Project ROBUST: Combining Scientific Excellence and Industry Relevance in EU Research Project
HEIDELBERG, Germany, October 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Project ROBUST is receiving positive feedback from the scientific community as well as
from potential industry clients for its work on the analysis and management of Online
Communities. Only recently ROBUST researchers from the Open University in Milton Keynes
received the Best Paper Award at the SocialCom Conference in Amsterdam. At the same time
the dialog that ROBUST maintains with large industry accounts confirms the real-world
relevance of the ROBUST research agenda.
ROBUST – (EC Project 257859, cf. http://www.robust-project.eu) is concerned with
the observation that Business Online Communities have become an important part of many
professional environments in large organizations, comprising often many hundreds of
thousands of participants and millions of contributions and posts, but that at the same
time sound methods that help managing and administrating the massive data set that created
here are often missing: Which communities flourish, which are fledgling? Which factors are
responsible that newbies feel welcome and experts feel rewarded? And what can the
community owners do about this with limited resources while facing an endless stream of
posts and exchanges on these platforms.
In order to investigate this, the EU project assembles a diverse set of partners from
academia, small software companies as well as big corporations to investigate challenges
and solutions here. Coordinated by the University of Koblenz, participants from SAP
Research in Dresden, IBM Haifa, Softwaremind from Krakow in Poland, the Technical
University Berlin, Polecat from Dublin, the Open University in Milton Keynes, the DERI
Institute from the National University of Ireland in Galway, IT Innovation from
Southampton and TEMIS from Paris cooperate in addressing these tasks in the form of
dedicated software components and best practices.
As diverse as these challenges are, so are the solutions that start to take shape in
the ROBUST project: IT Innovation progresses with an application allowing to model and
monitor the various risks a community owner might be facing (experts leaving or exchanges
becoming unproductive), Polecat is working on visual metaphors to provide a quick insight
into the health of a community while the University of Koblenz is investigating whether
and how patterns of agreement and disagreement among participants correlate with their
TEMIS, working on components that automate the analysis of the textual content inside
the communities, is busy with the creation of an infrastructure allowing to exchange these
components with comparable installations also outside ROBUST in order to allow for
sustainable exploitation of ROBUST results beyond and outside the context of the project.
“ROBUST not only addresses a real-world challenge in the administration of Business
Online Communities, it also provides a perfect environment for a company like TEMIS to
proceed with refining and developing our components on these tasks”, declares Stefan
Geissler, Managing Director of TEMIS Germany. “The consortium with large IT companies,
introducing their Communities as test beds on the one hand side and excellent research
partners on the other hand represents a precious opportunity to investigate use cases on
hot topics around Big Data and Social Media.”
The scientific work carried out in ROBUST has repeatedly lead to distinguished
publications. Very recently Claudia Wagner, Matthew Rowe, Markus Strohmaier and Harith
Alani from the Open University received the Best Paper Award for their contribution
“Ignorance isn’t Bliss: An Empirical Analysis of Attention Patterns in Online Communities
[http://oro.open.ac.uk/34184/1/wagner_kmi_socialcom2012.pdf ]” at the SocialCom Conference
With this type of blessing and benefitting from work on the implementation of a
prototype system carried out in ROBUST, the project is now increasingly discussing the
perspective to employ ROBUST results also in industrial contexts and real-world settings.
The Acronym ROBUST stands for “Risk and Opportunity management of huge-scale BUSiness
Online communities generate major economic value and form pivotal parts of corporate
expertise management, marketing, product support, CRM, product innovation and advertising.
Communities can exceed millions of users and infrastructures must support hundreds of
millions discussion threads that link together billions of posts.
ROBUST is targeted at developing methods to understand and manage the business, social
and economic objectives of the users, providers and hosts and to meet the challenges of
scale and growth in large communities. Hence, the objectives of ROBUST are to find
solutions for community risk management, large scale data management, models of community
polity and politics, community simulation and community data analysis.
Robust is funded by the EU Commission under grant No 257859.
http://www.robust-project.eu/ [http://www.robust-project.eu ]