Full name

TROIKA – Trustworthy Collaborative Knowledge Accelerator

Research Lines

  • Explainability
  • Reliability
  • Reproducibility

Sustainable Development Goals

The TROIKA Lab is a research lab that seeks to extend and enhance state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods for semantic knowledge engineering, human-centered AI, and crowd computing to develop the TRustworthy cOllaboratIve Knowledge Accelerator (TROIKA). TROIKA Lab is a collaboration between the Delft University of Technology, Maastricht University, Biomax Informatics AG, and Royal DSM.

We expect recruitment for this lab to open in early 2023. Please check back frequently for updated information about how to apply, and to register for an online information session in February. If you’d like to join our mailing list, please fill out the form, and we will be happy to keep you informed of all the latest developments.

The research of the TROIKA Lab is intended to lead to the production of more reliable and accurate knowledge representations, which can inform and guide intelligent and sustained decision-making processes. The ultimate goal is to create AI applications that are more dependable in complex and changing contexts, as the leveraged knowledge is more diverse, comprehensive, timely, and integrated, thus resulting in more precise decisions. 

The lab will demonstrate the efficacy, reliability, and scalability of the trustworthy collaborative knowledge engineering solutions developed by the lab through pilots and Proofs-of-Concept (POCs) in collaboration with the industry partners in TROIKA (i.e., Biomax and DSM). In the long term, this can lead to the continuous integration of human intelligence into AI systems to increase the trustworthiness and dependability of knowledge engineering processes. The trustworthy collaborative knowledge engineering solutions can also result in improved performance of knowledge-driven applications (e.g., semantic search, question-answering) in commercial contexts and for the benefit of society at large. 

The lab will innovate in i) the collaborative, agile, meaningful, and sustainable knowledge engineering between people and with AI systems, ii) the accurate and reliable integration, repair, and refinement of internal and external knowledge, and iii) the development of safe, resilient, and trustworthy knowledge-based applications. The fundamental scientific AI challenges addressed in this context by TROIKA (and corresponding to the five pillars in the lab’s setup for the PhD students) are: 1) collaborative knowledge synthesis, 2) integration and linking of distributed knowledge fragments, 3) coordinated knowledge repair, refinement and completion, 4) AI-supported text-based knowledge capture, and 5) human-AI ethics. 

The joint work by the 5 PhD students and the accompanying researchers and domain experts allows researchers to co-produce methods and techniques for distinct yet highly interweaved knowledge engineering steps: collaborative knowledge synthesis, integration and linking of distributed knowledge fragments, coordinated knowledge repair, refinement and completion, knowledge capture, and human-AI ethics. The PhD projects together contribute to the development of a human-centered, trustworthy collaborative methodology across all knowledge engineering steps. These methods and techniques are developed, experimented with, and further matured in the contexts offered by Biomax and DSM where contextually sensitive and scientifically evidenced food and drug health claims can be used for decision support in the context of personalized nutrition and personalized medicine, where understanding the full provenance of consumables, including the who, what, where and how of manufacturing, distribution, and retail can be studied, and where the approach helps iterative refinement of domain ontologies to improve knowledge-driven applications. By making the scientific contributions available for research outside of the lab, other sciences and domains will be able to multiply the outputs from this lab.

Sustainable Development Goals

TROIKA Lab contributes to SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger) and 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) by showcasing the effectiveness of the knowledge accelerator on real-world domain problems within the health sciences, biosciences, and translational sciences where it is of key interest to drive the knowledge discovery process in an inclusive and sustainable manner for reliable knowledge-driven applications. The fundamental contributions are of a general nature and are also expected to have an impact in other knowledge-heavy domains, like for example digital humanities or AI-assisted public policy.

SDG 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Target 2.4: By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality

SDG 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation

Target 9.1: Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

Domain-related challenges regarding trustworthy collaborative knowledge engineering are:

  • Understanding the full provenance of consumables, including the who, what, where, and how of manufacturing, distribution, and retail (SDG Zero Hunger, Target 1); 
  • Contextually sensitive and scientifically evidenced food and health claims that can be used for decision support in the context of personalized health, nutrition, and well-being (SDG Zero Hunger, Target 2); 
  • Enabling domain experts with various levels of technical expertise to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the effort (SDG Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Target 1);
  • The integration and iterative refinement of domain ontologies to improve knowledge-driven applications (SDG Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure, Target 1 & 2); 
  • Coordinating knowledge engineering efforts between academic and industry partners.


Geert-Jan Houben

Scientific Director (TUD)

Michel Dumontier

Scientific Director (UM)


TROIKA Lab brings contributions to the reliability and accuracy criteria from the context of Collaborative Knowledge Engineering, validated in a realistic industrial setting offered by Royal DSM and Biomax. The resulting reliable and accurate knowledge bases are a central component in subsequent knowledge-driven AI systems. By combining the scientific expertise from TU Delft and University of Maastricht with respect to collaborative knowledge engineering for semantic data management, collaborative knowledge management, and responsible data science, the lab provides a clear and effective addition to the entire range of scientific innovations.