Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Workshop 'Population Reconstruction'

19 February 2014 to 21 February 2014
IISH, Amsterdam

Pre-workshop seminar
On February 18, Peter Christen will present a seminar on "privacy preserving record linkage". You are welcome to join this seminar, which will be given at LIACS in the city of Leiden, from 14:00-17:00u, in room 174 of the Snellius building, Niels Bohrweg 1, Leiden. For the (free) seminar there is no need to register. Leiden is about 30 minutes by train from Amsterdam. Click here for a document with directions.

The final programme of the workshop is now available, including the papers.

The digital availability of the very large data collections from various historical and modern sources describing jigsaw pieces of the lives of individuals, challenges for new methods and approaches to realize large-scale life cycle and population reconstruction. Methods are needed that are capable of weighting all pieces of available information from a wide range of sources while considering contemporary and local circumstances. Such an approach may resemble the intelligent human reasoning in handling fuzzy, variable, erroneous and missing data.
Whereas for several decades the focus in reconstruction studies largely was on data matching of record pairs, promising results on group linking are now emerging.  At the dawn of the development of these new and more complex population reconstruction methods, with activities in many countries – sometimes isolated, but also in research networks –, it is timely to bring experts together again to discuss the current state of the art, and to look for opportunities for continued or renewed cooperation.

Workshop Topics (not limited to)

  • Data pre-processing and cleaning
  • Standardization (of person names, places, addresses, occupational titles)
  • Learning from rich data sources
  • Data structures for multi-source record linkage
  • Reasoning strategies
  • Decision rules
  • Group linking
  • Probabilistic data matching
  • Graph-based linking
  • Historical data mining
  • Methods for spatio-temporal reasoning
  • Computational efficiency
  • Evaluation and benchmarking
  • Visualisations

Key-note Speakers

  • Peter Christen, Research School of Computer Science, Australian National University, Canberra
    Peter Christen is an Associate Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University in Canberra. His research interests are in data mining and data matching (entity resolution). He is especially interested in the development of scalable and real-time algorithms for data matching, and  privacy and confidentiality aspects of data matching and data mining. He has published over 80 papers in these areas, including the book `Data Matching' (2012, Springer), and he is the principle developer of the Febrl (Freely Extensible Biomedical Record Linkage) open source data cleaning, deduplication and record linkage system.
  • Kris Inwood, University of Guelph, Canada
    Kris Inwood is Professor of Economics and History at the University of Guelph (Canada) whose interests lie in the borderlands between history and the social sciences. He contributes to the reconstruction of past populations in order to investigate inequality, productivity and the standard of living. Inwood currently directs the People In Motion project in collaboration with the University of Alberta, University of Minnesota, Laval Université and Université de Montréal. 
  • Arno Knobbe, Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, Leiden, The Netherlands
    Arno Knobbe
    is a senior researcher in the Data Mining Group at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science. Additionally, he is the owner of a Dutch Data Mining consulting company called Kiminkii. His research is focused on projects that revolve around large collections of data. In these projects, novel and scalable Data Mining techniques are employed to effectively unearth the useful knowledge in these rich sources of data.
    Knobbe is involved in the international ChartEx project related to the mining of some ten thousand medieval property records. The project is concerned with the automated annotation of Old English and Latin by means of NLP techniques. The annotated records are then linked to form business and family networks, allowing the subsequent mining of the medieval network for statistical patterns of land ownership in the period.

Paper Submission

We welcome the submission of full papers (with a maximum of 8 pages) and demonstration descriptions. Papers will be peer-reviewed. All accepted papers will be made available electronically at the start of the workshop. Papers will be presented in oral sessions of 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of discussion for full contributions. Also short papers (with a maximum of 2 pages) that describe projects or data-specific matching problems are welcomed as input for discussion. They will be allowed a bullet presentation of 15 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of discussion. There will be ample time for demonstrations and general discussions. Submissions can be send to any of the contact addresses below.

Springer has shown interest to publish selected papers from the workshop in a book. After the workshop, authors of these papers will be invited to submit an extended version of their paper.

Although not compulsory, we would appreciate if papers follow the instructions in this style document (adapted from ACL). Possibly useful are these Word .dot file and Latex .sty files. Please send you paper in .pdf format.

Important Dates

Paper submission deadline     1 November 2013
Paper notification22 November 2013
Final paper15 January 2014
Workshop19-21 February 2014

Suggested Accomodation

Rho Hotel

The RHO HOTEL is located in the heart of the old city in a quiet side street, a few steps from the historic DAM square, the central square of Amsterdam, with the Royal Palace and the New Church. The Central Station is about 5 min. walking distance. Private parking is available.

From the Rho Hotel, the International Institute of Social History can be reached by bus or tram. Allow around 30 minutes for this.

Lloyd Hotel

The hotel is conveniently located at the east end of central station; with direct tram lines to the station (5 minutes) and the city centre (Leidseplein 10 minutes) on the doorstep. Cars coming from the ring road are two traffic lights away from the large parking facilities.

The International Institute of Social History is a 10 minute walk from the hotel.

Organizing Committee

Gerrit Bloothooft, Utrecht University
Marijn Schraagen, Leiden University
Kees Mandemakers, IISH Amsterdam / Erasmus University Rotterdam


Gerrit Bloothooft
Utrecht University, Trans 10, 3512 JK Utrecht, The Netherlands
phone: +31.30.2536042

Kees Mandemakers (
Marijn Schraagen (