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exPeriencing Archaeology across Space and Time

Objective

PAST aims to develop an innovative ICT system supporting visitors of Archaeological Sites. Visitors will use handheld PCs (operated via voice commands, touch screens and text-to-speech) connected to a local Server via wireless networks.The Server will include an Archaeological Repository, storing data and information relevant to PAST, and a Legacy System Integration Layer, exporting relevant data from legacy archaeological multimedia databases to the PAST system. Servers installed at remote sites will be networked via Internet: each PAST instance will be able to seamlessly access information residing in any other instance, therefore creating a distributed information space.The PAST Server will also include: a Visitors Profiler, collecting static and dynamic information about visitors, tracking interactions with the PAST system, and building and dynamically revising profiles; a Visit Organiser, which, based upon the visitors' profiles, the current context of the visit and the information available, plans personalised visits, dynamically revises the plans and delivers, at any time during the visit, context-dependent information, personalised in both thier content and their presentation.

Objectives:
The key objectives of PAST are:- To revitalise archaeological sites, especially smaller ones, by making visits significantly more attractive and enjoyable, leveraging upon an approach which is information-intensive, active, interactive (two-ways), personalised, reactive and dynamic.- Thanks to that, to attract 30% more visitors and to increase ticket-prices by 20%, thus funding through self-generated income (no additional costs for the society) further excavation, research, etc.- To capitalise on investments made in digital preservation of cultural heritage and on existing multimedia archaeological databases, by providing tools to enable remote access and effective fruition of their content by visitors of archaeological sites, i.e. to the direct and immediate benefit of all EU citizens (and not only of scientists and researchers).- To enhance the ability of visitors to understand the cultural heritage a site represent, not only in a narrow local perspective, but also in a global European one, crossing the boundaries of space and time.

Work description:
Development of an innovative PAST system, whose key components are:- The PAST HCI, running on handheld PCs and supporting Voice-based, Pen-based, and Speech-based interaction and displaying images, drawings, text, animation and short movies.- A communication infrastructure, including a wireless network (between handheld PCs and a local PAST Server) and an Internet network (across Servers installed at remote sites).- The PAST Server. It includes the PAST Archaeological Repository (a XML-enabled O-ODB storing relevant data extracted from legacy multimedia DBs) and the Legacy Systems Integration Layer (to export relevant data from existing DBs). The Repositories of various remote PAST instances, will form together a distributed archaeological information web-space; PAST leverages upon XML technologies, to provide a uniform interface across the PAST Archaeological Repositories and between them and the other components of the system.The Server includes also the Visitor Profiler, which gathers information about visitors, autonomously and dynamically profile them, based upon visitors' behaviour during the visit. It exploits Fuzzy Logic and Conceptual Clustering techniques to classify individuals into homogeneous clusters at various level of granularity. The Server also includes the Visit Organiser, which dynamically schedules a visit and pro-actively suggests the best route through the physical site and through the PAST distributed information space, by establishing relevant time and space relationships. It has the ability to personalise content and presentation of information delivered to visitors, based upon the visitors' profile and upon the current location and context of the visit.Development of a PAST Methodology Framework, underlying the PAST system, covering:- A set of PAST-related attributes to classify and describe the content of an archaeological database and of an archaeological site (the XML-Schema of the Archaeological Repository).- A set of PAST-related criteria and attributes which will be used to classify and profile visitors.-A set of rules and criteria to dynamically create relationships between archaeological sites and/or information items in the PAST Repository, and to dynamically generate context-sensitive and personalised visit schedules and presentations.

Milestones:
The Project will deliver at Month 6 the PAST Specifications & Design, and a 1st version of the Methodology Framework; at Month 12 a 1st release of the PAST Prototype; at Month 15 a 2nd version of the Methodology Framework, together with revised Specifications & Design and results of field-testing & evaluation; at Month 21 the Final PAST Prototype, ready to be extensively field-tested and evaluated; at Month 27 a refined version of the PAST Prototype and of the Methodology Framework, based upon the outcome of the testing and evaluation process.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

MJC2 LIMITED
Address
33 Wellington Businesspark, Dukes Ride
RG45 6LS Crowthorne
United Kingdom

Participants (7)

ANKO ANONYMOS ETAIREIA
Greece
Address
Odos Leoforos Syggrou 44
117 42 Athina
ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI
Greece
Address
University Campus, Administraton Building
54124 Thessaloniki
BETA 80 S.P.A. SOFTWARE E SISTEMI
Italy
Address
Via Socrate 41
20128 Milano
COMUNE DI FOGGIA
Italy
Address
Piazza Nigri 1
71100 Foggia
SOCIETE D'ECONOMIE MIXTE NATIONALE DU MONT BEUVRAY
France
Address

58370 Glux-en-glenne
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Italy
Address
Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Italy
Address
Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova