WebLab - Projects

Current Projects


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Quality Engineering Solutions via Tools, Information and Outreach for the New Highly-enriched Offerings from W3C: Evolving the Web in Europe

Proposal/Contract no: IST-2000-28767

QUESTION-HOW is aimed at providing the environment necessary for European companies to make mission critical decisions of quality with regard to the emerging Web specifications from W3C. The following major activities are necessary :

The last providing generic support for the other two.

The main task will be to develop a user interface to query complex and specialized XML documents corpora (like juridical documents, cultural heritage cataloguing cards, user manuals, etc.) At the lower level, we will take an already developed library. The core of the library (indexing and compressing algorithms) will remain property of their authors. The library is written in C and provides a set of algorithms and data structures for indexing and searching an XML document collection. The documents must be well-formed and may be heterogeneous in that they may reflect different DTDs. The library supports the storage and management of these XML files in native form, that is, it operates directly at the File System level. The main features of the library are: state-of-the-art algorithms and data structures for text indexing, compressed space occupancy, and novel succinct data structures for the management of the hierarchical structure of the XML document. The library provides an API with a rich set of functions to operate on its whole collection of data structures and algorithms. It may implement most of the basic functionalities of XQuery, and it may support more complex IR-like searches. The user interface will get document structure from the XMLSchema, and will make use of some RDF facilities for broadening or narrowing query terms, possibly implementing a graphical browsing of thesauri, and in supporting semantic equivalences for more effective searches. The possibility of querying different document collections, where semantically equivalent data element are stored in different XML document structures, will be considered. One of the most significant issues is that the system will work on compressed documents, and space reduction might play a crucial role in space demanding applications which run on small-memory devices like, for example, PDAs and ebooks.

Past Projects

Logo of Arca Project

ARCA is a general purpose Z39.50 target, with high degree of flexibility and the possibility of tailoring to different underlying systems, so achieving the result of making etherogeneous systems interoperable, taking full advantage from the semantic interoperability intrinsic in the Z39.50 standard. It may constitute a basic building block in creating distributed, interoperable Digital Libraries. ARCA is patented as C.N.R. product, and is currently distributed by a private firm.

Logo of Aquarelle Project Aquarelle was a Research & Development Project supported by the European Commission. It is possible to implement an Archive Server without affecting how the data provider'sprimary data is stored. The gateway approach provides the target capability by adding a gateway layer which converts dynamically between the Z39.50 protocol and the native query and retrieval facilities of the host database. The target gateway maps the host database's searching and retrieval capability on to the Z39.50 Profile as well as it can.

Logo of Libraries on Network by Regione Toscana
MetaOPAC for Regione Toscana is a project aimed to interconnect all the libraries in Tuscany, so that user can search all of them at a glance. Its architecture combines some of ideas from ARCA and Aquarelle projects, and leaves complete freedom to the libraries in selecting their own library management environment, just requiring their conformance to the Z39.50 standard.
The implemented system is fully operational.

Logo of Sintesi Consulting From a research prototype, named TROOP, developed in the area of reverse engineering and program comprehension, a cooperation with a SME resulted in a commercial tool (OSK) aimed to support maintenance of source code, migration from legacy systems to new operational environments (ERP) and population of data warehouse.