Theseus - Use Case ALEXANDRIA: Novel internet-based knowledge infrastructure for tomorrow's service and knowledge society

New forms of knowledge creation, knowledge searching and knowledge sharing have gained strategic importance in the times of global competition. That is where the research project THESEUS, initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, sets in. Its objective is to develop a new internet-based knowledge infrastructure, which allows the better use of existing knowledge by means of new tools, services and business models. A total of 31 research institutions, universities and businesses are participating in the project.

In order to improve knowledge usage, THESEUS relies on a combination of semantic technologies and the networking philosophy of Web 2.0. Semantic technologies on the one hand are able to pick up and classify the content of information. On the other hand, users themselves can create and edit content, rules and classifications as well as collect, link and edit multi-modal content intelligently. In the so-called Web 3.0, structured knowledge resources can be built up efficiently and for the first time complex knowledge mapped.

THESEUS includes a Core Technology Cluster, in which universities and research institutes develop base technologies and technical standards. These are put to the test and refined in six different Use Cases. Next to the technical implementation, the use case context is used to derive general factors for a successful application of the technologies. ALEXANDRIA is one of the six Use Cases.

C-LAB cooperates with Siemens Corporate Technology, neofonie and the German National Library in working out the Use Case ALEXANDRIA. The objective is to develop a user-oriented, internet-based knowledge platform that allows the user to easily search, publish and edit content. The archetype for this platform is the antique, Egyptian library Alexandria, in which more than 700,000 scrolls have been archived.  

The results may be beneficial to businesses. Due to the user-orientation and the emphasis on interaction new forms of collaboration are fostered. By increased exchange of information with customers, firms may be better able to serve customer demands. Thus, huge potential lies with customer loyalty creation. At the same time, close collaboration with suppliers is possible, which may result in better products and services and cost reductions, e.g. administrative costs. In addition, businesses may rely on the new infrastructure internally, to establish an expert network and to support the dissemination of best practises. Again better products and services or a shorter time-to-market can be realized.

Moreover, the preservation of cultural heritage and cultural plurality is supported. By means of the platform, cultural property may be saved and made available more easily. It can also be presented in an innovative form, which may result in a greater number of users.  

C-LAB's research activities within the Use Case ALEXANDRIA include three areas - Usability, information quality and Communities. By means of Usability concepts a user interface allowing easy and intuitive platform use shall be established. Concerning information quality, concepts and measuring methods to rate, monitor and increase information quality of available information shall be worked out. Therewith, the best possible user satisfaction shall be reached. All users of the platform form a community. With regard to communities, crucial success factors for the creation and moderation shall be identified and implemented. 

Siemens CT deals with the question of how to link ontologies built up by experts to so called folksonomies. Neofonie investigates to what degree users may be involved in the creation of semantic webs and how one can automate the tagging process.

With these joint efforts, the intended knowledge platform will gradually evolve by integrating semantic technologies, social search and the networking idea of Web 2.0. Thereby, a high user-friendliness and high-quality information is established to serve as differentiation characteristic. The results are input into the overall results of the THESEUS project.

Project funded by: BMWi
Project duration: 06/2007 - 06/2011 (ALEXANDRIA)

Project partners:

 Partner des Use Case ALEXANDRIA: Atos IT Solutions and Services GmbH (C-LAB), Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, neofonie GmbH, Siemens AG (Corporate Technology) Weitere THESEUS Partner: Deutsche Thomson OHG (DTO), Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI GmbH), empolis GmbH, Festo AG, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen, FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik, Institut für Rundfunktechnik GmbH (IRT), intelligent views GmbH, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU), m2any GmbH, moresophy GmbH, ontoprise GmbH, SAP AG, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Technische Universität Dresden, Technische Universität München, Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagebau e.V. (VDMA)


 Alexander Krebs, C-LAB
Project website: THESEUS Web Page