Prof. Dr. Michael Berthold

Chair for Bioinformatics and Information Mining

Research Interests

I am interested in everything related to making sense out of (large, heterogeneous) data sources. In particular, I am interested in methods from AI (rule learning, neural networks, fuzzy logic, general machine learning) but always try to keep the models interpretable. Preferred are problems where the user needs to be kept in the loop in order to find truly interesting stuff. I call all of this "Knowledge Discovery Support". More recently, David Krakauer coined the term "Intelligible Data Analysis" (IDA), which captures the essence of what we are after rather well, too. Either way, problems from the life science domain are often the underlying driver since they are enormously good at creating amazing data repositories but have huge problems trying to make sense out of them or even coming up with useful questions to ask. Ultimately, the methods we develop should help to "spark (new) ideas"!

More to the point, we work on topics such as:

  • interactive clustering in parallel universes (HTS data)
  • active learning (High Content Screening data)
  • hierarchical (fuzzy) rule systems
  • (molecular) graph mining (screening and synthesis data)
  • distributed algorithms in data mining

and a bit of text, image and network analysis but not in the sense of improving those methods but in order to use them to find relations in large, heterogeneous databases (see also the EU FP7 "Bison" project, which we coordinated from 2008-2011). 

Short Curriculum

  • since Oct 2003 
    Full Professor, Nycomed-Chair for Applied Computer Science, University of Konstanz, Germany.
  • 2000 - 2003 
    Director of Data Analysis, Tripos Inc., South San Francisco, USA.
  • 1999 - 2000 
    Lecturer, University of California at Berkeley, USA.
  • 1997 - 1999 
    Research Fellow, Berkeley Initiative in Soft Computing (BISC), University of California at Berkeley, USA.
  • 4/1994 - 6/1994 
    Visiting Research Assistant, Sydney University, Australia.
  • 9/1993 - 8/1997 
    Research Assistant, Karlsruhe University, Germany.
  • 1/1993 - 7/1993 
    Research Engineer, Intel Corp., Santa Clara, USA.
  • 10/1991 - 12/1992 
    Visiting Researcher, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA.


  • Fellow of the IEEE (2010)
  • Honorary Professor, Óbuda University, Budapest (since 2011)
  • KS Fu Award of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (2001)

Recent and Current Activities

Past Activities

  • Member of the International Advisory Board for the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre, NBIC (2007-2010).
  • Program Co-Chair of IDA-2010, Biosphere-2, Tucson, Arizona.
  • Co-Chairman of the IDA Steering Committee.
  • Coordinator of the EU OpenFET Project "BISON" (2008-2011)
  • President of the IEEE System, Man, and Cybernetics Society (2010-2011)
  • Vice-President Publication of the IEEE System, Man, and Cybernetics Society (2006-2009)
  • Member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE System, Man, and Cybernetics Society (2002-2005)
  • President of the North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society (2002-2004), NAFIPS.
  • Program Co-Chair of Discovery Science DS 2008, Szeged, Hungary.
  • Program Co-Chair of IDA-2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia (September 6-8, 2007).
  • Program Co-Chair of NAFIPS-07, San Diego, California.
  • General Chair of CompLife'05, Konstanz, Germany and CompLife'06, Cambridge, UK.
  • General Co-Chair of IDA-2003, Berlin, Germany (August 28-30, 2003).
  • Industrial Program Co-Chair of KDD-2002.
  • Publicity Chair of IFSA/NAFIPS-2001.
  • Co-Organizer of Dagstuhl-Seminar No. 00331 "Intelligent Data Analysis" (August 2000) and No. 07181 "Parallel Universes and Local Patterns" (August 2007).
  • Program Co-Chair of IDA-99.
  • Publication&Publicity Chair of IDA-97.
  • Founding member of the steering committee of the IDA conference series


  • 1997: Dr. rer. nat. (Computer Science), Karlsruhe University, Germany.
  • 1994: Dipl.-Inf., Karlsruhe University, Germany.