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Semantic Web Meta-data for e-Learning: Some Architectural Guidelines
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, Center for Useroriented IT Design, CID. (Knowledge Management Research Group)
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, Center for Useroriented IT Design, CID. (Knowledge Management Research Group)
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 11th World Wide Web Conference (WWW2002), Hawaii, USA, 2002, 2002Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Meta-data is the fundamental building block of the Semantic Web. However, the meta-data concept is too loosely defined to provide architectural guidelines for its use. This paper analyzes important uses of meta-data in the e-learning domain, from a pedagogical and philosophical point of view, and abstracts from them a set of fundamental architectural requirements for Semantic Web meta-data. It also describes some flexible generic techniques for working with meta-data, following these requirements. Finally, the paper describes a Semantic Web-based e-learning architecture based in these requirements and techniques currently under development at the Knowledge Management Research Group at CID (Centre for user oriented IT Design) at KTH, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. This architecture builds on Edutella, a peer-to-peer meta-data exchange network, and a technique called conceptual modeling using the Conzilla concept browser, a new kind of knowledge management tool for conceptual navigation and exploration. The architecture provides an inquiry-based e-learning system that fits into the Semantic Web philosophy, and is based on a pedagogical framework called the knowledge manifold.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
National Category
Computer Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-25681OAI: diva2:359423
11th World Wide Web Conference (WWW2002)
QC 20101028Available from: 2010-10-28 Created: 2010-10-27 Last updated: 2010-11-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. From Interoperability to Harmonization in Metadata Standardization: Designing an Evolvable Framework for Metadata Harmonization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From Interoperability to Harmonization in Metadata Standardization: Designing an Evolvable Framework for Metadata Harmonization
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Metadata is an increasingly central tool in the current web environment, enabling large-scale, distributed management of resources. Recent years has seen a growth in interaction between previously relatively isolated metadata communities, driven by a need for cross-domain collaboration and exchange. However, metadata standards have not been able to meet the needs of interoperability between independent standardization communities. For this reason the notion of metadata harmonization, defined as interoperability of combinations of metadata specifications, has risen as a core issue for the future of web-based metadata.

This thesis presents a solution-oriented analysis of current issues in metadata harmonization. A set of widely used metadata specifications in the domains of learning technology, libraries and the general web environment have been chosen as targets for the analysis, with a special focus on Dublin Core, IEEE LOM and RDF. Through active participation in several metadata standardization communities, a body of knowledge of harmonization issues has been developed.

The thesis presents an analytical framework of concepts and principles for understanding the issues arising when interfacing multiple standardization communities. The analytical framework focuses on a set of important patterns in metadata specifications and their respective contribution to harmonization issues:

  • Metadata syntaxes as a tool for metadata exchange. Syntaxes are shown to be of secondary importance in harmonization.

  • Metadata semantics as a cornerstone for interoperability. This thesis argues that the incongruences in the interpretation of metadata descriptions play a significant role in harmonization.

  • Abstract models for metadata as a tool for designing metadata standards. It is shown how such models are pivotal in the understanding of harmonization problems.

  • Vocabularies as carriers of meaning in metadata. The thesis shows how portable vocabularies can carry semantics from one standard to another, enabling harmonization.

  • Application profiles as a method for combining metadata standards. While application profiles have been put forward as a powerful tool for interoperability, the thesis concludes that they have only a marginal role to play in harmonization.

The analytical framework is used to analyze and compare seven metadata specifications, and a concrete set of harmonization issues is presented. These issues are used as a basis for a metadata harmonization framework where a multitude of metadata specifications with different characteristics can coexist. The thesis concludes that the Resource Description Framework (RDF) is the only existing specification that has the right characteristics to serve as a practical basis for such a harmonization framework, and therefore must be taken into account when designing metadata specifications. Based on the harmonization framework, a best practice for metadata standardization development is developed, and a roadmap for harmonization improvements of the analyzed standards is presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH, 2010. x, 125 p.
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2010:15
metadata, dublin core, IEEE LOM, RDF, semantic web, interoperability, standardization
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-26057 (URN)978-91-7415-800-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-12-15, Sal F3, Lindstedsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
QC 20101117Available from: 2010-11-17 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2010-11-23Bibliographically approved

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