faceted search

Design and Development of an Advanced Faceted Search System

Project Scope

Faceted search is a dominant interaction paradigm that enables users to filter items by different attributes (facets).

Many of today's web-based search systems make use of it, e.g., to reduce the number of retrieved items to a number of items that is a) more manageable and b) more relevant for the user.

However, today's faceted search interfaces differ considerably in their usability and usefulness - some existing web-based examples are simply annoying to use (you will find out).

Project Goal

The ultimate goal of this Masters Project is to design and develop an advanced Faceted Search System that overcomes the major drawbacks of today's web-based systems.

For that purpose, the capabilities of the system will also be inspired by novel methodological and technical advances in IVDA research (you will receive guidance here).

The system should be both usable and useful.


Work Tasks:

  1. Study how today's online shops fail with faceted search
  2. Identify requirements for a usable and useful faceted search tool with respect to visualization and interaction design
  3. Design and develop a Web-based faceted search tool
  4. Validate the tool with real-world datasets and users

Organizational Information

The project will be supervised by Prof. Jürgen Bernard.

Ideally, the project should start at the end of April 2022 and the duration of the project will be no longer than 8 months. A group of ~3 students will be working on the project.

The project language is English, therefore, you are required to have good English knowledge (written and oral).

The programming languages of the project are not yet defined and are up for discussion by the project team (preferably Python or Java for the back end and JavaScript for the front end). The code will be versioned through GitLab and the tool will be hosted on the IFI server.

If possible (depending on the COVID situation), regular meetings will be held on-site.

The ultimate goal of the project would be to submit a paper at the end of 2022, therefore students with a research interest are preferred.

Your profile

You should have the following skills for this project:

  • Profound programming skills (preferably with Python, Java and/or JavaScript), ideally with full-stack background
  • Basic knowledge of databases (e.g. how to write a database statement to retrieve data)
  • Experience in working with version control systems (e.g. Git, we will be using GitLab)
  • Interest in research

In addition, it would be nice if you have experience in one of the following areas (but it is not a must):

  • UI / UX design
  • Testing (e.g. Unit Testing)
  • DevOps such as CI/CD and application deployment
  • REST or any other framework that supports the communication between the back and front end
  • CSS and HTML
  • Front end frameworks such as ReactJS, Angular, Material Design, Bootstrap
  • Back end frameworks such as Django, Flask, Spring

How to Apply / Contact

The topic will be assigned through the "Master Project Market" in Spring 2022. Watch out for the event sop that you don't miss it!

Interested students should send their complete application to Prof. Jürgen Bernard.

Applications should include:

  • Short, informal letter of motivation including your expectation for the project, the skills you want to learn, and your experience with data visualizations (if any)
  • CV
  • Transcript of records from your Master's and Bachelor's Degree

If you have any questions about the project, please feel free to contact  Prof. Jürgen Bernard.