KMi Seminars
New Paradigms in Multimedia Management and Access
This event took place on Tuesday 13 December 2005 at 12:30

Prof. Stefan Rueger KMi, The Open University, United Kingdom

Digital Multimedia objects, in libraries or otherwise, hold the promise of being able to be indexed by their contents just as other documents can be indexed and searched by their full text. This talk presents new paradigms for digital knowledge management that were developed in my lab; they include

- novel browsing methods that utilise an automated structuring of the digital collection as a small-world graph with a low degree of separation

- content-based multimedia retrieval, eg, search of still images similar to given ones; finding a news story broadcast over TV by providing visual examples; finding a music piece by humming it etc. Our approach for finding material is not based on manual annotation but on /automated/ processing.

- clustering and visualisation techniques to present material in a collection or organise large document sets that were returned in a query.

Some of the challenges in this approach are given by the semantic gap between what computers can index and high-level human concepts and by polysemy, ie, the many meanings and interpretations that are inherent in visual material and the corresponding wide range of information need by the user. We try to overcome these challenges by utilising the skills of the user, for example through a process that we call relevance feedback, thus putting the user at centre stage. Behind the scene, we deploy learning algorithms that adapt themselves to the user and their information need.

We argue that these methods, when integrated into digital libraries, will not only enhance their searching and browsing capabilities but also give access through unconventional query methods such as sketching, similarity browsing and providing examples of what is relevant.

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Journal | 25 years of knowledge acquisition

Semantic Web and Knowledge Services is...

Semantic Web and Knowledge Services
"The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation" (Berners-Lee et al., 2001).

Our research in the Semantic Web area looks at the potentials of fusing together advances in a range of disciplines, and applying them in a systemic way to simplify the development of intelligent, knowledge-based web services and to facilitate human access and use of knowledge available on the web. For instance, we are exploring ways in which tnatural language interfaces can be used to facilitate access to data distributed over different repositories. We are also developing infrastructures to support rapid development and deployment of semantic web services, which can be used to create web applications on-the-fly. We are also investigating ways in which semantic technology can support learning on the web, through a combination of knowledge representation support, pedagogical theories and intelligent content aggregation mechanisms. Finally, we are also investigating the Semantic Web itself as a domain of analysis and performing large scale empirical studies to uncover data about the concrete epistemologies which can be found on the Semantic Web. This exciting new area of research gives us concrete insights on the different conceptualizations that are present on the Semantic Web by giving us the possibility to discover which are the most common viewpoints, which viewpoints are mutually inconsistent, to what extent different models agree or disagree, etc...

Our aim is to be at the forefront of both theoretical and practical developments on the Semantic Web not only by developing theories and models, but also by building concrete applications, for a variety of domains and user communities, including KMi and the Open University itself.