A Framework for Semantic Integration of Groupware Applications

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has title::A Framework for Semantic Integration of Groupware Applications
status: finished
Master: project within::Information Sciences
Student name: student name::Ferdi Huijsman
Dates
Start start date:=2009/03/01
End end date:=2010/03/01
Supervision
Supervisor: Michel Klein
Thesis: has thesis::Media:Thesis.pdf
Poster: has poster::Media:Media:Posternaam.pdf

Signature supervisor



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Abstract

Summary

In this project I will develop a framework to support the semantic integration of groupware applications. I will use the VU-AI department as general testcase. A requirements study, literature study and the development of a prototype will give the information to create such a framework.

Scope

In this project the three main aspects that will be taken into account are:

Economical: What are the costs and benefits of semantic integration? What new information becomes available or more easily accessible?

Technical: What are the technical possibilities and difficulties?

Social: How to get people to participate It is not a given that the people who will have to put in most effort are the ones that benefit most. So how can people be persuaded to participate anyway? Are there any negative side-effects, for example hierarchy concerns? Privacy also is likely to be a concern. When a lot of freely available information about a person is combined, it might add up to a lot more than the person would want to be available. There might even be legal restrictions on combining certain information sources.

Result

The goal is to create a framework to support semantic groupware integration. The framework will contain different aspects of semantic groupware integration “development” (requirements analysis, development etcetera), but since a lot of content and the actual usability depend on people actively participating, it is also important to look at how people can remain motivated to participate when the system is actually in use. It is also highly likely that the “development” will never really end, since systems will be replaced, new information, new possibilities or even new restrictions might arise. This means that the framework cannot be a step-by-step description of what needs to be done, but should rather be a reference model that provides supports on different aspects of semantic groupware integration.

For each aspect it will show possibilities and restrictions and their relations. It is likely that making use of some possibilities will create restrictions in another field. For example linking to information sources might be technically possible, and even give useful information, but will not be legal due to privacy concerns.

A framework in itself is not enough, it will have to be supported by guidelines on how to translate the outcome of the framework into information that can actually be used to support development decisions.

Approach

The first step will be a requirements analyses, where I will determine which tasks are carried out at the VU AI department, what information is used, and what could be done to support those tasks.

The requirements analyses will also be used to find out what semantic groupware integration projects have already been tried, which have succeeded, which haven’t - and why.

Using the outcome of the requirements analysis, I will perform a literature study on the possibilities of semantic integration of the VU AI department. In this study I will find out what can be done using the available information, what representation formats are available

I will also perform a literature study on Information System Development/Integration, to identify possible similarities to Semantic Integration. In case a possible useful similarity is found, I will study it in more detail to see whether it could be integrated into the framework.

During the development of the framework, I will create a prototype or demo of an actual “semantic integration” to implement one of the possibilities found during the literature study.

The process of creating this prototype will give valuable information on the Semantic Integration process. This information will then be combined with the user feedback on the prototype and used to update both the framework and the prototype.