Harmonia 1.4 beta1



SOIP-F: a Semantic Organization Information Portal Framework

What's SOIP-F?

The Web, but also a large extra-net such as a digital library, has an intricate topology that makes navigation through resources a tricky task. The mere introduction of Semantic Web technologies won’t solve automatically this task, because Semantic Web only promotes machine readability of Web resources by explicitly providing a thick bunch of annotations, thus leaving their interpretation and use to the application. We refer to such difficult-to-navigate open information systems as hyper-environments and we compare the interaction with a hyper-environment to a travel in which users are travelers and the aim of the journey is to find useful information.
We therefore propose a Semantic Navigation Engine that aims at helping Web travelers in traversing hyper-environments by giving them proper tools (called vehicles in travel metaphor) that can help them in getting oriented and fulfilling their aims.

SOIP-F (Semantic Organization Information Portal Framework) is an extendable J2EE application framework to build portals that can be configured using a set of OWL ontologies. Our work tries to solve the navigation problem building vehicles to support users' travels across resources and levering on semantics attached to resources in order to make travels significant and effective to attain the users' tasks.
Starting from an early prototype, we refine the browsing-time support of SOIP-F introducing the Semantic Navigation Engine.

To prove our approach we built some test-portals on the top of our SOIP framework. We briefly present the most significant test-implementations, that (tries to) solve the navigation problem. Readers that wish to try navigating throughout our demonstrative portals can do so just following the hyperlinks, taking care of provided instructions.

SOIP-F publications are also available.

meex - Music Events Explorer

In 2008 we published the first italian Semantic Web book, which includes a chapter that describe step-by-step how to develop a Semantic Web application. The application expects a music style as an input; retrieves data from MusicBrainz, MusicMoz, and EVDB; merges them and let the users explore events related to artists that practice the required style via Exhibit. We named this application Music Events Explorer (meex).
Even if it is not a direct SOIP-F application, it is part of our Semantic Navigation research. Thus we listed it here among the application of SOIP-F.

Instructions: try meex; select a music style and be patient because it requires time to retrieve live data from EVDB!

Truckload Exchange

Within the development of NeP4B project, we built a prototype of a Semantic Navigation system for Truckload Exchange. Login and try our Semantic Navigation concept in the "My space offers" and in the "My freight offers" or try our Semantic Search functionality in "Search space offers" and "Search freight offers".

Instructions: try Truckload Exchange demo.

SHIP - Aiding general practitioners in navigating a healthcare hyper-environment

Within the development of COCOON project, we built a prototype of a Semantic-based Healhcare Information Portal (SHIP) on the top of our SOIP-framework, designing a portal to help general practitioners to travel, easily and effortlessly, in a healthcare hyper-environment. We based our search facilities on the Web services provided by Entrez PubMed, called e-utilities, that allow to search in PubMed, MeSH and other medical databases. The result set, translated to RDF-format, is made up of a set of documents described with metadata, both about the documents themselves (like authors, title, medical journal, abstract, the link to the actual document, etc.) and about their semantics, i.e. the medical keywords, coming from MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), that describe the meaning of the articles. Our Semantic Navigation Engine, then, presents the results to the final user, giving him/her a vehicle to travel across them. This vehicle is able to suggest more than a path to navigate through resources: beyond the path that offers access to the results like in a ranked ordered list and that lets the user navigate from an article to the subsequent one just following a "next article'' link, SHIP offers the possibility of navigating through resources following the shared keywords.
Instructions: try SHIP; for demonstration purposes, the portal offers a predefined query that was previously run on PubMed in order to avoid a long retrieving-dependent wait.

Virtual Museum of Contemporary Art portal

This portal aims at presenting information about art, a sort of virtual museum. In the corresponding usage scenario, some real museums provide data about their artworks and respective artists, described against a shared ontology, while a third party aggregates these contents in order to build a portal that allows virtual visitors to travel across resources.

Using SOIP-F to build the portal of this virtual museum, the content aggregator is supported in building different vehicles to undertake different travels across the content; the portal lets virtual visitors travel across resources by different vehicles: it offers a thematic trail vehicle (a guided tour across artworks of a particular artistic movement or period), but also a detailed trail vehicle (that allows to investigate the work of a particular artist).

Instructions: try VMCA portal: choose a vehicle and then click on the suggested link; please notice that most of the portal's contents is offered in Italian.

Semantic Web Virtual Lecture

It's a portal built as a unifying view on different material taken from a number of presentation about Semantic Web. The resultant portal offers a vehicle to traverse all this stuff as it was a unique virtual lecture about fundamentals, technologies and applications of Semantic Web. It allows end-users to move from a presentation to another just following links to semantically related slides, as if it was a single lesson.
Instructions: try SWVL portal;
please notice that, in order to display Power Point slides correctly, it is necessary to use Internet Explorer browser.

CEFRIEL organization portal coming soon...

The portal about our organization, CEFRIEL, is built on information about units, persons, projects, research fields; all this information is enriched with semantic annotations that allow the Semantic Navigation Engine to present resources to users in different ways levering on this kind of semantics. The portal offers different vehicles to travel across organizational information, different views on portal content: there can be a "structural" view centered on units, an "organizational" view centered on ongoing projects, a "thematic" view centered on research fields and so on.

Bibliographic references portal coming soon...

This portal allows to store, to manage easily and to navigate bibliographic references; the user can follow different paths across resources that share some semantic annotation: the author names, the publication date or the publication type (like Book, InProceedings, etc.), some descriptive keywords (about the content of the publication) and so on.