Previous Projects

Various older projects are briefly described here.

Evaluation and user studies of KOS-based searching

Dorothee Blocks’ PhD research investigated information searching behaviour with KOS-assisted systems and involved empirical study of FACET users and evaluation of different prototypes.

A model of the KOS search process was developed, with particular reference to key areas of support in thesaurus use.

Participatory Design

An ESRC funded project, in collaboration with the Open University in Wales, investigated the use of prototyping in commercial information systems development. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with commercial practitioners were followed by a series of mini case studies employing an ethnographic approach. Further information can be found under Participatory Design

DELOS Network of Excellence

KOS can serve as components of higher level ontologies which serve as integrating frameworks. This is being pursued in the environmental archaeological domain via a collaboration with English Heritage, who are investigating mappings from various domain ontologies (or thesauri) to an overarching common schema. The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model has been selected as the core ontology and extended with archaeological specialisations. This CRM-EH is available for download as a set of RDF file extensions to the CIDOC CRM. This work forms part of the STAR project with preparatory work carried out by the DELOS (Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries) JPA collaborative project, part of DELOS Cluster 5 on Knowledge Extraction and Semantic Interoperability.

XML/RDF KOS representations

XML/RDF formats for the representation of KOS data, and demonstrations of the use of XPATH querying techniques.

We have developed some lightweight and flexible XML formats for the purposes of representing and storing thesaurus data for various research projects. As part of this work, we have experimented with XPATH querying techniques. As part of this work, we have done some iniitial experiments with the the Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS) RDF format. Various schema files, demonstration data files and usage examples may be viewed or downloaded.

Geographical KOS and gazetteers

Many digital collections incorporate some form of spatial indexing and for many users access via placename is important. Not all such collections require a full GIS but may rely on a more limited spatial descriptor (footprint). Such representations occur in online gazetteers, geographical thesauri or ontology-based geographic applications where conventional GIS datasets may be unavailable or pose undesirable bandwidth limitations. The Ontologically Augmented Spatial Information System (OASIS) project explored the use of spatial relationships to assist search with a placename component.

Semantic Hypermedia Architecture

The project builds on work that started in 1991 when the University was commissioned to develop a hypermedia museum exhibit on local history from the photographic archives of the Pontypridd Historical and Cultural Centre. This inspired the Semantic Hypermedia Architecture (SHA) project to investigate a query-based approach to hypermedia access and retrieval, rather than relying on fixed, embedded links. In that work, primary access routes were time, space and, as subject index, the Social History and Industrial Classification. Various research prototypes investigated a hypermedia architecture with a semantic index space separate from the document space.