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News Article | December 23, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Rockaway Capital SE ("Rockaway Capital") today announced that it has signed an agreement with the administrator Prof. Dr. Lucas F. Flöther in his capacity as insolvency administrator of Unister to acquire former Unister travel assets consisting of some of the best-known brands in the German travel market: ab-in-den-urlaub.de (AIDU), reisen.de, billigfluege.de, reisegeier.de, urlaubstours.de, hotelreservierung.de and TravelViva. These leading online travel platforms will seamlessly continue to offer all of their services to customers on a high quality level. Building on the new foundations that have been created in the last few months, Rockaway Capital will implement a new compliance and corporate governance structure at the acquired assets to support the new beginning and further growth. The parties involved have agreed not to disclose financial details of the transaction. Rockaway Capital is the leading internet investor in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) focusing on e-commerce and internet companies with high growth potential. With the online travel agency (OTA) Invia, Rockaway Capital already operates a well-established brand and a leading player in the CEE travel market. The acquired assets strategically fit Rockaway Capital's ambitions to gain a foothold on the German market, to complement its portfolio and to expand its service offerings - for the benefit of customers who will have access to a wider range of high quality services. "As Invia and the former Unister companies, especially AIDU, have the same business model, our focus will be on leveraging combined forces and expertise with the vision to create a pan-European OTA leader. Our proven technology and superior know-how will allow us to provide the best service to up to 140 million existing and potential customers in Germany and beyond", says Jaroslaw Czernek, Investment Partner at Rockaway Capital and Chairman at Invia. Rockaway Capital is fully committed to the German travel market and will take over all of the about 520 remaining travel business employees. With a large talent pool and strong management team in place, Rockaway Capital is in an ideal position to take the travel platforms to the next level. Insolvency administrator Prof. Dr. Lucas F. Flöther says: "Given its expertise in the travel sector, operational and financial strength, I consider Rockaway an ideal partner and I am confident that the new owner will unlock the acquired assets' potential." The creditor committee has given their consent to the acquisition. The transaction is jointly financed by Rockaway Capital and CEFC, Rockaway Capital's passive strategic financial partner for investments in the travel sector. "The investment in the German online travel agency ab-in-den-urlaub.de and the online airline-ticket seller fluege.de is a great opportunity and fits with our travel-industry development strategy. Through these companies, we also want to use the potential presented by growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Europe. We also plan to use the synergies and opportunities that our investment will provide in the areas of the travel industry, air transport and the hotel industry," reinforces Marcela Hrdá, executive vice-president of CEFC Europe. The former Unister travel assets will be acquired by the holding company Rockaway Capital Travel. The closing of the transaction is scheduled for the beginning of 2017. Founded by aspiring entrepreneur Jakub Havrlant in 2013, Rockaway Capital is a true Central and Eastern European success story. Rockaway Capital's focus is on building, investing in and buying promising internet companies with high growth potential. Over the last three years, Rockaway Capital has invested more than USD 400 million into more than 20 portfolio companies. In the travel sector, Rockaway Capital pursues investments with its strategic financial partner CEFC, a leading and reputable Chinese private investment group. Being headquartered in Prague and having further offices in San Francisco and São Paulo, Rockaway Capital has a core team of 25 people with a strong network of experts and suppliers. For more information visit http://www.rockawaycapital.com Invia is the largest online travel agency (OTA) in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary. The company specializes in selling package travel, flight tickets and accommodation from almost all suppliers on the respective markets. In addition to its online business, Invia has around 200 points of sale. Since its foundation in 2002, the company has grown to 253 million EUR total transaction value (TTV) and serves more than 500,000 customers per year. Invia employs a total of more than 700 employees. Jointly with CEFC, Rockaway acquired Invia in the first half of 2016 and has made the company grow at 48% (YOY) over the last quarter. CEFC China Energy Company Limited is the largest private company in Shanghai, and the seventh largest private company in China. In the Fortune Global 500's leader board of the largest companies in 2016, CEFC took the 229th position, employing more than 30,000 people worldwide. Apart from the company's priority business finance and energy, it also operates in many other areas. CEFC decided to expand into Europe and has already realized numerous investments focusing on tourism, the airline industry and e-commerce.


Keck M.,TU Dresden | Herrmann M.,TU Dresden | Both A.,Unister GmbH | Henkens D.,Queo GmbH | Groh R.,TU Dresden
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

Faceted browsing is an established and well-known paradigm for product search. However, if the user is unfamiliar with the topic and the provided facets, he may not be able to sufficiently reduce the amount of results. In order to increase the understanding of the bidirectional relation between facets and result set, we present an interface concept that allows manifold approaches for product search, analysis and comparison starting with a single product or a summarizing visualization of the entire data set. Moreover, various product features can be analyzed in order to support decision-making. Even without detailed knowledge of a specific topic, the user is able to estimate the range and distribution of characteristics in relation to known or desired features. Conventional list-based search forms do not provide such a quick overview. Our concept is based on two visualization techniques that allow the representation of multi-dimensional data across a set of parallel axes: parallel coordinates and parallel sets. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.


Keck M.,TU Dresden | Herrmann M.,TU Dresden | Both A.,Unister GmbH | Gaertner R.,Queo GmbH | Groh R.,TU Dresden
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

In complex search scenarios like planning a vacation or finding a suitable gift for a friend, the user usually does not know exactly what he is looking for at the beginning. However, this is the question that most search interfaces present as first step. In this paper, we discuss approaches for supporting the user in expressing a search query based on vague feelings and ideas. We therefore consider search interfaces on the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic level and discuss different mechanisms of these levels to support the first stages of the information seeking process. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.4.4 | Award Amount: 4.48M | Year: 2012

The advent of the Data Web demonstrates how Web technologies can be employed to integrate dispersed, heterogeneous information. Most information be it the product logistics status within supply chains, data warehouses of E-Commerce systems or offerings of the bakery shop next door has a directly or indirectly associated spatial dimension. Integrating and efficiently using information with such a spatial dimension on the Web poses very particular challenges. First, we have to combine and reason about spatial and semantic features that use different vocabularies and representation techniques. Second, the wealth of pre-existing overlapping and complementary information sources in the spatial domain demands information management able to deal with billions of facts in a scalable manner. Third, only by dramatically lowering the entrance barriers extra value can be generated through the involvement of thousands of non-expert end users in authoring, curation and assessment. GeoKnow tackles these challenges and facilitates the transition from islands of isolated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to a Web of interlinked Geographic Knowledge Systems (GKS). GeoKnow focuses on two complementary application scenarios: (1) spatial-semantic collaboration and data integration along value-chains in supplier and customers networks; and (2) spatial-semantic travel E-Commerce data management. GeoKnow will contribute to the evolution of the Web from a medium for information exchange to a medium for (spatial) knowledge integration. GeoKnow aims to help realizing network effects by increasing quality and coherence of the Spatial Data Web. For enterprises, the GeoKnow Generator will provide a cost-efficient way to integrate a variety of heterogeneous information sources within an Enterprise Data Intranet.


Speicher M.,TU Chemnitz | Both A.,Unister GmbH | Gaedke M.,TU Chemnitz
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2015

Explicit user testing tends to be costly and time-consuming from a company’s point of view. Therefore, it would be desirable to infer a quantitative usability score directly from implicit feedback, i.e., the interactions of users with a web interface. As a basis for this, we require an adequate usability instrument whose items form a usability score and can be meaningfully correlated with such interactions. Thus, we present Inuit, the first instrument consisting of only seven items that have the right level of abstraction to directly reflect user behavior on the client. It has been designed in a two-step process involving usability guideline reviews and expert interviews. A confirmatory factor analysis shows that our model reasonably well reflects real-world perceptions of usability. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


Speicher M.,TU Chemnitz | Speicher M.,Unister GmbH | Both A.,Unister GmbH | Gaedke M.,TU Chemnitz
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

Webpage usability is crucial for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Yet, evaluations of webpages are usually tedious or do not provide sufficient information. Thus, we aim at providing a novel layout-independent framework for automatically predicting a quantitative measure of usability from user interactions. A study has shown that it is necessary to take into account differences in user intention and structural features already for very similar webpages. We propose preprocessing steps in terms of structure-based clustering and determining user intention, which will make it possible to provide meaningful usability models that support satisfaction and loyalty. © Springer International Publishing 2013.


Lemke C.,Unister GmbH | Budka M.,Bournemouth University | Gabrys B.,Bournemouth University
Artificial Intelligence Review | Year: 2015

Metalearning attracted considerable interest in the machine learning community in the last years. Yet, some disagreement remains on what does or what does not constitute a metalearning problem and in which contexts the term is used in. This survey aims at giving an all-encompassing overview of the research directions pursued under the umbrella of metalearning, reconciling different definitions given in scientific literature, listing the choices involved when designing a metalearning system and identifying some of the future research challenges in this domain. © 2013, The Author(s).


Both A.,Unister GmbH | Avdiyenko L.,Unister GmbH | Lemke C.,Unister GmbH
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2015

The Web of Data puts a vast and ever-increasing amount of information at the disposal of its users. In the era of big data, interpreting and exploiting these information is both a highly active research area and a key issue for users in industry trying to gain a competitive edge. One current problem in industry with many potential application areas is finding a common theme for varying features by generating higher level summaries. We introduce the notion of motives to describe these common themes. Motives can be identified for all sorts of entities such as geo-spatial regions (e.g., "cultural regions") or holidays (e.g., "win- ter holidays", "activity holidays"). These motives are closer to common language and human conversations than ordinary keywords. Since users prefer formulating their information needs using everyday language, which expresses their understanding of the world, the poten- tial for a strong industrial impact for search applications can be de- rived. However, capturing the users' often vaguely formulated intentions and matching them to appropriate retrieval operations on the available knowledge bases is a challenging issue. Yet, it is an important step on the way of providing the best possible search experience to users. This paper presents our work in progress on computing motives for geo- spatial regions. Following a long term agenda, we are evaluating the requirements for identifying such motives in large data sets. At this point, we can show that out-of-the-box machine learning methods can be used on Linked Data to train a model for computation of geo-spatial motives with good accuracy. Copyright © 2015 for the individual papers by the papers' authors.


Roder M.,University of Leipzig | Both A.,Unister GmbH | Hinneburg A.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg
WSDM 2015 - Proceedings of the 8th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining | Year: 2015

Quantifying the coherence of a set of statements is a long standing problem with many potential applications that has attracted researchers from different sciences. The special case of measuring coherence of topics has been recently studied to remedy the problem that topic models give no guaranty on the interpretablity of their output. Several benchmark datasets were produced that record human judgements of the interpretability of topics. We are the first to propose a framework that allows to construct existing word based coherence measures as well as new ones by combining elementary components. We conduct a systematic search of the space of coherence measures using all publicly available topic relevance data for the evaluation. Our results show that new combinations of components outperform existing measures with respect to correlation to human ratings. Finally, we outline how our results can be transferred to further applications in the context of text mining, information retrieval and the world wide web. Copyright © 2015 ACM.


Usbeck R.,University of Leipzig | Usbeck R.,Unister GmbH
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2014

Being a part of the Information Age, users are challenged with a tremendously growing amount of Web data which generates a need for more sophisticated information retrieval systems. The Semantic Web provides necessary procedures to augment the highly unstructured Web with suitable metadata in order to leverage search quality and user experience. In this article, we will outline an approach for creating a web-scale, precise and efficient information system capable of understanding keyword, entity and natural language queries. By using Semantic Web methods and Linked Data the doctoral work will present how the underlying knowledge is created and elaborated searches can be performed on top. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

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