on cis- and trans-regulatory variants affecting expression phenotypes in ventral midbrain, and how they could possibly introduce phenotypic difference associated with this brain region. In addition, our single nuclei chromatin landscapes of ventral midbrain are a rich resource for analysis on gene regulation and cell identity. Our work paves the way to apprehend full genetic makeup on the gene expression control of ventral midbrain, the result of which is important to understand the genetic background of midbrain associated phenotypes. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrostructure-based multiscale modeling of mechanical response for materials with complex microstructures
Kabore, Brice Wendlassida UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

Complex microstructures are found in several material especially in biological tissues, geotechnical materials and many manufactured materials including composites. These materials are difficult to handle ... [more ▼]

Complex microstructures are found in several material especially in biological tissues, geotechnical materials and many manufactured materials including composites. These materials are difficult to handle by classical numerical analysis tools and the need to incorporate more details on the microstructure have been observed. This thesis focuses on the microstructure-based multi-scale modeling of the mechanical response of materials with complex microstructures and whose mechanical properties are inherently dependent on their internal structure. The conditions of interest are large displacements and high-rate deformation. This work contributes to the understanding of the relevance of microstructure informations on the macroscopic response. A primary application of this research is the investigation and modeling of snow behavior, it has been extended to modeling the impact response in concrete and composite. In the first part, a discrete approach for fine-scale modeling is applied to study the behavior of snow under the conditions mentioned above. Also, application of the this modeling approach to concrete and composite can be found in the appendices. The fine-scale approach presented herein is based on the coupling of Discrete Element Method and aspects of beam theory. This fine-scale approach has proven to be successful in modeling micro-scale processes found in snow. The micro-scale processes are mainly intergranular friction, intergranular bond fracture, creep, sintering, cohesion, and grain rearrangement. These processes not only influence the overall response of the material but also induce permanent changes in its internal structure. Therefore, the initial geometry considered during numerical analysis should be updated after each time or loading increment before further loading. Moreover, when the material matrix is partially granular and continuum, the influence of fluctuating grains micro-inertia caused by debonding, cracking and contact have a significant effect on the macroscopic response especially under dynamic loading. Consequently, the overall rate and history dependent behavior of the material is more easily captured by discrete models. Discrete modeling has proven to be efficient approach for acquiring profound scientific insight into deformation and failure processes of many materials. While important details can be obtained using the discrete models, computational cost and intensive calibration process is required for a good prediction material behavior in the real case scenarios. Therefore, in order to extend the abovementioned fine-scale model to real engineering cases a coarse-scale continuum model based have been developed using an upscaling approach. This upscaled model is based on the macroscopic response of the material with a special regard to the microstructure information of the material. Different strategies are presented for incorporating the microstructure information in the model. Micro-scale related dissipation mechanisms have been incorporated in the coarse-scale model through viscoplasticity and fracture in finite strain formulation. The thesis is divided into nine chapters, where each is an independent paper published or submitted as a refereed journal article. [less ▲]

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See detailA Formal Approach to Ontology Recommendation for Enhanced Interoperability in Open IoT Ecosystems
Kolbe, Niklas UL

Doctoral thesis (2020)

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) promises novel, intelligent applications to improve services across all industries and domains. Efficient data and service discovery are crucial to unfold the ... [more ▼]

The vision of the Internet of Things (IoT) promises novel, intelligent applications to improve services across all industries and domains. Efficient data and service discovery are crucial to unfold the potential value of cross-domain IoT applications. Today, the Web is the primary enabler for integrating data from distributed networks, with more and more sensors and IoT gateways connected to the Web. However, semantic data models, standards and vocabularies used by IoT vendors and service providers are highly heterogeneous, which makes data discovery and integration a challenging task. Industrial and academic research initiatives increasingly rely on Semantic Web technologies to tackle this challenge. Ongoing research efforts emphasize the development of formal ontologies for the description of Things, sensor networks, IoT services and domain-dependent observations to annotate and link data on the Web. Within this context, there is a research gap in investigating and proposing ontology recommendation approaches that foster the reuse of most suitable ontologies relevant to semantically annotate IoT data sources. Improved ontology reuse in the IoT enhances semantic interoperability and thus facilitates the development of more intelligent and context-aware systems. In this dissertation, we show that ontology recommendation can form a key building block to achieve this consensus in the IoT. In particular, we consider large-scale IoT systems, also referred to as IoT ecosystems, in which a wide range of stakeholders and service providers have to cooperate. In such ecosystems, semantic interoperability can only be efficiently achieved when a high degree of consensus on relevant ontologies among data providers and consumers exists. This dissertation includes the following contributions. First, we conceptualize the task of ontology recommendation and evaluate existing approaches with regard to IoT ecosystem requirements. We identify several limitations in ontology recommendation, especially concerning the IoT, which motivates the main focus on ontology ranking in this dissertation. Second, we subsequently propose a novel approach to ontology ranking that offers a fairer scoring of ontologies if their popularity is unknown and thus helps in providing a better recommendation in the current state of the IoT. We employ a `learning to rank' approach to show that qualitative ranking features can improve the ranking performance and potentially substitute an explicit popularity feature. Third, we propose a novel ontology ranking evaluation benchmark to address the lack of comparison studies for ontology ranking approaches as a general issue in the Semantic Web. We develop a large, representative evaluation dataset that we derive from the collected user click logs of the Linked Open Vocabularies (LOV) platform. It is the first dataset of its kind that is capable of comparing learned ontology ranking models as proposed in the literature under real-world constraints. Fourth, we present an IoT ecosystem application to support data providers in semantically annotating IoT data streams with integrated ontology term recommendation and perform an evaluation based on a smart parking use case. In summary, this dissertation presents the advancements of the state-of-the-art in the design of ontology recommendation and its role for establishing and maintaining semantic interoperability in highly heterogeneous and evolving ecosystems of inter-related IoT services. Our experiments show that ontology ranking features that are well designed with regard to the underlying ontology collection and respective user behavior can significantly improve the ranking quality and, thus, the overall recommendation capabilities of related tools. [less ▲]

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