Wednesday, June 06, 2007

ESWC 2007 - 4th European Semantic Web Conference - Aftermath

While the original conference ended yesterday evening after the conference dinner, ESWC continues for another two days with workshops, phD-forum, etc. Unfortunately, I had to leave Innsbruck this morning, because there are lectures I have to give. The interesting workshops (at least for me) are taking place on Thursday. Thus, wednesday would have been 'spare time'. From my point of view, if organising two days of workshops, they would have been better splitted to one day before and one day after the conference.
Anyway, ESWC with only two days of presentations is rather short. To draw some resume, it was.....let's say it was a nice conference. Two out of four invited talks were interesting (best one about monadic 2nd order logic and data extraction tool lixto by Georg Gottlob), another one was rather bizzare (just remember brains(!) and buzzwords). Some of the full paper presentations were rather weak (I was wondering why they got accepted) and some of the poster presentations or demos on the other hand were rather interesting (and would have served even better as full presentations).

Innsbruck congess center was rather agreable (stable wlan support, acceptable coffee and lunch...I really appreciated the Austrian sweets). On the last day -- due to a lack in coffee support -- the sessions got a little bit out of sync and thus, it was difficult to switch in between the presentations (as you can read in day 02). Innsbruck is an interesting city with a rather nice historic center (at least as far as I could see...with masses of asian/american tourists). Surrounded by huge mountains, one gets a strange feeling of being closed away from the rest of the world. But, let's get back to the conference dinner. The food was excellent (I really appreciated the 'frozen Kaiserschmarrn' and now I know that Tyroleans are also very proud of 'dumplings' of any kind...). I tried the red wine (Zweigelt Classic 2006 from Rotweingut Iby, Horitschon), but it was more or less 'unsignificant' (a little bit like cherry, accentuation on acids....absolutely no comparison to the St. Magdalener I had the week before at Bertagnolli's at home in Weimar). In the end of the confeence dinner, the new conference location for eswc 2008 was presented: Tenerife on the Canary Islands (Spain)!! I've never been there for a conference, but I'm looking forward to it. Next, the 'show part' was on the schedule. People said that there was some 'ballet dancing' to I was curious to see some - let's say maybe typical Tyrolean dance. Don't ask....the dancer to come maybe was Tyrolean.....but it was belly dancing with Arabian/Turkish music. Dont get me wrong. I am the last one not to like belly dancing :) ... But, really I expected something more typical for the region... Afterwards the conference party started (including music and dancing).

All in all, it was a nice conference (but of course there's always something to improve). Although, this time there was no 'mind blowing' paper/presentation, meeting friends (old and new ones), exchanging news and planning new projects are the things that a conference is all about. Therefore, I'm looking forward to eswc 2008 in Teneriffe.

BTW, you may find a lot of pictures from ESWC 2007 here at flickr.

Other folks blogging about ESWC 2007: