ICS – project BBMRI.at – publication “Metadata Quality for Biobanks”

The research paper “Metadata Quality for Biobanks“, written by the ICS – BBMRI.at project group members Dr. phil. Volodymyr Shekhovtsov and O.Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Johann Eder, is available on the following link:


The paper “Metadata Quality for Biobankshas been published in applied sciences on the 23th of September 2022 and is available as free full-text on the link over it.


The mission of biobanks is to provide biological material and data for medical research. Reproducible medical studies of high quality require material and data with established quality. Metadata, defined as data that provides information about other data, represents the content of biobank collections, particularly which data accompanies the stored samples and which quality the available data features. The quality of biobank metadata themselves, however, is currently neither properly defined nor investigated in depth. We list the properties of biobanks that are most important for metadata quality management and emphasize both the role of biobanks as data brokers, which are responsible not for the quality of the data itself but for the quality of its representation, and the importance of supporting the search for biobank collections when the sample data is not accessible. Based on an intensive review of metadata definitions and definitions of quality characteristics, we establish clear definitions of metadata quality attributes and their metrics in a design science approach. In particular, we discuss the quality measures accuracy, completeness, coverage, consistency, timeliness, provenance, reliability, accessibility, and conformance to expectations together with their respective metrics. These definitions are intended as a foundation for establishing metadata quality management systems for biobanks.


Keywords: metadata; data quality; biobank; quality metrics

The logical path (to Computer Science)

Alice Tarzariol was born in Veneto, attended the university in Udine for her Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and then joined the University of Klagenfurt to pursue her doctoral studies. Her work on logic is attracting international attention, as illustrated by her recent success at the International Conference on Logic Programming, where she won the Best Student Paper Award. We spoke to her about her path to Computer Science.

The manifold job prospects were the decisive factor for Alice Tarzariol, who researches and teaches as a doctoral student and university assistant at the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity at the University of Klagenfurt, leading her to opt for a degree in Computer Science. For this, Alice Tarzariol went to the Università degli Studi di Udine. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, she was fascinated by the potential of artificial intelligence, bringing her to continue with a Master’s degree programme – and chose the double-degree programme jointly run with the University of Klagenfurt. “Originally, I decided to study Computer Science since it was a safe future option for me, compared for example to Mathematics. I wasn’t sure whether that would have been my path, but I knew that I would have found a good job with it even after graduating with a BA. However, the more I learned about it, the more the topic fascinated me, leading me to continue my studies”, she tells us.

Alice Tarzariol is currently completing her doctorate at the University of Klagenfurt. Her research topic is situated in the field of knowledge representation and reasoning. “Logic programming has a huge potential for expressing in an elegant and simple way configuration problems, which industries address every day in their production phases”, she explains. “However, writing an efficient logic program is not an easy thing. For this reason, in my research I apply machine learning techniques to improve the efficiency of existing programs exploiting hidden properties that are difficult to catch”. With the groundwork for her thesis firmly in place, Alice Tarzariol plans to use the remaining year to refine her work even further. Some of her papers have already been published at top conferences and in high-ranking journals – such as the International Joint Conference of Artificial Intelligence and the Machine Learning Journal. Most recently, she received the Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Logic Programming in Haifa/Israel.

Prior to embarking on her studies, Alice Tarzariol could not have imagined what the subject of Computer Science would have in store for her. “At my high school, the emphasis was mainly on the field of Economics. It was thanks to my Computer Science and Math teachers that I started to be interested in the topic; then, at the University, I got hooked on the subject and realized that Computer Science is more than programming, programming, programming”, says Alice Tarzariol, who was always very keen on the subject of Mathematics. In the meantime, she has landed where her talent can be put to best use – in the logic area of Computer Science. We ask her whether she ever found it a hindrance or indeed a benefit to be a woman studying in a field that – to this day – is dominated by men, and we are told: “I have heard of this being an issue, but in all honesty I can say: It did not and still does not have any significance for me. I have never encountered any difference and I feel fully integrated.”

Alice Tarzariol would ideally like to continue her academic career, even though this is the more difficult path and many details are unpredictable, especially due to short-term contracts. “My heart tells me that I would like to continue this adventure. Partly, because I love to teach”, she emphasises. Industry, on the other hand, offers better security and plenty of opportunities for professional development. “So far, I have always been offered interesting positions. I trust that the right thing will come along again at the right time”, Alice Tarzariol remains confident.

Michaela Szölgyenyi wins Joseph F. Traub Young Researcher Award

Michaela Szölgyenyi wins the Joseph F. Traub Information-Based Complexity Young Researcher Award 2021, see https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-complexity/awards/joseph-f-traub-young-researcher-award

The award is given for significant contributions to information-based complexity by young scientists under the age of 35. The prize consists of 1000 US dollars and a plaque. The award ceremony took place this year during the 15th International Conference on MCQMC in Linz, https://www.ricam.oeaw.ac.at/events/conferences/mcqmc2022/.

We congraulate Prof. Szölgyenyi for this award!

Michaela Szölgyenyi bei Preisverleihung Josef F. Traub Young Researcher Award

Michaela Szölgyenyi at the Josef F. Traub Young Researcher Award ceremony

Winners of the Josef F. Traub Young Researcher Award

Winners of the Josef F. Traub Young Researcher Award

The logical path (to Computer Science)

Alice Tarzariol was born in Veneto, attended the university in Udine for her Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes and then joined the University of Klagenfurt to pursue her doctoral studies. Her work on logic is attracting international attention, as illustrated by her recent success at the International Conference on Logic Programming, where she won the Best Student Paper Award. We spoke to her about her path to Computer Science.

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Using robots to inspect and clean ships: Trials involving Wörtherseeschifffahrt vessels

Cleaning the hull of a container ship currently takes around eight days and costs between 100,000 and 200,000 euros. A team including researchers at the Department of Smart Systems Technologies aims to use autonomous robots for this task. Trials are currently underway on Lake Wörthersee.

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Bitmovin and the University of Klagenfurt start €3.3million climate-friendly video streaming platform research project ‘GAIA.’

Bitmovin, a leading provider of video streaming infrastructure, and the University of Klagenfurt announced they will collaborate on a two-year joint research project worth €3.3million to develop a climate-friendly adaptive video streaming platform called ‘GAIA’. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) will co-fund the project, providing an initial €460,000 in funding for the first year. 

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Processing vast amounts of data: New research project for greater energy efficiency

New superlatives have reached the information technology sector: Big Data is being replaced by Extreme Data. Developers face the challenge of managing so-called “massive graphs”, i.e. enormous quantities of information and links between information nodes. All of this consumes huge amounts of energy. Researchers in a new EU Horizon project are working on a holistic model to address the current challenges.

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Klagenfurt-based researcher Samira Hayat is one of the 10 “Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications”

Samira Hayat is currently a member of the Lakeside Labs GmbH research team. Hayat completed her doctorate at the University of Klagenfurt and has contributed to numerous research projects aimed at the ongoing development of drones as well as the use of 5G networks for drone networks. Samira Hayat is the first researcher based in Austria to make it onto the prestigious list of “Rising Stars in Computer Networking and Communications”.

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Decoration of Honour of the Province of Carinthia for Univ.-Prof. Gerhard Friedrich

For his special services as a professor and in particular as the longstanding Dean of the Faculty of Technical Sciences at the University of Klagenfurt, Univ.-Prof. DI Dr. Gerhard Friedrich was awarded the Decoration of Honour of the Province of Carinthia by Governor Dr. Peter Kaiser on 18 July 2022 in the Mirror Hall of the Carinthian Provincial Government.

Mr Friedrich has worked persistently and highly successfully for a focus of Carinthia as an educational, scientific and business location in the field of technical sciences and digitalisation. Particularly noteworthy in this context is his great commitment in the field of artificial intelligence applications. In addition, he was able to successfully promote and expand networking between the Austrian economy and the University of Klagenfurt. Thanks to his initiative and tireless efforts, a significant expansion of the technical sciences in terms of personnel and content has been achieved, especially in the area of cybersecurity and modular robot systems.

During his tenure, among other things, the computer science workshop, the establishment of a drone hall, the establishment of the Silicon Austria Lab (SAL) and successful and promising cooperations with the research institution Joanneum Research, newly settled in Carinthia, were created. He has consistently pursued the orientation of the Faculty of Technical Sciences towards international visibility and scientific excellence, thus enabling highly gratifying results in the university rankings.

We warmly congratulate Univ.-Prof. Gerhard Friedrich!


Governor Peter Kaiser presents the Decoration of Honour of the Province of Carinthia to Gerhard Friedrich | Photo: LPD Kärnten/Eggenberger

The 34rd International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAiSE) was organized in Leuven, Belgium by the KU Leuven and the University of Ghent from June 5-10, 2022.

Franziska Hollauf, BSc. presented the paper Time-Cost Tradeoffs for Composed Services. A video recording of the presentation is available here:

Hollauf, Franziska S., Marco Franceschetti, and Johann Eder. “Time-Cost Tradeoffs for Composed Services.” International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering. Springer, Cham, 2022.


Time and cost are crucial criteria in Service Level Agreements. Frequently, the time when and how long a service can be provided or used and the cost for utilizing a service are related and hence users are confronted with a trade-off between time and cost. Besides the fundamental direct and indirect proportional relationship between time and cost, composed services might also have more complex non-monotonic relationships. We introduce a novel way of expressing the trade-offs between time and cost in form of TC-Maps as a set of piece-wise linear functions. For calculating the duration, cost and their relation for service compositions, we introduce specific operations used in a bottom-up procedure resulting in an overall TC-Map. The proposed structure allows us to derive the minimum cost of a composed service given a duration limit, or for analyzing possible durations for a provided budget. TC-Maps offer the basis for optimizing the utilization of composed services according to user preferences, resources and objectives.