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wouter_thumbnail_05Biography

Wouter Van den Broeck first worked as an independent designer and was active in a non-profit organization called Amphion, which he founded together with Dimitri Vermeiren. In 1996, Wouter co-founded Amphion Multi-Media, a new-media design studio in which he was active till 2000. He has since been operating under the name Addith.

In 1995 Wouter launched his first website called Kamers met Zicht (rooms with a view), later renamed to simply Amphion. This site was dedicated to contemporary non-mainstream culture in Antwerp, with a mild focus on electronic music, DJ culture and nightlife. It was initially hosted on Digitale Metropool Antwerpen, the then brand new online portal of the city of Antwerp.

Besides working on the cultural content projects hosted in the Amphion mother-site, Wouter also designed and developed various websites and CD/ROMs for cultural and corporate clients. He also collaborated on digital art projects, notably with Boy & Erik Stappaerts on the B&E Museum virtualization and CD/Rom project.

media-programme-logo-180In 1999, Wouter left Amphion to pursue a new project for which he obtained the support of the MEDIA programme of the European Union. The objective of this project was to perform the initial R&D for a dynamic narrative media product called ComplekCity. This product was meant to be deployed on a computational medium, just like computer games. Unlike games however, the focus would be on narrative instead of competition and eye-hand coordination skills. The narrative engine was to operate on a dynamic semantic network in which all relevant relations in the narrative domain were encoded. This network was to be authored such that it formed a complex system on the «edge of chaos». The idea was (and still is) that the narrative would emerge through the spectator’s interaction with this dynamic system.

vub-logo-smallAfter having worked on this project for almost two years, and having learned a lot, Wouter concluded he lacked the necessary programming skills and understanding of artificial intelligence to further pursue his dynamic narrative plans. After brief stints in Amsterdam and California, refining his Flash programming skills on a multi-user interaction/gaming framework, Wouter decided to enroll as a computer science student at the VUB university of Brussels.

Sony CSL logo

Four years later he graduated summa cum laude and was invited to join the language team in the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris to engage in pre-doctoral research. This team builds on a pioneering line of research led by Luc Steels. It investigates the ways in which artificial agents can self-organize a language with natural-language like properties. This long-term project currently focusses on the emergence of grammar. Wouter’s contribution deals with the compositional meaning aspect of this problem. Over the course of two years, he developed a constraint-based system that can represent, interpret, conceptualize and learn compositional meaning. Although this system is primarily meant to be used in multi-agent experiments in emergent grammar, Wouter hopes to one day pursue some of the other potential applications he has in mind.

isi-logoIn April 2008, Wouter joined the Complex Networks unit of the Complex Systems Lagrange Laboratory at the Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI) in Torino, Italy (locate ISI in Google Earth.) This group routinely blends statistical physics and computer science in order to study the topology and behaviour of complex systems. Wouter’s work focussed on the visualization of complex dynamic systems, gradually integrating his scientific and design personas.

From october 2012 Wouter started teaching for the new professional bachelor programme in multimedia and communication technology in the Design & Technology department of the Erasmus University College Brussels (Erasmushogeschool Brussel) in Belgium. He lectures an introductory creative programming course and advanced courses on data visualisation and interactive storytelling. Next to this lecturing, Wouter is also involved in research on data visualisation for wearable devices.

Curriculum Vitae

Wouter’s Curriculum Vitae (57KB PDF) provides a more detailed overview of his professional experience, artistic accomplishments, education, press coverage, etc.

Academic publications

  1. Empirical temporal networks of face-to-face human interactions. A. Barrat, C. Cattuto, V. Colizza, F. Gesualdo, L. Isella, E. Pandolfi, J.-F. Pinton, L. Rava, C. Rizzo, M. Romano, J. Stehlé, A.E. Tozzi, W. Van den Broeck. European Physical Journal Special Topics, Vol. 222, 1295, 01/2013. document webpage
  2. The making of Sixty-Nine Days Of Close Encounters At The Science Gallery. Wouter Van den Broeck, Marco Quaggiotto, Lorenzo Isella, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto. Leonardo, Vol. 45, No. 3, 201­2. document webpage
  3. On the Dynamics of Human Proximity for Data Diffusion in Ad-Hoc Networks. André Panisson, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Giancarlo Ruffo, and Rossano Schifanella. Ad Hoc Networks, doi: 10.1016/ j.adhoc.2011.06.003, 11/2012. [IF: 1.59] webpage
  4. High-Resolution Measurements of Face-to-Face Contact Patterns in a Primary School. Juliette Stehlé, Nicolas Voirin, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Lorenzo Isella, Jean-François Pinton, Marco Quaggiotto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Corinne Régis, Bruno Lina and Philippe Vanhems. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23176. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023176, 08/2011. [IF: 4.411] PDF document document webpage
  5. Simulation of an SEIR infectious disease model on the dynamic contact network of conference attendees. Juliette Stehlé, Nicolas Voirin, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Vittoria Colizza, Lorenzo Isella, Corinne Régis, Jean-François Pinton, Nagham Khanafer, Wouter Van den Broeck, and Philippe Vanhems. BMC Medicine, 9(87), 07/2011. [IF: 5.75]download document webpage
  6. Using wearable electronic sensors for assessing contacts between individuals in various environments. N. Voirin, J. Stehlé, A. Barrat, C. Cattuto, L. Isella, J.-F. Pinton, M. Quaggiotto, N. Khanafer, W. Van den Broeck, C. Régis, B. Lina en P. Vanhems. BMC proceedings; International Conference on Prevention & Infection Control (ICPIC 2011); 5:1-1. DOI:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S6-O51, 29/06/2011. webpage download document
  7. Close Encounters in a Pediatric Ward: Measuring Face-to-Face Proximity and Mixing Patterns with Wearable Sensors. Lorenzo Isella, Mariateresa Romano, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Vittoria Colizza, Wouter Van den Broeck, Francesco Gesualdo, Elisabetta Pandolfi, Lucilla Ravà, Caterina Rizzo, Alberto Eugenio Tozzi. PLoS ONE 6(2): e17144. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017144, 03/2011. [IF: 4.411] webpage download document
  8. What’s in a crowd? Analysis of face-to-face behavioral networks. Lorenzo Isella, Juliette Stehlé, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Jean-François Pinton, and Wouter Van den Broeck. Journal of Theoretical Biology. Volume 271, Issue 1, p. 166-180, 21/02/2011. [IF: 2.371] webpage
  9. The GLEaMviz computational tool, a publicly available software to explore realistic epidemic spreading scenarios at the global scale. Wouter Van den Broeck, Corrado Gioannini, Bruno Goncalves, Marco Quaggiotto, Vittoria Colizza and Alessandro Vespignani. BMC Infectious Diseases, 11:37doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-37, 02/02/2011. [IF: 2.83] webpage
  10. Wearable sensor networks for measuring face-to-face contact patterns in healthcare settings. Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Vittoria Colizza, Lorenzo Isella, Caterina Rizzo, Alberto E. Tozzi and Wouter Van den Broeck. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International ICST Conference on Electronic Healthcare for the 21st century (eHealth 2010). Casablanca, Morocco, December 2010. (Won conference best paper award)  webpage
  11. Social dynamics in conferences: Analysis of data from the Live Social Semantics application. Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, Martin Szomszor, Wouter Van den Broeck, and Harith Alani. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Semantic Web Conference, 2010. webpage download document
  12. Providing Enhanced Social Interaction Services for Industry Exhibitors at large Medical Conferences. Martin Szomszor, Patty Kostkova, Ciro Cattuto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Alain Barrat, and Harith Alani. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Developments in eSystems Engineering (DeSE 2010), 6-8 September 2010, London. webpage download document
  13. Dynamics of Person-to-Person Interactions from Distributed RFID Sensor Networks. Ciro Cattuto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Alain Barrat, Vittoria Colizza, Jean-François Pinton, and Alessandro Vespignani. PLoS ONE 5(7): e11596. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0011596, July 2010.  [IF: 4.351] webpage download document
  14. Semantics, sensors, and the social web: The live social semantics experiments. Martin Szomszor, Ciro Cattuto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Alain Barrat, and Harith Alani. The Semantic Web: Research and Applications, p. 196-210. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 6089/2010, 196-210, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-13489-0_14. Springer Berlin/Heidelberg. download document download document
  15. The Live Social Semantics application: a platform for integrating face-to-face presence with on-line social networking. Wouter Van den Broeck, Ciro Cattuto, Alain Barrat, Martin Szomsor, Gianluca Correndo, and Harith Alani. Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Communication, Collaboration and Social Networking in Pervasive Computing Environments, PerCol 2010. download document
  16. Modeling the critical care demand and antibiotics resources needed during the Fall 2009 wave of influenza A(H1N1) pandemic
    Duygu Balcan, Vittoria Colizza, Andrew C. Singer, Christos Chouaid, Hao Hu, Bruno Gonçalves, Paolo Bajardi, Chiara Poletto, José J. Ramasco, Nicola Perra, Michele Tizzoni, Daniela Paolotti, Wouter Van den Broeck, A.-J. Valleron, and Alessandro Vespignani. PLoS Currents: Influenza. 2009 Dec 4, RRN1133. download document
  17. Estimate of Novel Influenza A/H1N1 cases in Mexico at the early stage of the pandemic with a spatially structured epidemic model. Vittoria Colizza, Alessandro Vespignani, Nicola Perra, Chiara Poletto, Bruno Gonçalves, Hao Hu, Duygu Balcan, Daniela Paolotti, Wouter Van den Broeck, Michele Tizzoni, Paolo Bajardi, and José J. Ramasco. PLoS Currents: Influenza. 2009 Nov 11:RRN1129. download document
  18. Modeling vaccination campaigns and the Fall/Winter 2009 activity of the new A(H1N1) influenza in the Northern Hemisphere. Paulo Bajardi, Chiara Poletto, Duygu Balcan, Hao Hu, Bruno Goncalves, José J. Ramasco, Daniela Paolotti, Nicola Perra, Michele Tizzoni, Wouter Van den Broeck, Vittoria Colizza and Alessandro Vespignani. Emerging Health Threats Journal 2009, 2:e11. doi: 10.3134/ehtj.09.011. download document
  19. Seasonal transmission potential and activity peaks of the new influenza A(H1N1): a Monte Carlo likelihood analysis based on human mobility. Duygu Balcan, Hao Hu, Bruno Goncalves, Paolo Bajardi, Chiara Poletto, José J. Ramasco, Daniela Paolotti, Nicola Perra, Michele Tizzoni, Wouter Van den Broeck, Vittoria Colizza, and Alessandro Vespignani. BMC Medicine 2009, 7:45. [IF:5.75] download document download document
  20. Live Social Semantics. Harith Alani, Martin Szomsor, Ciro Cattuto, Wouter Van den Broeck, Gianluca Correndo, Alain Barrat. 8th International Semantic Web Conference ISWC2009. download document
  21. Constraint-based Compositional Semantics. Wouter Van den Broeck. In Andrew D. M. Smith and Kenny Smith and Ramon Ferrer i Chancho, editor, The Evolution of Language: Evolang 7, 2008. World Scientific. download document
  22. A constraint-based model of grounded compositional semantics. Wouter Van den Broeck. In Luis Seabra Lopes, Tony Belpaeme, Stephen J. Cowley, editor, Language and Robots: Proceedings of the Symposium. 10-12 December 2007, Aveiro, Portugal, December 2007. Universidade de Aveiro. download document
  23. Is Scale-Free a Realistic Topology for Evolving Biochemical Networks. H. Bersini, T. Lenaerts and W. Van den Broeck. In J.F.F. Mendes, S.N. Dorogovtsev, A. Povolotsky, F.V. Abreu and J.G. Oliveira, Science of Complex Networks. AIP Conference Proceedings 776:227-251, 2005. download document

Selected talks