A characteristic of today's hi-tech industries is that there is enormous volume of information that has to be accommodated and made accessible. H-TechSight has developed a knowledge management platform with intelligence and insight capabilities.
The H-TechSight development can be thought of as a targeted research platform. It makes use of search engines to acquire information, and the found documents are collected using an agent system. The platform uses an ontological file that relates to the user, and which is used to summarise the document and validate the ontology.
"The ontology can be thought of as a description of the knowledge domain," says Prof Antonis Kokossis of University of Surrey and H-TechSight coordinator. "The platform identifies where things have changed in the main interest of the user, and summarises documents according to these interests. For example, it can identify if concept 'A' relates to concepts 'B' or 'C'."
The platform can identify mappings between ontologies. Suppose one described the ontologies of mechanical engineers and chemical engineers, for example. One could use the platform to understand how these two disciplines appear to relate to one another on the basis of information collected, such as conference proceedings.
"Biomedical and medical applications represent some of the several areas we have worked on," says Kokossis. "Others include employment, emerging technical fields in chemical engineering, and software engineering products. In the case of Parkinson's Disease, we have developed an extensive knowledge model with the help of doctors, nurses and the community of Parkinson's Disease sufferers and carers. We are at the stage now where we can find associations. We're using the technology, for instance, to provide information on side effects of drugs, location of patient and the kind of food patients eat. We could even link into patients' genetic information if it were available."
Is the H-TechSight platform being taken up? "The platform is used by several groups in UK and overseas and we currently discuss its possible role as part of search engines, industrial portals and academic institutions. The knowledge model for Parkinson's Disease has attracted interest by the European Parkinson's Disease Association, and IBM has expressed an interest to sponsor the work," concludes Kokossis. "One of the consortium partners, Bayer, has used it in conjunction with its work on chemical engineering to good effect. Whether or not the platform will be exploited commercially is another question, however; the cost models in this area are not clear and are unlike conventional applications."
Prof Antonis Kokossis
Process and Information Systems Engineering
University of Surrey
Tel: +44-1-483 876573
Fax: +44-1-483 876581
Source: Based on information from H-TechSight