Wednesday, 22 August 2012

#EnviLOD: Project Timeline and Work packages

Our project started in June 2012 and is due to finish on December 31st, 2012.  We have just completed the user requirements gathering stage and are writing up the corresponding deliverable. As soon as it is ready, we will share it here for feedback.  We also had our third meeting today, discussing the work carried out in the past two weeks on user engagement and LOD-based semantic enrichment. 

In the mean time, here are some more details on the project workplan:




1: Project Management

2: User Engagement & Case Studies

3: Linked Environment Data Enrichment

4: User-Friendly Semantic Search over Linked Data

5: Evaluation

6: Dissemination & Engagement

WP 1: Project Management (Responsible partner: Sheffield)

The cross-institutional nature of the project necessitates close liaison between Sheffield, the British Library (BL) and HR Wallingford; in addition to communication as a result of collaborative working, monthly telecoms and regular face-to-face meetings will be used to advance the project and monitor progress. 
Deliverables: Project plan. Legacy plan, including sustainability and support. Final report.

WP 2: User Engagement and Case Studies (BL, HR Wallingford)

This WP covers engagement with environmental science researchers and other key stakeholders. This takes place throughout the project, but in particular: (i) early in the project, to produce detailed requirements and use cases, based on interviews; (ii) later in the project, when we will test the utility of Linked Data and assessing how the vocabularies support the needs of researchers and practitioners, and whether the Linked Open Data (LOD) approach will produce an added benefit in comparison with keyword searching.
Deliverables: Stakeholder analysis, requirements and use cases; User feedback.

WP 3: Linked Environment Data Enrichment (Sheffield)

This WP will deliver semantic enrichment tools, based on relevant LOD vocabularies. Where required, relevant ontologies not already connected to existing Linked Environment Data will be integrated. Sheffield’s open-source tools for lookup and term disambiguation with respect to Linked Data vocabularies will be tested and adapted to the environmental science domains. As part of this work, we are evaluating the coverage and accuracy of relevant general purpose LOD datasets (namely GeoNames and DBPedia), when applied to data and content from our domain. Tools for LOD-based geo-location disambiguation, date and measurement recognition and normalisation will also be delivered. 
Our solution is based on Ontotext's high performance OWLIM semantic repository, the open-source GATE semantic annotation tools, and their integration with Linked Data endpoints. We import Linked Data into the semantic repository, which provides a SPARQL endpoint and also full text, metadata, and semantic annotation indices, which underpin the semantic search UI.
Deliverables: Open source tools for semantic enrichment with Linked Environment Data.

WP 4:User-Friendly Semantic Search over Linked Data (Sheffield)

GATE Mimir (Multi-paradigm Information ManagementIndexing and Retrieval) is open-source software framework for multi-paradigm indexing and searching of semantically annotated documents. Enriching documents with explicit semantics allows users to search more effectively for ambiguous names such as London (Ontario) and London (UK).The multi-paradigm aspect of Mimir refers to the accessing and linking together of multiple information sources, such as the textual content of the documents, the semantic metadata and knowledge encoded in the Linked Data vocabularies. Accessing knowledge from Linked Data allows Mimir to understand generalisations, making it capable of answering more complex information needs, such as identification of documents that refer to water levels at the Thames barrier as relevant to a keyword search for flooding in south-east Britain. At the same time, the explicit LOD semantics associated with the indexed semantic metadata and content makes sure that references to places called London (other than the one in the UK) are not seen as relevant results to such a query.
This WP will develop a customised semantic search interface, which enables users to carry out such powerful searches and fully benefit from the knowledge contained in Linked Data, without needing to write SPARQL queries.
Deliverable: A web-based interface for semantic search with Linked Environment Data.

WP 5: Evaluation (Sheffield and BL)

Firstly, quantitative evaluation of the accuracy of semantic enrichment and Linked Data vocabulary coverage will be carried out, based on a human annotated gold standard and established metrics such as f-measure. In addition,  a comparative evaluation of the new semantic search web interface will be completed, against the current keyword-search Envia tool, using a set of search queries supplied by the BL. Evaluation will be carried out in the context of the user requirements developed in WP2.

Deliverables: Quantitative evaluation results; A report detailing the lessons learned.

WP 6: Dissemination and Engagement (Sheffield, BL, HR Wallingford)

The project will devote significant effort to dissemination, including practical activities such as demonstrations and tutorials, to show how project outputs might be exploited in other institutions. Details of planned dissemination activities are provided below.

Deliverables: Presentations; research paper; online demonstration; training materials; blog; website; user workshop, engagement with JISC programme manager and related projects.
Dissemination Activity
Key Message
Participation in JISC programme activities, such as JISC Involve (
Raise awareness, Promote results
Benefits and challenges of using LOD
Collaboration with other “Research Tools” projects
JISC development programmes
Inform, engage, and promote
EnviLOD objectives and results
Project website
External stakeholders and research community
Raise awareness, inform, promote results
EnviLOD objectives and results
Peer-reviewed publications at journals, conferences and workshops, including relevant environmental science (e.g. EnviroInfo, Ecological Informatics), as well as technical semantic technology ones (ISWC, ESWC, Journal Web Semantics)
Research community, including environmental science and web science
Inform and promote research results
EnviLOD research methods, open-source tools, and evaluation results
Dissemination workshop hosted at The British Library
Engage stakeholders with the EnviLOD outputs
Benefits of LOD for environmental scientists
Practical, “hands-on” outreach, through open-source software, user documentation, online demonstrations and tutorials
Research community, end users, JISC, and other stakeholders
Promote project results
Availability of open-source tools for LOD-based semantic enrichment and search
Engagement with interested researchers from other institutions and other disciplines
Inform and promote results
Lessons learned and results delivered

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