The approach of the project is the use of ontologies for each of these three processes. We 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-processable 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 (called access level) uses advanced push ad pull techniques to lower the thresholds for accessing this information.

Agent-based techniques as well as state-of the art querying and visualization techniques can fully employ the formal annotations to guide user access of information. At all levels, ontologies are the key asset in achieving the described functionality. The methodology will complement the tool helping to bridge the gap between information needs and information sources.

Ambition Level

The ambition level of the project is described along three dimensions:
  • size of ontologies. The ontologies should be rich and large enough to be usable on a company-wide scale. This means that we will be aiming at ontologies in the order of hundreds of concepts. This surpasses current ontological modelling efforts by at most a single order of magnitude. We expect no significant computational or conceptual difficulties along this dimension.

  • numbers of pages: In one of the case studies we will deal with an Organisational Memory that involves many thousands of intranet-pages. Current technology already available in-house by two of the partners (P4 & P7) ensures that this order of magnitude is indeed within our reach.

  • user-level: our users are of two types: information clients and information providers. For both categories we aim to give support that will allow non-IT specialists to use the software developed by the project.