The Interactive Systems Group studies user interaction in current and future computing environments including desktop computing, Internet and Semantic Web applications, and ambient technologies with an emphasis on intelligent user interfaces, context-awareness, visualization, usability and playfulness.

A visualization lab with high definition 3D projection, an interaction lab with interactive surfaces and tangible interfaces, as well as a usability lab with data recording and an eye-tracking equipment are available for research and student projects.

Publications » PhD theses »

Intelligent Interactive Systems

This research is guided by the vision of closely coupling user interaction with machine learning and reasoning techniques while keeping the user in control. Several current projects aim at improving recommender systems for electronic business and knowledge work.

Research topics: Recommender Systems, Context-adaptivity, and Smart Mobility Solutions

Visualization and Interaction with Data-centric applications

We investigate novel visual techniques for interacting with very large or complex data sets.

Research topics: Tools for Searching and Exploring Semantic Data, Interfaces for Semantic Data, and Visual Analytics

Personal Analytics and Digital Health

We investigate novel approaches for highly adpative persuasive technology related to health and well-being.

Research topics: Personal Analytics and Health and Serious Games

User-Centred Social Media

Our group participates in the DFG-funded Research Training Group (Graduate School) “User-Centred Social Media” which aims at developing new models and methods for analyzing, designing and evaluating social media from a user-centred perspective.

Research topics: Modelling and Understanding User Behavior and Social Media Engineering

User Interface Engineering and Interaction Design

We look into possibilities to optimize user interface by implementing intelligent adaption mechanisms to adjust the interface and the application contents according to the user behavior.

Research topics: Model-based Interfaces, Tangible User Interfaces, User Experience Research, and User Interface Engineering

Playful and Social Interaction

Design principles and interaction styles found in computer games bear a high potential for improving the user experience also in other, more ‘serious’ applications. We apply the concept of playfulness in a range of domains, such as medical and health applications, energy efficiency or smart mobility.

Research topics: Game Design and Analytics and Game Design and Gamification

Workshops and events

September 18 to 22, 2017 in Duisburg, Germany

UCSM Summer School on New Frontiers in Social Media Research

August 31, 2017 in Como, Italy

International Workshop on Health Recommender Systems @RecSys 2017

June 23 to 26, 2015 in Duisburg, University of Duisburg-Essen and Fraunhofer inHaus

7th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems

All events »

Funded research projects


Leverage argumentative statements in user reviews to improve the quality of system-generated recommendations and provide explanations


Enabling small to medium enterprises to facilitate advisors within their systems to improve customer experience and conversion


User-controllable methods for generating trustworthy recommendations from social media sources

All projects »

Research developments

A Game with a Purpose for Understanding Latent Factors

A game that helps understanding latent factor models used in recommender systems

Archaeological Sandbox

A Tangible User Interface that uses a box filled with sand for exploring digging sites

Movie Landscape

A 3D interface that helps expressing personal preferences in large information spaces

All developments »