Nowrooz 94 — new year, new thoughts…

“What you seek is seeking you.” — Rumi

+ I can literally feel the fragrance of spring. Less than one week is left to Nowrooz — Iranian/Persian New Year. Nowhere can replace your home country especially when it comes to Nowrooz. This year I really miss the celebration of Nowrooz in Iran! Last year, we had a memorial Nowrooz. Hamed’s wedding was close to Nowrooz and we also had a German guest who was with us to experience and enjoy all Persian traditions for the first time. It was one of the rare occasions after my (im)migration where the whole family gathered together. Anyways, this year we will celebrate Nowrooz in beautiful Amsterdam with nice flowers and spectacular blossom of spring.

+ Last Friday I attended prof. George Lakoff‘s talk on Big Data and the necessity to have linguists there. It was an amazing talk full of motivations and insights. Computers and AI can never replace humans! That was my conclusion there! One quote that he was emphasizing there was that education is required to know about our possibilities in life. Without education, we might look like a blind person that at some point of his life might suddenly notice what valuable things he has missed during his life and what a great potential he has wasted by just being uneducated!

+ Bita is literally becoming a professional cook! Besides the nice very healthy foods she is inventing everyday :D now she can bake Bibi’s chocolate cake which even tastes better than the original one! I am really proud of her…

+ The idea of Isomorphic Web application development is not a dream anymore with the tools like ReactJS and Flux architecture. You can now write code once and execute it both on client and server side using the frameworks like Fluxible. That is really fun! Isn’t it?! I am looking forward to try this new paradigm in my next Web project…

+ It’s really hard to predict your future! Even though you plan for it, it always might cast to something else (i.e. your destiny). Eventually I chose to start my new career as a postdoc researcher at KRR research group, VU University of Amsterdam. The adventure to get involved in a multidisciplinary project to further deepen my SW knowledge was the main reason for that selection. I am back to the source…


The Smell of Spring…

“Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience.” — Elbert Hubbard

+ When it comes to examination, stress is always introducing himself as a representative. This is even worse when you think it might be your last exam! However, when you have a big support on the other side of the pitch, all the negative parts of stress will vanish and you’d feel like now it is your turn!

+ To be honest, I’d never expected that someday I go that far to receive a PhD degree in computer engineering! I started to enter the field of software engineering because I loved Web, 3D animations and computer games. I remember the feeling I had when I designed my first Website using Adobe PageMill! WYSIWYG for HTML code authoring was amazing….And now after about 15 years, WYSIWYM comes into place! It’s always scary and at the same time provocative and promising when you observe the progress of the Web…

+ The mission is accomplished! I defended my PhD on 26.1.2015 with the grade magna cum laude (i.e. “with great honor”). On my path to receive this degree, I’ve been very lucky and thankful to have prof. Sören Auer as my supervisor and also as a good friend who supported me a lot and gave me the freedom to explore my ideas. I hope I can still keep on collaboration with him…

+ I got a big surprise after my defense! A very nice hat which was very artistically designed by Bita and was reflecting all my PhD contributions and concerns. I should thank Bita a lot for her great support and kindness :) I hope we will soon celebrate her PhD defense as well…

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“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” — Mark Twain

There is a light which never turns off. It’s always there illuminating truth in falsehood, good in bad, and justice in injustice. Life has got its own up and down, but something is always on top in all these moments.

When you breath, you feel it, when you smile you reflect it and when you cry you miss it.
There is no doubt that the beauty of life entails a reality which cannot be ignored.

It is return time now! Let’s be thankful that the future is indeed bright…


Summer of thoughts…

“I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” — Khalil Gibran

+ Summer is here again full of delicious fruits and thrilling colors. While I am tasting all the beauties of this great season I have to think more about the future which is coming closer to me. I am passing 30 this summer (26th June), a magical number which makes you think and recall what you have passed behind. By a simple search on the Web, a plethora of posts related to Turning 30 just pops up. “30 Life Lessons From 30 Years“, “30 Things To Do Before Turning 30“, “Life doesn’t end at 29…“, “30 Things Turning 30 in 2014” and much more. I think it is not that difficult to evaluate your performance; you just need to look at your past, your present and the goals you have in mind for future. Fortunately, I do not feel upset and disappointed when assessing my past and current status, just having a kind of feeling being a tiny dot in the infinite universe of knowledge. The more you walk, the more deterministic you become that you are nothing unless your thoughts, your believes and your passion count. This blog post seems to be very philosophical which is not strange and unpredictable. The truth is I am impressed by the effect of 30!

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Nowruz 93

“To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous…” — Confucius

+ Spending Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) in Iran is always enjoyable, You will meet your family and all your relatives and friends whom you haven’t seen for a while! You will eat a tons of nice food and sweets, will watch a lot of entertaining TV programs, and will smell the pleasant aroma of the spring to get refreshed after one year of the hard work. This year, Nowruz was more memorial for us because we experienced another occasion there — my brother’s wedding. Hamed and Zahra just got married and brought some nice moments for us during our stay at Iran.

+ The new year would be a very busy year for me! Hopefully I will finish writing my PhD thesis and will think one step forward on my future career.

+ I will be at ESWC 2014 in May to present conTEXT for lightweight text analytics (presentation at LOD2 webinar). Continue reading

conTEXT : One click text analytics thanks to Linked Data

Recently I was working on a tool for lightweight text analytics using Linked Data. It is called conTEXT since it performs analyzes with (Latin `con’) text and provides contextual visualizations for discovered entities in text. conTEXT is now publicly available at

conTEXT workflow

The process of text analytics in conTEXT starts by collecting information from the web. conTEXT utilizes standard information access methods and protocols such as RSS/ATOM feeds, SPARQL endpoints and REST APIs as well as customized crawlers for WordPress and Blogger to build a corpus of information relevant for a certain user. The assembled text corpus is then processed by Natural Language Processing (NLP) services (currently FOX and DBpedia-Spotlight) which link unstructured information sources to the Linked Open Data cloud through DBpedia. The processed corpus is then further enriched by de-referencing the  DBpedia URIs as well as  matching with with pre-defined natural-language patterns for DBpedia predicates (BOA patterns). The processed data can also be joined with other existing corpora in a text analytics mashup. The creation of analytics mashups requires dealing with the heterogeneity of different corpora as well as the heterogeneity of different NLP services utilized for annotation. conTEXT employs NIF (NLP Interchange Format) to deal with this heterogeneity. The processed, enriched and possibly mixed results are presented to users using different views for exploration and visualization of the data. Additionally, conTEXT provides an annotation refinement user interface based on the RDFa Content Editor (RDFaCE) to enable users to revise the annotated results. User-refined annotations are sent back to the NLP services as feedback for the purpose of learning in the system.

For more information on conTEXT visit:

WADE across the Silicon Valley…

Learn to say ‘no’ to the good so you can say ‘yes’ to the best – John C. Maxwell

Last week I got this chance to visit Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA. It was a great experience for me to see a new continent and of course a new culture!
I could divide my US experience into the following WADE:
* Wait
These days, being an Iranian might make you a lot of troubles, especially when you want to apply for the US visa and more especially when you want to attend a conference which has information security, knowledge extraction, computer and these sort of keywords! Actually all the keywords are reserved for Iranians because everything is related to everything so comes nuclear energy at the end!
It took me more than two months to get cleared and to successfully receive my single entry visa for US. Fortunately, entering US after this long procedure was not so difficult, just a few questions from inspector Gadget at the Amsterdam Schiphol airport before departuring and a kind welcome at the LAX airport!
* Academia
Staying in San Francisco for 5 days gave me a great opportunity to visit the world center of IT, Silicon Valley as well as a couple of top universities in the world.
San Francisco is the most densely settled large city in the state of California. More crowded than what I had imagined!
In the first day, I attended the CIKM2013 and ESAIR2013 (Sixth International Workshop on Exploiting Semantic Annotations in Information Retrieval). I met Krzysztof Janowicz and Dan Roth and had some chats on semantic annotation topics. The workshop concluded with a long discussion to disambiguate the definition of Semantic Annotation. At the end, I do not think we could come to an agreement though we all had the same meaning in mind but with different terms!

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Dance of Leaves…

“Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” – Wilson Mizner

Autumn is already started! Here in Germany, it won’t take so long to shift from summer to winter therefore autumn has a short life span! It is really a strange season for me, a season which brings a flashback to the past, reminds me of the first days of school and makes a good motivation for spring! Nothing seems to be absolutely binary in this world, there is always an adoption phase when there should be a shift from 1 to 0 so that the gaps are filled! I really enjoy listening to Fariborz Lachini‘s musics, especially “dance of leaves”:

I watched  “The Past” directed by Asghar Farhadi in the weekend. It was a wonderful movie like his previous movies. A film which tells you a story from different perspectives. It continues to clarify the issue by collecting facts from different persona who have different concerns. Suddenly, you will come to an open end which could be judged differently by the different perceptions.

The recent highlights:


“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” — Albert Einstein

+ Summer is here! Summer always reminds me of great events. I actually started my life in summer (June) and enriched it by marriage in summer (July)! Most of my nice and memorial trips have been taking place during the summer. My favorable fruits (cherries, berries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, melons) are all in summer! All these facts are good reasons to forget about the hot and humid weather in this summer which makes working very hard (especially in Germany where hot summer is not really defined so you do not get coolers everywhere but heaters!).

+ I created a simple mobile version for Pharmer which can serve as a drug assistant. You can test it here. We are going to present a paper on Pharmer in ICSCC 2013. Also my paper about WYSIWYM and RDFaCE for got accepted in WISE2013. Bita is also going to present Pharmer at Dresden Summer School on Technology Transfer in Life Sciences.

Preview release of RDFaCE special edition for

During the last weeks I was working hard on the next release of RDFaCE . RDFaCE implements the WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) concept in order to facilitate the process of semantic content authoring.RDFaCE

The new version of RDFaCE is focused on . You can create RDFa or Microdata annotations based on the schemas defined by It will help to improve the SEO of your Website.

The main features of this new version include*:


*Of course it is only a preview release and might have some bugs.Please report the possible bugs using our issue tracker. As our next step, we will integrate the functionality of previous versions of RDFaCE with support for

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