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Tools for content-driven knowledge management through evolving ontologies

Objective

Efficient knowledge management has been identified as a key asset in maintaining competitiveness of companies. Ontologies have been developed in knowledge engineering as a means to share and reuse knowledge. The On-To-Knowledge project will develop methods and tools and employ the full power of this approach to facilitate such knowledge management. The On-To-Knowledge tools will help office workers who are not IT specialists to access company-wide information repositories. Examples of intended On-To-Knowledge users are help-desk personnel, sales staff, and middle- and higher management.
The On-To-Knowledge toolkit aims at two goals.
First, access to knowledge must be simple and effective. Second, the On-To-Knowledge tools must be applicable to large bodies of textual and semi-structured information sources. The project will develop support to information access and maintenance for intranets with several thousands of pages using very large and distributed ontologies. This will ensure that the On-To-Knowledge tools are applicable on a company-wide scale. The project will develop a three-layered tool environment to achieve these goals, and a methodology will complement the tool helping to bridge the gap between information needs and information sources. Three major case studies will be used to evaluate and improve the results.

Objectives:
The competitiveness of companies active in areas with high market change rate depends heavily on how they maintain and access their knowledge (i.e., their corporate memory). The On-To-Knowledge project applies the concept of ontologies to electronically available information to improve the quality of knowledge management in large and distributed organisations. For this, the On-To-Knowledge project will develop a methodology and tools for intelligent access to large volumes of semi-structured and textual information sources in intra-, extra-, and internet-based environments. The On-To-Knowledge tools will support information access and maintenance for intranets with thousands of pages using very large and distributed ontologies.

Work description:
Efficient knowledge management has been identified as a key asset in maintaining competitiveness of companies. Ontologies have been developed in knowledge engineering as a means to share and reuse knowledge. The On-To-Knowledge project will develop methods and tools and employ the full power of this approach in supporting knowledge management from two perspectives:
1. Information User: Access to knowledge must be simple and effective. The costs and barriers in accessing knowledge has to be lowered and the user must be made aware of existing knowledge sources. Existing keyword-based retrieval techniques clearly fail according to these requirements. Improving access to information sources is the first main goal of the On-To-Knowledge,
2. Information Provider: Providing and maintaining large bodies of textual and semi-structured information sources with current techniques is a labour-intensive and costly activity. Lowering these costs is the second main goal of the project.
The project will develop a three-layered tool environment to achieve these goals. At the lowest level (the information level), weakly-structured information sources are processed to extract machine-computable meta-information from them. The intermediate level (the representation level) uses this meta-information to provide automatic access, creation, and maintenance of these information sources. The highest level (the access level) uses advanced push and pull techniques to lower the thresholds for accessing this information. Agent-based techniques as well as state-of the art querying and visualisation techniques can fully employ the formal annotations to guide user access to information. At all levels, ontologies are the key assets to achieve the described functionality. A methodology will complement the tool helping to bridge the gap between information needs and information sources. This methodology will provide concrete guidelines on how to apply the On-To-Knowledge tools in a business environment. Three major case studies will be used to evaluate and improve the results. The project will make use of the results of existing ESPRIT projects such as CommonKADS, KACTUS, and TREVI.

Milestones:
The major results of On-To-Knowledge are:
1. An intelligent search tool that supports non-specialist users in accessing information via searching, visualising and navigating, and that alerts users when relevant information sources have been updated.
2. A tool environment for maintenance, conversion, and acquisition of heterogeneous information sources.
3. A methodology that provides guidelines for ontology-based knowledge management.
4. Three large case studies will help to develop the technology according to the actual needs of large and/or virtual organisations and will provide an ideal test bed for evaluating methods and tools.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

VERENIGING VOOR CHRISTELIJK WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERWIJS
Address
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands

Participants (6)

AIDMINISTRATOR NEDERLAND B.V.
Netherlands
Address
Prinses Julianaplein 14 B
3817 CS Amersfoort
BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLC.
United Kingdom
Address
81 Newgate Street
EC1A 7AJ London
COGNIT AS
Norway
Address
Busterudg 1
1776 Halden
ENERSEARCH AB
Sweden
Address
Carl Gustavs Vaeg 1
205 09 Malmoe
SIRMA AI CORP.
Bulgaria
Address
Dianabad, Bl. 30, Entr.e, Fl. 7, Apt. 102
1172 Sofia
UNIVERSITAET KARLSRUHE (TH)
Germany
Address
Kaiserstrasse 12
76131 Karlsruhe