Tobias Käfer/en

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I'm hiring two research associates (ie. PhD student): Stellenausschreibung204/en Stellenausschreibung205/en

As interim professor, I lead the Web Science research group at KIT.

In my research, I connect the modelling of behaviour (eg. from Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Systems, Business Process Modelling, and dynamical systems) with web technologies for semantic knowledge representation (Knowledge Graphs, RDF, OWL) and system interaction (HTTP).

Some approaches that I investigate currently:

  • Decentralised data ecosystems require new approaches to authorisation and authentication around identities, e.g. decentralised (DID) or self-sovereign (SSI). Web technologies can contribute to the interoperability.
  • Neuro-symbolic approaches, e.g. with Large Language Models combined with Knowledge Graphs, to bring AI planning to new application domains.
  • Hybrid approaches of physical models and knowledge graphs allow for answering queries that consider both factual knowledge and knowledge about the dynamics of systems (e.g. manufacturing systems)
  • In the area of analytics, I investigate methods to analyse time series of semantically described data, e.g. the evolution of data on the Linked Data web.

With those foundations at hand, we can specify web agents, also called intelligent clients, which can automate things for you on the web, the Internet of Things, or in Industry 4.0.

Currently, I coordinate the COST Action 19134, a European network on the topic of Distributed Knowledge Graphs, I led the AI part of KIGLIS, a BMBF-funded project on AI and the optical communication networks in a Smart City, I lead the KIT part of BMBF-funded project MANDAT about using web technologies for data ecosystems with data fiduciaries, I help in the BMBF-funded DigiBatMat to digitise battery material sciences using semantic technologies, I serve as program chair at KIT in SeReCo, a german-french doctoral college.

A DFG-funded AI research unit 5339 at KIT and Fraunhofer started this year about the fast maturisation of immature manufacturing processes using AI methods, where I am among the PIs.

Recently, we completed TraPS, a project on decentralised Knowledge Graphs and the Blockchain for Supply Chains, and DataScore about incentives for good research data management.

In terms of community service, I organise ATAC, a challenge on agents and Linked Data for the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2021) and I serve on the organising committee for the 2020 and 2021 edition of the SEMANTiCS conference.


Find an overview on my publications here, on Google Scholar, Semantic Scholar, ORCID, and on DBLP.


Find some code I wrote on Github, where I publish Read-Write Linked Data (REST + Linked Data) intefaces to systems, IoT sensors and actuators, and services, besides code to harvest and process Linked Data.

Brief CV
Since 04/2024Interim Professor for Web Science
Since 02/2024KIT Associate Fellow
Since 02/2021Junior Research Group Leader for Knowledge Graph-based AI Systems
08/2023 - 03/2024Akademischer Rat (sometimes translated to Lecturer)
04/2021 - 03/2022Interim Professor for Applied Informatics
2019PostDoc in the research group Web Science
2018Defense of my PhD thesis entitled "Behaviour on Linked Data"
2014Research visit at Universidad de Chile
2013Researcher at Institute AIFB at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
2013Graduation in Industrial Engineering and Management from Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology (KIT)
2011Research visit at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DER), Galway, Ireland (now the Insight Centre for Data Analytics)

2022Best Poster/Demo Award, 18th International Conference on Semantic Systems (SEMANTiCS)
2020Best In-Use Reviewer Award, 17th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC)
2020Shortlisted for 7-years most influential paper award, 17th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC)
2017Teaching Award, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
2014Best Paper Award, 4th International PROFILES workshop
2016Software Campus Fellowship
2013Best Poster Award, 10th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC)
2012Research Student Award, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Active Projects
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Software Campus
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Research area
Semantic Technologies, Knowledge Representation And Reasoning, Information Systems, Agent Systems, Workflow Management, Big Data, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Blockchain, Solid