Dr. Dhaval Thakker

Lecturer, University of Bradford
Horton D5.06b, Faculty of Engineering & Informatics
Bradford BD7 1DP, UK
Email: d.thakker@bradford.ac.uk Extension: 4578

Menu: Highlights | Biography | Research | Projects | PhD Current/Prospective Students | Teaching | Publications | Professional Activities | Knowledge Transfer Opportunities

[Recent] Highlights


I am a Lecturer in Computer Science at University of Bradford, United Kingdom. I have over ten years of experience in the European Union(EU) and industrial R & D projects delivering innovative solutions. At University of Bradford, I am conducting research on topics related to Semantic Web, Internet of Things(IoT), and Big Data. I also hold a visiting (senior) research fellow position with the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Prior to joining Bradford, I worked as a Research Fellow (2011 to 2015) at the University of Leeds and was leading semantic web related research in work packages in several EU projects like the EU FP7 NeTTUN, ImREAL and DICODE. Previously, I was a Research and Development Consultant (2008-2011) with Press Association , UK. I have a PhD (2008) in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham Trent, UK and an MSc(2004) in Data Communication Systems from the Brunel University, UK.

I conduct research in the following areas:

  • Semantic Web
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Exploring Big Data
  • Data/Text Mining
  • User Modelling and Personalisation

See the research section for more details.

My research is applied in the following application areas:

  • Circular Economy
  • Health
  • Smart Cities
  • Learning
  • Media Industries

I have extensively published on these topics in international conferences and journals such as ISWC,IUI, FOIS, UMAP, ICWS, JASIST and ESWC, including best paper awards at premier conferences in semantic web and web services. I am a founding chair of a workshop on Intelligent exploration of big data using semantics. I was a co-chair of the 2015 UK ontology network.

This website provides information on my research and professional activities including publications. If you are looking to work with me as a PhD student, please read this. If you are a company, looking to explore knowledge transfer opportunities in any of the areas related to his research, please read this .


My research interests involve the following:

  • Semantic Web/Linked Data: I am interested in all aspects of semantic web technologie and carry out research in broad range of problems including intuitive ontology authoring, methodologies for designing ontologies in cognitive complex domains including culture and interpersonal communication, building semantic text mining pipelines to improve precision and recall, hybridisation of semantics and data mining, and knowledge extraction from linked data.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): I am interested in the data and middleware issues in IoT architectures and their solution using semantics and data mining, including problems such as data/meta-data modelling, provenance, sensor stream processing, heterogeneous data integration, and processing
  • Big Data Exploration: Big data problems where users are trying to make sense of big/complex data by the means of exploration. I introduced an innovative concept of ‘semantic nudges’ to aid exploration, where nudges offer ‘personalised exploration paths’ helping users to make informed exploration choices. Applications in ‘learning’ and ’self-management’ domains. I am a co-founder of a workshop series on this topic (in the fourth edition this year, last two years at ISWC). This research is interdisciplinary involving behavioral science models looking at influencing browsing behaviours and models supporting self-management

Publications are listed on DBLP and Google scholar. Most of those papers as well as my PhD thesis are about Web services & IoT, Semantic Web, User modelling, and Big data.


List of projects I am currently involved with:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Semantics for Circular Economy data management- with Dr. Jyoti Mishra (School of Management,Bradford)
  • Building Ontology of Culture and Interpersonal Communications - with Dr Stan Karanasios (Leeds University Business School), Dr Emmanuel G. Blanchard ( IDU Interactive Inc.), Dr. Vania Dimitrova (University of Leeds), Dr Lydia Lau (University of Leeds) [details]
  • NeTTUN (New Technologies for Tunneling and Underground Works) is a EU funded project. My work is focused on using semantic web and sensor technologies to build a tunnel maintenance decision supports sytems. This work is carried out with University of Leeds and SNCF, France. [details]
  • ImREAL (Immersive Reflective Experience-based Adaptive Learning) is funded from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no ICT 257831.The project develops a socio-technical approach to making sense of user-generated content (UGC) in order to improve simulators. This work was carried out with University of Leeds, Leeds Business School, Trinity College Dublin, and TU Delft. [details]
  • Dicode - Mastering Data-Intensive Collaboration and Decision Making is an EU project The goal of the Dicode project is to facilitate and augment collaboration and decision making in data-intensive and cognitively-complex settings. This work was carried out with Image Medical Analysis (IMA) UK, and University of Patras, Greece. [details]

Current and Prospective PhD students

PhD students:

  • Marwan Al-Tawil Thesis title: Intelligent exploration of heterogeneous datasets (with Dr Dimitrova - University of Leeds)
  • Dimoklis Despotakis Thesis title: Viewpoint Semantics (now with BBC, UK)

MSc students

  • Ross Fenning, BBC. title: TBA
  • Gaye EDIBOGLU title: Extending a Semantic Data Browser with Cultural Prompts
  • Odoma Michael title: Enriching Semantic Browsers with Linked Data: A Benchmarking Study Completed
  • Parvez Shaik title: Signposting For Exploratory Search In Linked Semantic Data Completed
  • Bala C. Development of a Hybrid Mobile Application for Job Application Market

Currently, I have PhD vacancies at University of Bradford on various topics on Internet of Things, Circular Economy, Semantic Web. If you are interested, best to get in touch with your CV.


I am an associate program leader for the MSc in Mobile applications. I teach the following subjects:

  • Advanced Programming with Mobile Devices
  • Mobile Applications
  • Internet of Things (IoT) - from 2017



  • Prem Prakash Jayaramani, Charith Perera, Dimitrios Georgakopoulos, Schahram Dustdar, Dhavalkumar Thakker, Rajiv Ranjn. Analytics-as-a-Service in a Multi-Cloud Environment through Semantically-enabled Hierarchical Data Processing. Accepted for the Journal of Software: Practice and Experience. Wiley & Sons.
  • Al-Tawil, M., Dimitrova, V., Thakker, D. Bennet, B. Identifying Knowledge Anchors in a Data Graph. Accepted for the Hypertext 2016 conference
  • Dhavalkumar Thakker, Fan Yang-Turner, and Dimoklis Despotakis. 2016. User Interaction with Linked Data: An Exploratory Search Approach. International Journal of Distribated Systems Technologies 7(1) (January 2016), 79-91.


  • Thakker, D., Dimitrova, V.,Cohn, A.G., Valdes, J. PADTUN-Using semantic technologies in Tunnel Diagnosis and Maintenance Domain. To appear in the proceedings of European Semantic Web Conference(ESWC 2015) 2015, 31 May-4 June, 2015, Portoroz, Slovenia. !!Winner of the Best In-Use paper award!! [PDF]
  • Al-Tawil, M., Dimitrova, V., Thakker, D. Using Basic Level Concepts in a Linked Data Graph to Detect User's Domain Familiarity. To appear in the User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalisation (UMAP 2015) Conference Late Breaking results, Dublin, Ireland, 29th June - 3 July 2015.
  • Thakker, D., Dimitrova, V.,Cohn, A.G., Valdes, J. & Hart, G. PADTUN: Tunnel Diagnosis and Maintenance Ontologies, Accepted for the UK Ontology Network (UKON 2015), Leeds, 14 April, 2015.


  • Al-Tawil, M; Thakker, D.; Dimitrova, V. Nudging to Expand User’s Domain Knowledge while Exploring Linked Data. Accepted for the IESD workshop at ISWC conference, Riva Del Garda, Italy, 20 October
  • Osman, T; Thakker, D.; Schaefer, G.  Utilising semantic technologies for intelligent indexing and retrieval of digital images,Journal of Computing,96(7), pp 651-668 ,2014.
  • Thakker, D., Lau, L., Denaux, R., Dimitrova, V.,Brna, P., , Steiner, C. Using DBpedia as a Knowledge Source for Culture-related User Modelling Questionnaires. To appear in the proceedings of UMAP’14, July 7-11, 2014, Aalborg, Denmark.
  • Denaux, R., Dimitrova, V., Lau, L., Brna, P., Thakker. D., Steiner, C. Employing Linked Data and Dialogue for Modelling Cultural Awareness of a User. To appear in the proceedings of IUI’14, February 24–27, 2014, Haifa, Israel.
  • Thakker, D., Dimitrova, Lau, L., Despotakis, D., Yang-Turner, F. Making Sense of Linked Data: A Semantic Exploration Approach. To appear in the book Mastering Data-Intensive Collaboration and Decision Making, Springer, 978-3-319-02611-4 (2014)


  • Thakker, D.A., Kozaki,K., Dimitrova, V., Jameson, T., Mizoguchi, R. (2013). Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Intelligent Exploration of Semantic Data (IESD 2013) at the Hypertext 2013, Paris, France, 1 May, 2013.
  • Yang-Turner, F., Lau, L., Dimitrova, V., Thakker, D. (2013). Profiling Exploratory Browsing Behaviour with  a Semantic Data Browser. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Americas Conference on Information Systems(AMCIS 2013), Chicago, Illinois, August 15-17, 2013.[pdf]
  • Thakker, D.A, Dimitrova V.,Lau, L.,Yang-Turner, F. Despotakis, D. (2013) Assisting User Browsing over Linked Data: Requirements Elicitation with a User Study. To appear in the proceedings of the International Conference on Web Enginnering(ICWE2013), Aalborg, Denmark, July 8-12.
  • Karanasios, S., Thakker, D. A., Lau, L., Allen, D., Dimitrova, V., Norman, A. (2013) Making Sense of Digital Traces: An Activity Theory Driven Ontological Approach. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).  (PDF)
  • Despotakis, D., Dimitrova V.,  Lau, L. Thakker, D.A., Ascolose, A., &  Pannese, L. (2013) ViewS in User Generated Content for Enriching Learning Environments: A Semantic Sensing Approach. Accepted as Full paper at the conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED 2013), Memphis, USA.
  • Despotakis, D., Dimitrova V.,  Lau, L. &  Thakker, D.A. (2013). Semantic Aggregation and Zooming of User Viewpoints in Social Media Content, Accepted for the publication in the proceedings of the User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalization (UMAP2013) conference, Rome, Italy, June 10-14.
  • Dimitrova V.,Lau, L.,Thakker, D.A, Yang-Turner, F. Despotakis, D. (2013) Exploring Exploratory Search: A User Study with Linked Semantic Data. To appear in the proceedings of the ACM workshop on Intelligent Exploration of Semantic Data(IESD2013). In conjunction with the ACM conference on Hypertext 2013, Paris, France, May 1-3.


  • Osman, T., Thakker, D. A., & Nathan, M. (2011). Research Notes on the Practical Deployment of Semantic Knowledge Bases. In 12th European Conference on Knowledge Management ECKM 2011 Vol. 1. Passau, Germany.
  • Denaux, R., Thakker, D. A., Dimitrova, V., & Cohn, A. (2011). Entendre: Interactive Semantic Feedback for Ontology Authoring (Demo). In 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011). Bonn, Germany. [pdf]
  • Thakker, D. A., Dimitrova, V., Lau, L., Denaux, R., Karanasios, S., & Yang-Turner, F. (2011,). A Priori Ontology Modularisation in Ill-defined Domains. In I-Semantics (7th International Conference on Semantic Systems). Graz, Austria. [pdf]
  • Karanasios, S., Thakker, D. A. (2011). Capturing Real World Activity: A Socio-Technical Approach. In E-challenges conference. Florence, Italy.
  • Thakker, D. A., Yang-Turner, F., Lau, L., & Dimitrova, V. (2011). Socio-technical Ontology Development for Modelling Sensemaking in Heterogeneous Domains. In Workshop on "Ontologies Come of Age in the Semantic Web" [OCAS2011] at the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC). Bonn, Germany. [pdf]


  • Thakker, D. A., Gohil, S., Osman, T., & Lakin, P. (2010). A Pragmatic Approach to Semantic Repositories Benchmarking. In ESWC 2010 (7th Extended Semantic Web conference 2010) conference (pp. 379-393). Heraklion, Greece.[pdf]
  • Stephens, M.,Thakker, D. A. (2010). Press Association Images – Image Retrieval Challenges. In H. Müller, P. Clough, & T. Deselaers (Eds.), ImageCLEF (pp. 541 pages). Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
  • Osman, T., Thakker, D., & Schaefer, G. (2010). Semantics-Based Intelligent Indexing and Retrieval of Digital Images–A Case Study. In Emergent Web Intelligence: Advanced Information Retrieval (pp. 117-134). Springer London.


  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., & Al-Dabass, D..(2009), Utilisation of Case-Based Reasoning for Semantic Web Services Composition. International Journal of Intelligent Information Technologies5(1).
  • Thakker, D. A., Broadley, L., & Young, I. (2009). Using query logs at PA Images. In In the proceedings of QLA(Query Log Analysis) Workshop 2009. London, UK.


  • Thakker, D. A., Schaefer, G., Osman, T., Geslin, T., & Kiffer, P. (2008). Semantic-based Expansion of Image Retrieval Queries. In OntoImage 2008: 2nd Workshop on Language Resources for Content-Based Image Retrieval in the 6th Conference on Language Resource & Evaluation (LREC 2008) (pp. 12-18). Marrakech.
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., & Al-Dabass, D. (2008). Semantic-Driven Matchmaking and Composition of Web services using Case-Based Reasoning. In fifth IEEE European Web Services Conference (ECOWS 2007) (pp. 67-76). Halle, Germany: IEEE Computer Society.
  • Thakker, D. A., Lakin, P., Schaefer, G., & Osman, T. (2007). An Integrative Semantic Framework for Image Annotation and Retrieval. In IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence WI 2007 (pp. 366-373). IEEE/WIC/ACM. [pdf]
  • Osman, T., Thakker, D. A. & Al-Dabass, D. (2007). Web Services Hybrid Dynamic Composition Models For Enterprise. In W. H. Lam, & V. Shankararaman (Eds.), Enterprise architecture and integration (pp. 240-254). Information Science Reference.
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., Schaefer, G., Leroy, M., & Fournier, A. (2007). Semantic Annotation And Retrieval of Image Collections. In 21st European Conference on Modelling and Simulation. Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Yang, Y., Thakker, D. A., Claramunt, C., & Osman, T. (2006). Semantic Spatial Web Services with Case-Based Reasoning. In the 6th International Symposium on Web and Wireless Geographical Information Systems (W2GIS 2006) (pp. 247-258). Hongkong, China: Springer Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science.
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., Al-Dabass, D., Lazer, D., & Deleplanque, G. (2006). Semantic-Driven Matchmaking of Web services using Case-Based Reasoning. In the fourth IEEE International Conference on Web Services (ICWS 2006) (pp. 29-36). Chicago, USA. !!Runner-up Best Student paper award!!
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., & Al-Dabass, D. (2006). S-CBR: Semantic Case Based Reasoner for Web services discovery and matchmaking. In 20th European Conference on Modeling and Simulation (ECMS 2006) (pp. 723-729). Bonn, Germany.
  • Thakker, D. A. (2006). Semantics based automatic assignment in Web services composition. In 9th International Conference on Computer Modeling and Simulation Conference (pp. 67-72). Oxford, UK.
  • Thakker, D. A. (2006). Web Services Hybrid Dynamic Composition Models for Ubiquitous Computing Networks. InIEEE 8th Int. Conf. on Advanced Communication Technology (pp. 274-280). Phoenix Park, Korea.


  • Osman, T., Thakker, D. A.& Al-Dabass, D. (2005). Bridging the Gap between Workflow and Semantic-based Web services Composition. In Workshop on WWW Service Composition with Semantic Web Services 2005 (wscomps05), the 2005 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Joint Conference on Web Intelligence (WI 2005) and Intelligent Agent Technology (IAT 2005) (pp. 13-23). Compiègne, France.
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., & Al-Dabass, D. (2005). Web services Composition: A Pragmatic View of the present and the future. In 19th European Conference on Modeling and Simulation (pp. 826-832). Riga, Latvia.
  • Thakker, D. A., Osman, T., & Al-Dabass, D. (2005). Private UDDI registry models for B2B Web Services. In Eighth United Kingdom Simulation Society (UKSIM) Conference (pp. 13-16).

Professional Activities


Knowledge Transfer Opportunities

I am always interested in hearing from industry to learn about problems that require R & D solutions in the areas of Mobile & Internet of Things (IoT), Text/Data Mining, Semantic search, and Decision support systems. We have a number of funding schemes that might interest you:

  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships - An excellent Industry and University partnership scheme with partial government funding. See this for details.
  • Innovate UK funding that contributes towards the cost of doing project with us. They always have funding calls to help all industry sectors and types from SMEs to large organisations.
  • Over the years, I have worked with numerous companies and I am always happy to hear from them to offer consutancy, advice or custom-made projects.

If you are interested in exploring any of these opportunities or even curious to find out more information, please get in touch.

copyright: Dhaval Thakker | Template acknowlegement: Fabian Abel @ Xing, Bootstrap and few others | Last updated: 18/12/2015 disclaimer: All the logos are the property of the organisation they represent.