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Demonstrator: Managing information and knowledge

Tim Berners-Lee and others have argued that the current web infrastructure must evolve so that content can be exchanged, shared and filtered in much more powerful ways, enabling elements in the system-human or machine-to receive the right information in the right form at the right time. We need tools and methods that enable us to aggregate and filter, present and visualize what is important about the information being generated on the Web. This is the objective of the WUN AKTive Seer project.

Information is a key resource in the twenty-first century. The World Wide Web is assuming a pre-eminent role as the global repository for much of this information and estimates of the amount of indexed information on the Web grow exponentially. The dilemma is that this superabundance of content is now generating a new kind of industrial pollutant-infosmog. A consequence of too much information is that people are rendered less capable of making decisions-not knowing what information is important or should be acted on.

This problem confronts researchers themselves. More research is being undertaken, more data collected, involving more individuals, resulting in more papers in more journals both within and between disciplines. The medium by which all of this content is disseminated and all of these individuals interact is the World Wide Web.

Such a project demands the integration of information from all kinds of sources, including publications, institutional and individual web content, funding agencies and many others on a global scale. The analysis, filtering, linking and visualisation of this content will involve continuous processing of terabytes of data. The founding partners in this project are the Universities of Southampton, and Penn State University. Both contain world leading teams researching complementary aspects of the challenge.

At Southampton the Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) project has produced Web-based technologies for information management; Penn State has the CiteSeer team who have the most comprehensive system for the analysis of research publications. Members of the WUNgrid have a commitment to supporting the harvesting, aggregation and analysis of essential research content so that we can demonstrate the benefits of exploiting this veritable explosion of research content.

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Last updated 24 January 2005.