The GUARDIANS project will identify the technology for the next generation of Information Management tools and specify how the required infrastructure will allow distributed components to interwork. Information Management in this context is taken to have a wider meaning than just the content that is of interest to users. It encompasses: Rich, diverse and interactive content drawn from both web resources intended to be delivered over the Internet and interactive digital broadcast content; Metadata describing these diverse resources; User profiles describing user preferences, both on content and access configuration; Advanced search and notification services (traditionally called Selective Dissemination of Information SDI); Information Object Agent technology capable of comparing resources and their metadata descriptions to identify related materials; Distributed software technology for dynamic management and update of metadata, with specific reference to problems related to availability and accessibility of multimedia resources.
Validate the extended CMI Data Model for reliable and consistent user tracking across Terrestrial Networks and Digital Broadcast; Construct advanced search capabilities within the Mediation Service utilising IEEE Learning Objects Metadata (LOM) to describe information objects and IEEE PAPI to describe individuals and their preferences; Evaluate proposed mechanisms for dynamic personalisation of services according to the delivery platform selected. Note that this will require the reconciliation of PAPI 'application' preferences with the CC/PP device capabilities and 'browser' preferences; Experiment with how the GESTALT QoS metadata can be used (and possibly extended) to support operation across these technologies and negotiate appropriate levels of QoS; Prove the proposed integration strategy for the back-end management and tracking of information services, thus demonstrating the feasibility of common services accessible from the office, the factory and the home; To propose a scheme for distributed, on-line synchronisation of metadata to allow the inclusion of dynamic information such as quality of service parameters, cost, and availability of resources.
The GUARDIANS project will build upon the results generated by the GESTALT project in the 4th Framework ACTS Programme. GESTALT defined a flexible, component-based architecture for the discovery and delivery of modular training and education services. GUARDIANS will focus on the following areas to extend this architecture utilising the emerging technologies identified in the text below. The focus will be expanded from a purely learning/training domain to encompass more generic Information Management issues. These include Mediation Services, Distributed User Profile Services, Reusable Object Technology, Customised Cross-Platform Delivery and Distributed Management of Metadata. GUARDIANS will adopt the IEEE Computer Mediated Instruction (CMI) draft specification (currently draft 3.0.1) as the model for service provider interaction with delivered information objects. A content API which utilises Java wrapper technology has been defined for the CMI data model and the US-based Advanced Distributed Learning Programme have produced a draft XML DTD for the CMI. A key task for the project will be adapting the evolving CMI Data Model for the description of discrete, fine-grained information objects, which will emerge from the convergence of training with information services. Despite the diversity of the selected access technologies, there is still a need for a unified model for capturing user responses in terms of managing these services and tracking user understanding of the information objects presented. Based on the reusable object technology developed in the project around the CMI Data Model and the related Content API, the project will produce demonstrable information object content and appropriate user environments for each of the delivery modes.
M1: Project management established, requirements and evaluation criteria agreed;
M2: Data model and API design completed;
M3: Component designs completed;
M4: Data model and API feedback for evaluation;
M5: Components implemented;
M6: Integrated GUARDIANS system;
M7: Completion of evaluation.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
EC1A 7AJ London
MK7 6AA Milton Keynes