WebLab - Research Topics

Web technologies are horizontal to several application areas, therefore they are interesting not only by themselves, but also as the most modern environment where implement prototypes relevant to different disciplines. Main WebLab goals are pursued by implementation of prototypes, participation in national and international projects, education and institutional advisor role towards public administration. To be more effective, WebLab operates in close contact with other ISTI Laboratories, Universities and private firms.

Presently, several activities are under consideration or under development:

Some of these activities are related to undergoing projects, some others will depend on contacts under way and mainly on available human resources.

Semantic Web

Semantic Web is one of the most challenging research area in these last years, and covers a wide variety of activities.
This area is therefore acting as the main collector of previous and andergoing research activities carried out by WebLab. WebLab has both commitment to and understanding of the full range of W3C technologies: particularly those based on both XML and Semantic Web technologies. A main plank of our research in the next year is to improve the integration of XML Schema, XForms and XQuery with RDF and OWL. Main application areas of interest are Geographic Information Systems, databases of cultural artefacts and semantic interoperability in digital libraries.

A main topic of interest is the management of (semi-)structured information. The basic consideration is that document structure conveys some semantics, and different document structures must be reconciled when managing/searching etherogeneous document collections.
In addition, ontologies are sometimes implicitly assuming some document structures.
Hence arises the need of mapping and making interoperable ontologies and document structures (ontologies on fields vs. ontologies of fields).
Even if several technologies can be useful and are effective for handling these issues, their concrete integration must be investigated in detail, and a non trivial effort is required to get a suitable interoperable environment.

Presently some of these issues are being considered in the framework of the QUESTION-HOW project. Semantic interoperability in digital libraries is continuing the work done in several previous projects, like ARCA and MetaOPAC. Semantic interoperability in cultural artefacts was a main issue in Aquarelle project, and was widely investigated in activities performed in the area of cultural heritage management.

Selected Publications

  1. Carroll J.J., Martelli S., Signore O. Syntax for Semantic Enriching of Web Pages WWW2003 - The Twelfth International World Wide Web Conference, 20-24 May 2003, Budapest, Hungary, Poster Proceedings (to appear)
  2. Martelli S., Signore O. Semantic Characterisation of Links and Documents ERCIM News, N. 51, Special: Semantic Web, October 2002, p. 29-30
  3. Signore O., Bartoli R., Fresta G., Loffredo M. Implementing the Cognitive Layer of a Hypermedia Museum Interactive Multimedia 1997: Cultural Heritage Systems Design and Interfaces - Selected papers from ICHIM 97 the Fourth International Conference on Hypermedia and InterActivity in Museums, Paris, France, 3-5 September, 1997, (Edited by David Bearman and Jennifer Trant) Archives & Museum Informatics (1997), p. 15-22, ISBN 1-885626-14-2
  4. Signore O. Exploiting Navigation Capabilities in Hypertext/Hypermedia HICSS-29 Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Science, Maui, Hawaii - January 3-6, 1996, ISBN 0-8186-7327-3, ISSN 1060-3425, pp. 165-175
  5. Signore O., Bartoli R., Fresta G., Marchetti A. Issues on historical geography Museum Interactive Multimedia 1997: Cultural Heritage Systems Design and Interfaces - Selected papers from ICHIM 97 the Fourth International Conference on Hypermedia and InterActivity in Museums, Paris, France, 3-5 September, 1997, (Edited by David Bearman and Jennifer Trant) Archives & Museum Informatics (1997), p. 32-37, ISBN 1-885626-14-2

Adaptive hypertext

Adaptive Hypertext is a well established scientific area, having roots in the most significant research work done in the hypertext field. Application areas are in many exciting directions, like web-learning, entertainement, e-government, intelligent tourism and cultural heritage.
Major aim is to develop a simple but effective framework to support adaptive hypertext. Even if main ideas come from previous most significant work, W3C technologies offer now the right mean to support such research ideas and offer a more coherent development environment. The core system emphasizes some of the basic ideas of the evolving web and is based upon some basic principles, namely: simplicity, no centralization, light tagging, weighted and semantically tagged links. The conceptual architecture is centered upon an intelligent software agent which can operate on documents both on the server side as well on the client side, depending on user preferences and/or server capabilities and workload. The "Document", intended to be any self contained information node, originated by a query against a database, or by a search in a document storage system, or just a single static "page", is supposed to be coded in XML according to a general document model. The agent will operate on the basis of a User Profile Model.
Identification of reasonably simple Topic set and hierarchies can lead to a simple and effective tool.
This framework can also be used to host many of the other proposed projects.

Selected Publications

  1. Signore O. A Simple Architecture for Adaptive Hypertext Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-Based Systems, Proceedings of Second International Conference, AH2002, Malaga, Spain, May 2002, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, n. 2347, Springer Verlag, ISBN3-540-43737-1,pp. 568-571
  2. Signore O., Bartoli R., Fresta G., Tailoring Web Pages to Users' Needs Proceedings of Workshop "Adaptive Systems and User Modeling on the World Wide Web, at the Sixth International Conference on User Modeling, Chia Laguna, Sardinia, 2-5 june 1997, pp. 85-90
  3. Signore O. Modelling Links in Hypertext/Hypermedia in Multimedia Computing and Museums, Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums (ICHIM'95 - MCN'95), October 9-13, San Diego, California (USA), ISBN 1-88-5626-11-8, pp. 198-216
  4. Signore O. Issues on Hypertext Design DEXA'95 - Database and Expert Systems Application, Proceedings of the International Conference in London, United Kingdom 4-8 September 1995, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, N. 978, Springer Verlag , ISBN 3-540-60303-4, pp. 283-292
  5. Signore O., Fresta G., Loffredo M. A Distributed Hypermedia on Archaeology in Tuscany in Multimedia Computing and Museums, Selected papers from the Third International Conference on Hypermedia and Interactivity in Museums (ICHIM'95 - MCN'95), October 9-13, San Diego, California (USA), ISBN 1-88-5626-11-8, pp. 1-18

Software Reengineering

We could refer to this project as "W3C technologies in everyday software engineer life". The basis is a tool (named TROOP) developed in the field of reverse engineering, which takes as input a complete operational system, parses source code, and store the information in a Repository (a relational database). On the stored data, it is possible activate several modules, which show PDGs and module dependences. Presently, the tool has been passed to a private firm, which completed the engineering of the tool. Possible extensions are related to a massive introduction of W3C technologies, namely: ·

aiming to have the tool usable in a web based environment and interoperable with other software engineering tools. The tool will therefore demonstrate how different W3C technologies can co-operate to build an interoperable reverse engineering tool. Other possible extensions are about analysing legacy systems to facilitate the migration towards new web based architectures, helping in identifying and designing web services.

Selected Publications

  1. Loffredo M., Signore O. Making two-level static slicing in legacy systems The 6th World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, July 14-18, 2002 - Orlando, Florida, USA - Volume VIII: Concepts and Applications of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics II, (Callaos N., Loutfi M, Justan M. , Eds), ISBN: 980-07-8150-1, p. 99-102
  2. Brizioli A., Chiocci L., Loffredo M., Signore O. Understanding Legacy Systems with OSK Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, Florence, Italy, 7-9 November, 2001, p. 199, ISBN 0-7695-1189-9
  3. Signore O., Loffredo M., Gregori M., Cima M. Using Procedural patterns in Abstracting Relational Schemata Proceedings of WPC'94 - Third Workshop on Program Comprehension, November 14-15, 1994, Washington D.C., IEEE Computer Society Press (1994), ISBN 0-8186-5645-X, pp. 128-135
  4. Signore O., Loffredo M., Gregori M., Cima M. Reconstruction of ER Schema from Database Applications: a Cognitive Approach Proceedings of ER'94, The Thirteenth International Conference on the Entity-Relationship Approach, December 13-16 1994, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, N. 881, Springer Verlag, ISBN 3-540-58786-1 (1994), pp. 387-402
  5. Signore O., Loffredo M. Re-Engineering towards Object-Oriented Environments: the TROOP Project Proceedings of The Eighth International Symposium on Computer and Information Sciences (ISCIS VIII), November 3-5, 1993, Istanbul, Turkey (Sponsored by IEEE), pp. 595-598

Quality for Web Sites

This project is of great interest to the central public administration (Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri is the only governamental organization among W3C Members). Even if Usability and Accessibility are two different issues, they share some items, especially if we refer to the "semantic barrier", which originates from different cultures and traditions. The main goal is to define an appropriate quality metrics, that will take in account accessibility, adaptivity, usability, quality of service. The main emphasis will be on checking the document and site structure, stressing as adoption of W3C technologies and conformance to the basic principles of the web can lead to more effective web sites.

Presently this activity is in stand-by, looking for additional human resources.

Selected Publications

  1. Signore O. Le linee guida del W3C per l' accessibilità: il ruolo delle tecnologie XML Seminario di studio: "Accessibilità e siti web accessibili" presso l'Autorità per l'Informatica nella Pubblica Amministrazione, Roma, 13-14 febbraio 2002
  2. Signore O. Culture across Cultures: a Quality Challenge Experts Meeting on European Cultural Heritage on the Web, Bruxelles, 17 luglio 2001
  3. Locuratolo E., Loffredo M., Signore O. Database Reengineering for Quality Proceedings of 6th Reengineering Forum, March 8-11, 1998, Firenze, Copyright 1998 reverse Engineering Forum Inc./Reengineering Forum