Dr. Vasilis Efthymiou as a Keynote Speaker


We have happy to announce that Dr. Vasilis Efthymiou from the IBM Research - Almaden will give a keynote entitled “Ontology-based natural language query answering” at our LASCAR Workshop, co-located with the ESWC 2020.

For more details, read the abstract and a short bio below:


Many business users and line of business owners rely on technical people to query and gain insights from their business data. These technical people are experts on using complex query languages such as SQL or SPARQL. Today, it is vital for non-technical business owners to derive insights from their data as quickly as possible to make effective business decisions. Natural language interfaces enable such non-technical users to explore their business data in a more natural way and without relying on technical users’ help. In this talk, we will cover some basics about natural language interfaces to data, we will overview the main components of our ontology-based Natural Language Query (NLQ) stack, and we will explore how this NLQ system can be extended to cover the needs of a conversational system. Specifically, we will see how we enabled a conversational system over IBM Watson Assistant for healthcare data about medication, adverse effects, contra-indications, etc. Finally, we will review our latest works on extending the query answers that we provide by leveraging external ontologies, like SNOMED CT.

Short biography

Vasilis Efthymiou is a Postdoctoral Researcher at IBM Research - Almaden, working in the areas of data integration, knowledge management, and query answering. Before joining IBM, he was a collaborating researcher at the Information Systems Laboratory of ICS-FORTH, Greece. He received his Ph.D. from the Computer Science Department of University of Crete, Greece, for research on entity resolution. After his internship at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, NY, on matching Web tables to Knowledge Graphs, he has joined forces with researchers from IBM Research, Oxford University, and City, University of London to co-organize the SemTab challenges: an effort to benchmark systems dealing with the tabular data to KG matching problem, so as to facilitate their comparison on the same basis and the reproducibility of the results. Finally, he has given tutorials in top-tier data management conferences (WWW, ICDE, CIKM, ESWC), and he has co-authored the book “Entity Resolution in the Web of Data”.

Looking forward to having you @ESWC2020.