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Dynamic publishing with multimedia: information engineering in risk communication


Dynamic publishing is characterised by two dimensions: the composition and delivery of multimedia publications from a continually developing pool of information, and interactive, individualised access for the user to the changing document base. The initial application focus will be on risk communication. Risk management includes both those associated with individual behaviour (e.g. smoking) to those associated with technological development (e.g. nuclear power). Risk communication is integral to management and the pilot will concentrate on improving usability by:

supporting the capturing, structuring and combining of multimedia information;
allowing fast and easy update, revisions and extensions;
improving the 'individualisation' of risk communication by allowing easy interaction with the information environment;
providing rapid access to heterogeneous multimedia repositories.

At a later stage the pilot may be extended to other areas of dynamic publishing such as individualised newspapers, and tourist guides.

The cluster domain proposed here is dynamic publishing. In many areas of publishing, the pace of change of the information to be published makes support for the dynamics of publishing process crucial: information in all types of media must continually be generated, filtered, stored, edited, structured, published, targeted, delivered and tailored to the user needs. At the same time the dynamics of user access must be supported, e.g. by allowing navigation in open information spaces.

This exploratory project will define appropriate objectives for a cluster of tasks in dynamic publishing, specify its scope, formulate task descriptions and pilot projects which have proved feasibility.

A two step approach is taken to cluster definition: a key initial application focus within dynamic publishing will be selected and an initial task cluster developed around this initial application focus. In the second step, requirements and task definition are refined and expanded to cover the full domain of dynamic publishing.

The initial application focus chosen is risk communication, an area for which dynamic publishing is already of critical importance in large corporations and public organizations across the whole of Europe. Major user organisations understand the need for work on support for this area of publishing and several have committed to this project. Starting from the specific requirements of the initial focus domain, the project will define a first set of tasks for dynamic publishing. This will be complemented by an investigation of the potential of key technologies relevant to this domain. At the core of this investigation are issues in advanced hypermedia technology which is essential for large-scale multimedia information systems, and key to supporting dynamic processes in publishing.

In the subsequent expansion of focus to the full domain of dynamic publishing, the requirements of a number of further application areas will be investigated, including highly dynamic individualized newspapers, tourist guides, product documentation, training, material and encyclopedia publishing. The results of these different exploration activities will result in a final task cluster for dynamic publishing.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Oxfordstrasse 2
53111 Bonn

Participants (8)

Universitätsstraße 45
50931 Köln
Bayerische Ruckversicherung
Daimler-Benz AG
Mercedesstraße 136
70327 Stuttgart
Eastern Ambulance Service
Hoechst AG
65926 Frankfurt Am Main
Interactive Multimedia Systems
KFA Research Centre
University of East Anglia
United Kingdom
University Plain
NR4 7TJ Norwich