Barbara Koroušić Seljak

Future Food Systems: The role of Computer Science

Prof Barbara Korousic1

1Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia


The future of food systems relies on interdisciplinary collaboration, with computer science and data science playing important roles. Future food systems must integrate several factors to support human health and promote environmentally friendly solutions, posing a complex multi-objective and multi-parameter optimization challenge, which can be solved using advanced computer techniques.


Central to developing such an approach are semantic resources, including ontologies and knowledge graphs. Ontologies provide a structured representation of knowledge within the food system domain, ensuring consistent data integration and interpretation. Knowledge graphs facilitate the visualization and exploration of relationships between diverse data points, aiding in understanding and insight discovery. Significant progress has been made in creating these semantic resources. Various ontologies and knowledge graphs now represent multiple facets of the food system.


This talk will address the advancements and current limitations in developing semantic resources for future food systems. It will explore the creation and integration of ontologies and knowledge graphs and their role in structuring and connecting agricultural and food-related data.


Additionally, the discussion will cover broader challenges and solutions related to the development of future food systems, highlighting the intersection of computer science and data science with agriculture, sustainability, and human health.


Barbara Koroušić Seljak (F) is a senior researcher in the Computer Systems Department at the Jožef Stefan Institute. Her primary research areas include food and nutrition data management and knowledge discovery. She teaches Computer Science subjects at the Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School and has mentored several BSc, MSc, and PhD students. In 2018, she was honored as the National Mentor of the Year. Barbara plays a leading role in numerous EU-funded and national projects, such as FishEUTrust, COMFOCUS, FNS-Cloud, METROFOOD-EPI, Veš kaj ješ (You know what you eat), Šolski lonec (School pot), and Open platform for clinical nutrition (OPEN) used by Slovenian hospitals. As a council member of the Slovenian Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, she contributed to the preparation and validation of Slovenian dietary guidelines for children in schools and kindergartens, students, workers, patients, and the elderly. Barbara served for several years as an Executive Board Director for the non-profit European association EuroFIR AISBL. Recently, she became the Head of the ELIXIR-SI national node. She is a co-organizer of workshops related to AI at high-ranked international conferences.