Conceptual Open Hypermedia
Hypermedia assists the user in navigating the available information space; this space is diverse and distributed, populated by multimedia objects which may be persistent, constantly updated, and perhaps dynamically generated. In a global information environment, where the number and size of potential information resources is huge, of variable quality and aimed at diverse audiences, the focused retrieval of pertinent information becomes a vital issue.
The aim of COHSE was to investigate methods to improve significantly the quality, consistency and breadth of linking of WWW documents at retrieval time (as readers browse the documents) and authoring time (as authors create the documents). It produced a COHSE (Conceptual Open Hypermedia Services Environment) using three leading-edge technologies:
- an ontological reasoning service used to represent a sophisticated conceptual model of document terms and their relationships;
- a Web-based open hypermedia link service that can offer a range of different link-providing facilities in a scalable and non-intrusive fashion;
- the integration of the ontology service and the open hypermedia link service to form a conceptual hypermedia system to enable documents to be linked via metadata describing their contents;
COHSE's approach differed from many others in the Semantic Web field as the emphasis was on hypertext authoring. Much interest is currently focused on the process of resource discovery and search engine technology - less attention is then placed on issues relating to results presentation or how the use of metadata, reasoning and open architectures can help us in constructing hypertext structures. The Semantic Web is a Web - this point should not be lost or forgotten.
COHSE was originally a joint project between the Manchester Information Management Group (IMG), and Southampton's Intelligence, Agents and Multimedia (IAM) group. Later development of the system was supported by Sun Microsystems.
The system is currently being used to provide access to web resources for life scientists within the Sealife project.
Recent work on COHSE has seen a shift towards the use of light-weight SKOS-based representations in order to drive the navigation of resources. This is discussed in our IEEE Internet Computing article.
Our current focus involves the integration of text processing components including named entity recognisers in order to improve linking opportunities and the integration of myGrid workflows and services as potential link targets.