Implementing a Vision for New Method in Education

Imagine students creating their own course content from a fully approved knowledge base, by using an ergonomic an efficient human-machine interface, that allows them to submit a question in a very human and simple way: by means of verbal communication. The system then performs a semantic query in the knowledge base and returns appropriate results in a multimedia form ... Well, that vision could become reality with our e-Librarian Service.

The e-Librarian Service was designed by Prof. Dr. Christoph Meinel and his team to retrieve multimedia resources from a knowledge base in a more efficient way than by browsing through an index, or by using a simple keyword search. The user can enter his question in a very simple and human way: in natural language (NL). The returned results are then logical consequences of an inference rather than of keyword matchings.

There are three different prototypical educational tools that implement the e-Librarian service. A first prototype is CHESt. (Computer History Expert System); it has a knowledge base with 300 multimedia clips that cover the main events in computer history and were produced by tele-TASK. Personal notes can be added and stored. A second prototype is MatES (Mathematics Expert System); it has a knowledge base with 115 clips that cover the topic of fractions in mathematics for secondary school w.r.t. the official school programme. All clips were recorded mainly by pupils. The third and most advanced prototype is the Lecture Butler's E-Librarain Service; it has a Web service interface to respect a service oriented architecture (SOA).


E-Librarian Service - User Friendly Semantic Search in Digital Libraries

Serge Linckels, Christoph Meinel

(Hasso-Plattner-Institut, Universität Potsdam)

1st Edition., 2011, XV, 212 pages, 67 illustrations, 10 in color.
Springer Verlag , Heidelberg, London, New York, 2011
Hardcover, ISBN 978-3-642-17742-2

About this book

Key topics

  • Complete overview of Semantic Web technologies, natural language processing, and information retrieval
  • Provides a solution for current problems in digital libraries
  • Shows how to retrieve pertinent documents from a multimedia knowledge base
  • With numerous examples and illustrations

This book introduces a new approach to designing E-Librarian Services. With the help of this system, users will be able to retrieve multimedia resources from digital libraries more efficiently than they would by browsing through an index or by using a simple keyword search. E-Librarian Services combine recent advances in multimedia information retrieval with aspects of human-machine interfaces, such as the ability to ask questions in natural language; they simulate a human librarian by finding and delivering the most relevant documents that offer users potential answers to their queries. The premise is that more pertinent results can be retrieved if the search engine understands the meaning of the query; the returned results are therefore logical consequences of an inference rather than of keyword matches. Moreover, E-Librarian Services always provide users with a solution, even in situations where they are unable to offer a comprehensive answer.

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