Bridging the gap between users and data.

Athena Research Center
Athens, Greece
Data is considered the 21st century's most valuable commodity and is growing at an exponential rate. Despite technological advances both in the data exploration and data management domains, our ability to leverage data still falls behind in bridging the chasm between users and data.

Our research emerges at the intersection of data management, deep learning, natural language processing, and the ethical aspects of AI. We are specifically investigating how AI can help us build tools that enable seamless access to different types of data: This starts from the lowest level of how to understand data and queries and learn how to best process user queries, going up the data stack closer to the user, where the goal is to understand user intention and enable a more natural dialogue with the data, while ensuring that fairness and ethical considerations are integral to this process.

Research Areas


Mar 25, 2024 We are over the moon to share that our latest work, “Optimizing Neighborhoods for Fair Top-N Recommendation”, has been accepted at UMAP’24 held in Sardinia, Italy! It is time to pack the sunscreen and grab those sunglasses—we are bringing fairness in recommenders to the beach 🏖️
Mar 10, 2024 We are thrilled to announce that our research paper, “Guided SQL-based Data Exploration with User Feedback”, has been accepted at ICDE’24!
Nov 23, 2023 Ismini Bouliari just defended her master thesis, “Mitigating Popularity Bias in Recommender Systems: A Hybrid Approach with KoalaRec”. Time to pop the champagne and celebrate🍾🎉
Nov 20, 2023 ScienceBenchmark has been accepted at VLDB’24! This is a joint work with ZHAW on Text-to-SQL benchmarking and data augmentation for complex scientific DBs.
Sep 29, 2023 Our paper “QPSeeker: An Efficient Neural Planner Combining Both Data and Queries through Variational Inference” has been accepted at EDBT/ICDT 2024!

Selected Publications

  1. EDBT
    QPSeeker: An Efficient Neural Planner Combining Both Data and Queries through Variational Inference
    In Proceedings 27th International Conference on Extending Database Technology, EDBT 2024, Paestum, Italy, March 25 - March 28
  2. VLDBJ
    A Survey on Deep Learning Approaches for Text-to-SQL
    The VLDB Journal
  3. VLDB
    DatAgent: The Imminent Age of Intelligent Data Assistants
    Proceedings of the VLDB Endowment