PixMeAwayTravel recommendation platform
ecosioSolutions for the exchange of electronic documents
E-Business and E-Commerce include, besides other influencing domains, rapid changes to economic and social processes. For this reason, the E-Commerce group pursues taking an encompassing view at such processes reaching from analyzing enterprises and their respective processes to evaluating the entire market, as well as is active in creating ideas and solutions for meeting the demands of the respective stakeholders.
Overall, the E-Commerce group performs research and creates solutions in the Business-2-Business (B2B) and Business-2-Consumer (B2C) domains. In the B2B domain, the group focuses on (i) business (process) modeling and definition and consequently the specification and implementation of e-business systems while considering and contributing to semantic web research and service-oriented architectures, (ii) ontology engineering and information integration, (iii) "Web Science" focusing on network analysis and content as well as text mining. In the B2C domain, the E-Commerce group performs research targeting (i) visual interaction paradigms as well as (ii) mobile applications. Thereby, our group focuses especially on the development and application of our research in the area of e-tourism and its mobile applications.
Parts of the EC group are working on systems based research, namely on virtualized HPC systems, massive-scale data analytics and energy efficient ultra-scale distributed systems. Our goal thereby is to develop speculative methodologies and techniques to allocate resources in an energy efficient way, but at the same time meet requirements of the end users, like the certain latency of the applications. Our approaches are evaluated quantitatively on different scales by simulations, benchmarks or on experimental clusters. We strive to develop generic methods and methodologies but we let our research be inspired by a set of real world applications from different domains like life science (e.g., DNA sequencing) or social media (e.g., Facebook size data centers).
The contribution "Requirement analysis for integrated engineering – Mechanisms and practical demands" (atp edition 55(4), pp.28-35)  will be awarded with the atp-award 2012 in the category "Hochschule". Atp edition is a peer-reviewed professional and scientific magazine for automation technology. The award gains additional weight by the fact, that atp edition itself recently has been honored as German "Professional Media of the Year” ("Fachmedium des Jahres") in the category "Construction / Production / Industry".
The winning paper discusses on the basis of practical industrial applications the need for improved integration of data and functions from software tools for the automation of processes in the engineering of industrial plants. Strengths and limitations of three approaches for integration mechanisms in software tools are investigated, and requirements for the integration of heterogeneous tools are identified. A derived software solution – the Automation Service Bus – has been presented in a follow-up contribution.
"To us the honor is proof and incentive to keep doing top-notch research on the junction between university and industry and supporting the company partner of the laboratory, die lower Austrian logi.cals GmbH  developing highly innovative solutions for automation engineering”, stated laboratoy lead Stefan Biffl.
The award will be presented at the congress Automation 2013  (June 25/26 in Baden-Baden) to Thomas Moser by the atp-editor-in-chief Prof. Leon Urbas . Dr. Thomas Moser developed the award-winning research contribution as a PostDoc researcher in the area of Semantic Integration at the Christian Doppler research laboratory "Software Engineering Integration for flexible Automation Systems" (CDL-Flex ) together with his co-authors, Prof. Stefan Biffl and Dr. Richard Mordinyi.
 Biffl, S., Mordinyi, R., & Moser, T. (2012). Anforderungsanalyse für das integrierte Engineering - Mechanismen und Bedarfe aus der Praxis. atp edition, 5, 28-35.
The Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava has awarded the medal of Johann Wolfgang von Kempelen to Prof. Tjoa for his significant contribution to advancement of knowledge and collaboration in Informatics and Information Technologies.
The Startup Pixtri from the Vienna University of Technology – E-Commerce Group won the 1st place at the ENTER Conference 2013 for its significant contribution to the growth and success of technology adoption, integration, or use in the tourism industry.
Based on extensive scientific and practical preparatory work, the core functionality of PixMeAway comprises an image-based search and recommendation engine in the tourism sector.
Imagine you want to go on vacation, but yet, you do not know exactly where you want to go or what kind of trip you want to take? In such a case you might query different search engines in the Web by entering text-based search criteria. But what should you enter, if you do not know your travel desires in advance? It follows, that a part of such “un-decided” users enter rough keywords of their trip imaginations, which results in a big amount of “non-classified” information. The other part of these users consults offline tourist agencies to get inspired by professionals. Those professionals mostly work with pictures of travel destinations to find out the hidden desires of their customers in order to be able to suggest a trip. PixMeAway does almost the same online, finds out the user’s travel type via pictures and suggests point of interests, activities, tours or regions.
The platform www.pixmeaway.com works as follows. A user selects the images that particularly attract him or inspire him. The system calculates a certain “tourist matrix” of the user, which comprises seven pre-defined travel factors (these factors are a mixture of travel types and personality types based on scientific standards). By the use of this profile the system recommends appropriate touristic objects.
Technically, the solution is based on a sophisticated recommender system in combination with an administrative backend interface for Points of Interest (places with high tourist attraction) and a module for travel planning. Furthermore, the platform incorporates aspects from social media communities to share trips/destinations/activities/etc. with other users.