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Current Research

  • Understanding of Language by Machines – an escape from the world of language – “Spinoza-price projects Vossen: SPI 30-673 (2014-2019)
    • The goal of the Spinoza project “Understanding of language by machines” (ULM) is to develop computer models that can assign deeper meaning to language that approximates human understanding and to use these models to automatically read and understand text. Current approaches to natural language understanding consider language as a closed-world of relations between words. Words and text are however highly ambiguous and vague. People do not notice this ambiguity when using language within their social communicative context. This project tries to get a better understanding of the scope and complexity of this ambiguity and how to model the social communicative contexts to help resolving it. The project is divided into 4 subprojects, each investigating a different aspect of assigning meaning:

  • A methodology and ecosystem for many-core programming, NLeSC, 2017
    • Member of the project team.
  • Deep models of semantic knowledge (DemoSem), National Science Fund Ministry of Education and Science, Bulgaria (2016)
    • Member of the research team of this project which main goal is to study and create adequate linguistic models with deep mathematical methods over the semantic knowledge in lexicons and texts.
      As a key element of the high-quality semantic management we consider the Word Sense Disambiguation which will be used as an experimental approach for testing the designed models.
  • CLARIAH: Nationale roadmap grootschalige onderzoeksfaciliteiten NWO (2015-2019)
    • Member of the Kernteam and Technical officer within WP3 of CLARIAH responsible for the theme Interoperability.
  • From text to Deep Data: AAA Data Science Program (2015-2019)
    • Project coordinator of this project which aims to develop 1) a perspective model for representing the subjective relation between the source of information and the statements, and 2) software to detect such interpersonal communication layers and perspectives from text. The project will transform big unstructured text data into deep data that show the emotions, opinions and view points on the changing world. It will reveal the social networks and dynamics within trust networks that influence our world views.
  • Visualizing uncertainty and perspectives: Netherlands eScience Center project (2015-2016)
    • Project coordinator of this project which aims to develop a tool that visualizes subjectivity, perspective and uncertainty to make them controllable variables in Humanities research. The tool should allow users to compare information from different sources representing alternative perspectives and visualize subjectivity and uncertainty. Such a visualization enables improved and comprehensive source criticism, provides new directions of research and strengthens the methodology of digital humanities.
  • e-Humanities Amsterdam (2013-ongoing)
    • Project Leader on behalf of the VU University in the Centre for Digital Humanities Amsterdam: a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the VU University of Amsterdam and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Within the field of Digital Humanities, researchers and students focus on digital or digitized sources and methods of research. Digital data concerning language, art, music, literature and media allow researchers to discovers new patterns, concepts and motives, eventually raising new research questions.†The Centre for Digital Humanities Amsterdam facilitates so-called embedded research projects, in which research questions from the humanities are approached by using techniques and concepts out of the fields of Digital Humanities. In these short and intensive projects, which last between 6 and 12 months, researchers collaborate with private partners and deliver proof-of-concepts. The centre preferably initiates embedded research projects in the context of larger projects in which expertise from the humanities and industry is brought together.
  • OpenSourceWordnet: grant Taalunie (2013-2014) and ongoing
    • Global WordNet Grid: a GWA Project (2006-ongoing)
      • In 2006 Vossen launched the Global Wordnet Grid: the building of a complete free worldwide wordnet grid. This grid will be build around a shared set of concepts, such as the Common Base Concepts used in many wordnet projects. These concepts will be expressed in terms of Wordnet synsets and SUMO definitions. People from all language communities are invited to upload synsets from their language to the Grid. Gradually, the Grid will then be represented by all languages. The Grid will be available to everybody and will be distributed completely free.
    • Global Wordnet Association (2000-ongoing)
      • Vossen is Founder and President of the Global WordNet Association. He founded GWA (with Christiane Fellbaum of Princeton University) in 2000 as a public and non-commercial organization that provides a platform for discussing, sharing and connecting wordnets for all languages in the world. For more information see: