"Dad, he is pushing random doorbell buttons", Dr. Herzog's daughter complained about her brother while we were walking back home late night after having dinner in the city center of Potsdam. Dr. Herzog smiled and replied, "it's rather a cool idea, let's all do it". Repeating the TPDL 2015 tradition, Dr. Michael Herzog's family was hosting me (Sawood Alam) at their place after the TPDL 2016 conference in Hannover. Leaving some cursing people behind (who were disturbed by false doorbells), he asked me, "how was your conference this year?"
Between the two parallel sessions of the first day, I attended the Doctoral Consortium session as a participant. The chair Kjetil Nørvåg, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, began the session with the formal introduction of the session structure and timeline. Out of the seven accepted Doctoral Consortium submissions, only five could make it to the workshop.
- Õnne Mets from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy, presented her talk on "Social Interaction and Discoverability of Digital Resources in Memory Institutions"
- Joffrey Decourselle from LIRIS, France, presented his talk on "Case-oriented Semantic Enrichment of Bibliographic Entities"
- I, Sawood Alam from Old Dominion University, USA, presented my talk on "Web Archive Profiling for Efficient Memento Aggregation"
- Sebastian Dungs from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, presented his work on "Describing user's search behaviour with Hidden Markov Models"
- Konstantina Lazaridou from Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Germany, presented her work on "Identifying Political Bias in News Articles"
Each presenter was assigned a mentor for more in-depth feedback on their work and provide and outsider's perspective that would help define the scope of the thesis and recognize parts that might need more elaboration. After formal presentation session, presenters were spread apart for one-to-one session with their corresponding mentor. Nattiya Kanhabua, from Aalborg University, Denmark, was my mentor. She provided great feedback and some useful references that might be relevant to my research. We also talked about the possibilities of collaboration in future where our research interest intersects.
After the conclusion of the Doctoral Consortium Workshop we headed to Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) where Mila Runnwerth welcomed us to German National Library of Science and Technology. She gave us an insightful presentation followed by a guided tour to the library facilities.
The main conference started on the second day with David Bainbridge's keynote presentation on "Mozart's Laptop: Implications for Creativity in Multimedia Digital Libraries and Beyond". He introduced a tool named Expeditee that gives a universal UI for text, image, and music interaction. The talk was full of interesting references and demonstrations such a querying music by humming. Following the keynote, I attended the Digital Humanities track while missing the other two parallel tracks.
- Gerhard Lauer presented his work on "DH-Research and eInfrastructures: Entanglements and Points of Tension"
- Oliver Schöner presented David Zellhöfer's work on "Exploring Large Digital Libraries by Multimodal Criteria"
- Annika Hinze presented her work on "The challenge of creating geo-location markup for digital books"
- Zeljko Carevi presented his work on "Survey on High-level Search Activities based on the Stratagem Level in Digital Libraries"
- Ralph Ewerth presented his work on "Content-Based Video Retrieval in Historical Collections of the German Broadcasting Archive"
- Christos Doulkeridis presented his work on "Profile-based Selection of Expert Groups"
- Annika Hinze presented her work on "Tracking and Re-finding printed material using a Personal Digital Library"
- Zeon Trevor Fernando presented his work on "ArchiveWeb: Collaboratively Extending and Exploring Web Archive Collections"
On the second day of the conference I had two papers to present. So, I decided to wear business formal attire. As a consequence, the conference photographer stopped me at the building entrance and asked me to pose for him near the information desk. The lady on the information desk tried to explain me routes to various places of the city, but the modeling session extended so long that it became awkward and we both started smiling.
The day began with Jan Rybicki's keynote talk on "Pretty Things Done with (Electronic) Texts: Why We Need Full-Text Access". For the first time I came to know about the term Stylometry. His slides were full of beautiful visualizations. The tool used to generate the data for the visualizations is published as an R package called stylo. After the keynote, I attended the Web Archives session.
- I, Sawood Alam, presented our work on "Web Archive Profiling Through Fulltext Search" (prototype implementation)
- Thaer Samar presented his work on "Comparing Topic Coverage in Breadth-first & Depth-first Crawls using Anchor Texts"
- Philipp Kemkes presented his work on "How to Search the Internet Archive Without Indexing It" (prototype implementation)
After the lunch break I moved to the Short Papers track where I had my second presentation of the day.
- Sarantos I. Kapidakis presented his work on "A Case Study of Summarizing and Normalizing the Properties of DBpedia Building Instances"
- Jorgina Kaumbe do Rosario Paihama presented her work on "What happens when the untrained search for training information"
- Sarantos I. Kapidakis presented his work on "Exploring Metadata Providers Reliability and Update Behavior"
- I, Sawood Alam, presented our work on "InterPlanetary Wayback: Peer-To-Peer Permanence of Web Archives" (prototype implementation)
After the coffee break I attended the Multimedia and Time Aspects track while missing the panel session on Digital Humanities and eInfrastructures.
- Yue Zhao presented his work on "Sub-document Timestamping: A study on the Content Creation Dynamics of Web Documents"
- Helge Holzmann presented his work on "Archiving Software Surrogates on the Web for Future Reference"
- Cynthia C. S. Liem presented her work on "From Water Music to 'Underwater Music': Multimedia Soundtrack Retrieval with Social Mass Media Resources"
On the last day of the main conference I decided to skip the panel and tutorial tracks in the favor of the Digital Library Evaluation research track.
- Giannis Tsakonas presented his work on "The “nomenclature of multidimensionality” in the digital libraries evaluation domain"
- Gabriel Pacheco presented his work on "Dissecting a Scholar Popularity Ranking into Different Knowledge Areas"
- Hugo Manguinhas and Juliane Stiller presented their work on "Exploring comparative evaluation of semantic enrichment tools for cultural heritage metadata"
Following the closing keynote the main conference was concluded with some announcements. Next year TPDL 2017 will be hosted in Thessaloniki, Greece, during September 17-21, 2017. TPDL is willing to expand the scope and encouraging young researchers to come forward with session ideas, chair events, and take the lead. People who are active on social media and scientific communities are encouraged to spread the word out to bring more awareness and participation. This year's Twitter hashtag was #TPDL2016 where all the relevant Tweets can be found.
The rest of the afternoon I spent in the Alexandria Workshop.
- Wolfgang Nejdl presented the Alexandria Workshop opening keynote on "Temporal Retrieval Exploration and Analytics in Web Archives"
- Steffen Staab presented "Text Mining using LDA with Context"
- Nattiya Kahnabua presented "Real-time Timeline Summarisation for High-impact Events in Twitter"
- Besnik Fetahu presented "Wikipedia Enrichment"
It was my last day in Hannover. I checked out from the conference hotel, Congress Hotel am Stadtpark Hannover. The hotel was located next to the conference venue and the views from the hotel were good. However, the experience at the hotel was not very good. It was located far away from the city center and there were no restaurants nearby. Despite complaints I have found an insect jumping on my laptop and bed on fifteenth floor, late night, for two consecutive nights. The basic Wi-Fi was useless and unreliable. In my opinion, nowadays, high-speed Wi-Fi in hotels should not be counted in luxury amenities, especially for business visitors. The hotel was not cheap either. These factors should be considered when choosing a conference venue and hotel by organizers.
I realized I still have some time to spare before I begin my journey. So, I decided to go to the conference venue where the Alexandria Workshop was ongoing. I was able to catch the keynote by Jane Winters in which she talked about many Web archiving related familiar projects. Then I headed to the Hannover city center to catch the train to Stendal.
"I know the rest of the story, since I received you in Stendal", Dr. Herzog interrupted me. We have reached home and it was already very late, hence, we called it a night and went to our beds.
After the conference, I spent a couple of days with Dr. Herzog's family on my way back. We visited Stendal University of Applied Sciences, met some interesting people for lunch at Schlosshotel Tangermünde, explored Potsdam by walking and biking, did some souvenir shopping and kitchen experiments, visited Dr. Herzog's daughter's school and the Freie Universität Berlin campus along with many other historical places on our way, and had dinner in Berlin where I finally revealed the secret of the disappearing earphone magic trick to Mrs. Herzog. On Sunday morning Dr. Herzog dropped me to the Berlin airport.
Dr. Herzog is a great host and tour guide. He has a beautiful, lovely, and welcoming family. Visiting his family is a single sufficient reason for me to visit Germany anytime.