Photo credit: Anna Logue

Focus Group: Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval

(Prof. Ponzetto and Prof. Glavaš)

The NLP and IR group at DWS conducts research on methods for knowledge acquisition and natural language processing (NLP), as well as their application to support empirical research in (Computational) Social Sciences and (Digital) Humanities. In our work, we investigate a wide range of techniques for text understanding - ranging from representation learning and distributional semantics all the way through symbolic, entity-based approaches leveraging wide-coverage knowledge graphs - and apply these to a wide range of research topics such as such computational semantics, multilinguality, information retrieval and multimodal NLP, to name a few.

Here is a short video that summarizes (in German and for the general public) some of the things that what we do in our group.





  • Laura Dietz (now Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire)
  • Stefano Faralli (now Assistant Professor at Unitelma Sapienza Roma)
  • Petar Ristoski (now Researcher at IBM)
  • Michael Schuhmacher (now R&D Data and Knowledge Architect at BASF)
  • Sanja Stajner (new Senior Research Scientist at Symanto Research GmbH)
  • Lydia Weiland (now Senior specialist for Data Science und AI at DB Systel GmbH)

 *  joint project with the AI group



  • JOIN-T: Joining Ontologies and semantics INduced from Text (DFG)
  • Knowledge consolidation and organization for query-specific Wikipedia construction (Elite­programm für Postdocs, BW Stiftung)
  • Deep semantic models for high-end NLP applications (Juniorprofessoren­programm MWFK BaWü)
  • Vision and language understanding beyond literal meaning (RiSC Programm MWFK BaWü)