Intelligent Interface for Integrated Information
Oleksiy Khriyenko
Industrial Ontologies Group, MIT Department, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35(Agora),FIN-40014 Jyväskylä, Finland
Keywords: Groupware visual interfaces, integrated information visualization, GUI technology, context-aware GUI.
Abstract: Next generation of integration systems will utilize different methods and techniques to achieve the vision of
ubiquitous knowledge: Semantic Web and Web Services, Agent Technologies and Mobility. Nowadays,
unlimited interoperability and collaboration are the important things for industry, business, education and
research, health and wellness, and other areas of people life. All the parties in a collaboration process have
to share data as well as information about actions they are performing. Development of Global
Understanding eNvironment (GUN) (Kaykova et al., 2005), which would support interoperation between all
the resources (GUN-Resources) and exchange of shared information, is a very profit-promising and
challenging task. And generally, a graphical user interface, that helps to perform this interoperation and
collaboration processes in handy and easy for human/expert way, is one of the important things in a process
performing, and creation. Following new technological trends, it is time to start a new stage in user visual
interface development – a stage of semantic-based context-dependent multidimensional resource
visualization. Presented 4i technology is a step to achieve this goal.
Nowadays, unlimited interoperability and
collaboration are the important things for industry,
business, education and research, health and
wellness, and other areas of people life. Thus, we
need an open environment to allow different
heterogeneous resources (software, data, devices,
humans, organizations, processes and etc.)
communicate and interoperate with each other. And
as usually, graphical user interface is one of the
important things in performing and creation of
interoperation and collaboration processes, and it is
one of the challenging tasks during the middleware
Several information visualization techniques
have been developed in the last years due to the need
of representing and analyzing the huge amount of
data generated by several applications or made
available through the World Wide Web. Previously,
we had a deal with data visualization, precisely with
a data format representation. Depending on a data
format, whether it is a text, an image or a video,
graphical user interface presents the data in certain
way. On the next stage, small step has been done in
visualization of object part-of relations, namely as a
tree visualization. The second step was a step when
we came to semantic definition of the objects, and
have found a need to represent ontology concept tree
and semantic graph (Yuxin et al., 2005). But it was
just a step to semantics and ontology representation.
Next generation of integration systems will utilize
different methods and techniques to achieve the
vision of ubiquitous knowledge: Semantic Web and
Web Services, Agent Technologies and Mobility.
Recent expectations regarding a new generation of
the Web strongly depend on a success of Semantic
Web technology. Integration of heterogeneous
applications and data sources into an interoperable
system is one of the most relevant challenges for
many knowledge-based corporations nowadays.
Development of Global Understanding eNvironment
(GUN), which would support interoperation between
all the resources and exchange of shared
information, is a very profit-promising and
Following new technological trends, we have a
need somehow to visualize resource properties (in
specific way, different from “directed arc between
objects” representation), various relations between
resources and inter-resource communication process.
And even more, we have a need to make context
Khriyenko O. (2007).
4I (FOR EYE) TECHNOLOGY - Intelligent Interface for Integrated Information.
In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - HCI, pages 278-281
DOI: 10.5220/0002361602780281
dependent visualization, to be able to represent
information in handy and adequate to a certain case
(context) way, to reach a plasticity of UIs (Thevenin
and Coutaz, 1999). Thus, the main focus in GUI
development will be concentrated on the resource
visualization aspects. Now, we have a challenging
task of semantic-based context-dependent
multidimensional resource visualization.
Regarding to the core characteristics of Web 2.0,
a website is no longer a static page to be viewed in a
browser, but is a dynamic platform upon which users
can generate their own experience. The richness of
this experience is powered by the implicit threads of
knowledge that can be derived from the content
supplied by users and how they interact with the site.
Another aspect of this Web as platform is sites
which provide users with access to their data
through well defined APIs and hence encourage new
uses of that data, e.g. through its integration with
other data sources.
The paper describes a technology for context-
aware intelligent visualization of integrated
information and a vision to groupware collaboration
Now it has become evident that we cannot separate
visual aspects of both data representation and
graphical interface from interaction mechanisms that
help a user to browse and query a data set through its
visual representation. Following GUN-Resource
centric approach, let us consider user interfaces for
context-based resource access and contextually
related information retrieving. The challenging task
is to create a visual interface that provides integrated
information from variety of information providers in
context-dependent way.
2.1 Information Retrieving/Access and
All GUN-Resources have a set of properties, and
some of these properties can be a basis for specific
visualization view of a resource and other related to
it resources. For example, part-of relation (if it
concerns physical relation of resources) can be
visualized as a 3D model of nested or somehow
connected resources; or 2D model, if third
dimension is not valuable (for example to present
the resources on a map, if they are part-of the
World). From the other side, part-of relation of a
GUN-Resource can be abstract and cannot mean any
physical contact with other resource. Resource can
be a part of some (business) process. In this case,
there is no physical contact between the parts and
such relation should be represented in different way
(relation graph). Or, if we consider contextual
property such as family relation of a person, then
visualization can be presented in a way of a
genealogical tree. Thus, depending on a context,
human/expert needs information (information
related to subject resource) to be visualized in
certain way. At the same time, an interface for
access to a resource also should be context
depended. This gives us one of the requirements for
visual interfaces – ability to represent information
regarding to chosen contextual property of a
resource. Such interface should allow user to simply
choose a context for data representation, and should
even support cases of multiple contextual property
selection for complex views and filtering purposes.
Such requirements can be met by MetaProviders -
sui generis portals of GUN-Resources with specific
visualization view. It is named as MetaProvider in a
sense that it provides an access and presents other
resources, which in turn are providers of own
information (data). All GUN-Resources have certain
own location (physical and digital). But it does not
mean that they should have just one way to get an
access to them. MetaProvider is an interface-
mediator that gives a possibility to mark/select a
resource (object) on its interface and provide the link
to original resource location. In other words, it
allows resource registration for further access to its
data. At the same time, any resource can be
registered on variety of different MetaProviders in
different views. The main feature of MetaProviders
is each party that take care of some GUN-Resource
registers the resource itself. It causes fast filling of
information accessible through MetaProvider. And
each user/resource in one moment has an access to
related information of amount of others. But such
interoperability brings a new requirement for the
MetaProviders and users. They should share
common ontology to be interoperable on semantic
level. Additionally to semantic interoperability,
GUN-Resources are proactive/goal-driven resources
and supplied with a Resource Agent for resource-to-
resource (R2R)/ agent-to-agent (A2A)
MetaProviders can play three main roles:
MetaProvider as a point of access to GUN-Resource
(based on a resource contextual property),
MetaProvider as a context-based search service for
InformationProviders/Consumer retrieving,
MetaProvider as an interface for integrated
4I (FOR EYE) TECHNOLOGY - Intelligent Interface for Integrated Information
information visualization (with context-aware
intelligent semantic filtering mechanism to present
just relevant information and avoid a glut of it).
2.2 Intelligent Context-aware GUI for
Integrated Information
Now we can define an intelligent context-aware
graphical user interface for integrated information
representation. It is a smart ensemble of Intelligent
GUI-Shell (smart middleware for context dependent
use and combination of a variety of different
MetaProviders depending on the user needs) and
MetaProviders as graphical interfaces that visualise
filtered integrated information (see Figure 1).
figure shows us a principle of such smart ensemble
work. There are three GUN-Resources (power line,
forest and weather) that are registered on a set of
MetaProviders. Let us consider GUN-Resource that
presents a power line as a main initiator of a
visualization process. Intelligent GUI, as a part of
GUN Platform, provides an opportunity for user to
initiate context-based search process that returns
appropriate MetaProvider or a set of them. Search
process can be performed via centralised or
decentralised system of MetaProviders registration.
Depending on a contextual property, Intelligent GUI
Shell provides an access to filtered set of retrieved
MetaProviders. Then user can register the resource
(if it is not registered yet) or/and get related to the
resource integrated information on MetaProvider
interface. It is not necessary that search result will
contain just one instance of a fit class of
MetaProviders. This is an open environment and
there is can be a set of various realizations of
MetaProviders from different producers. Also, GUI
Shell allows dynamic switching between
MetaProviders for more suitable information
representation, depending on a context (a set of
contextual resource properties). From other side,
MetaProvider provides API to specify information
filtering context – a context for visualization of
appropriate resources and their necessary properties.
In this scenario user asks the MetaProvider to show
resources in certain area around the subject resource
(power line) in the context of physical damaging and
relevant to this resource properties.
Thus, physical conditions of other two resources
(forest and weather that are shown in the figure)
have been requested and the values of correspondent
properties have shown on the interface. Now, when
GUN Platform
GUN Platform
Register of
Context-dependent retrieving
of appropriate MetaProviders
Contextual properties
GUI Shell
GUI Shell
Search context
Wind direction
Request (physical condition)
Response (fire, forest work)
Request (weather condition)
Response (wind direction)
GUN Platform
- true
Forest work
- false
(physical damage)
Figure 1: Intelligent Interface for Integrated Information (4i technology).
ICEIS 2007 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
expert has recognised alarm situation, he/she
need, for example, to change the architecture of the
electrical chain (electricity supplying) and for this
purpose can easily switch to another MetaProvider
with more appropriate internal view of power line
architecture. Another valuable benefit of such smart
ensemble architecture is possibility to perform
autonomous agent-based resource communication
via MetaProvider’s and GUI Shell APIs. It is an
open environment for MetaProviders and it is a good
base for different business models that can be built
on it. Thus, with a purpose to be an interoperable
part of open environment, each player has to be
supplied with API and should be semantically
adapted to understand the requests and to provide
understandable response.
Now, when human becomes very dynamic and
proactive resource of a large integration
environment with a huge amount of different
heterogeneous data, it is quite necessary to provide a
technology and tools for easy and handy human
information access and manipulation. Semantic-
based context-dependent multidimensional resource
visualization provides an opportunity to create
intelligent visual interface that presents relevant
information in more suitable and personalized for
user form. Context-awareness and intelligence of
such interface brings a new feature that gives a
possibility for user to get not just raw data, but
required information based on a specified context. 4i
(FOR EYE) is an ensemble of Platform Intelligent
GUI Shell and visualization modules –
MetaProviders that provide context-dependent
representation view of resource data and integration
on two levels. These are: information (data)
integration of the resources to be visualized; and
integration of resource representation views with a
handy resource browsing in different dimensions.
There are already a lot of developed domain-
oriented software applications, which try to visualize
the data in domain specific and suitable for human
way (graphics software from SmartDraw®
concept-browser Conzilla
and Human Semantic
Web browser Conzilla2, Google Maps, etc.) Now,
when unlimited interoperability and collaboration
demand data and information sharing, we need more
open semantic-based applications that are able to
SmartDraw® - www.smartdraw.com
Conzilla concept-browser – www.conzilla.org
interoperate and collaborate with each other. Ability
of the system to perform semantically enhanced
resource search/browsing based on resource
semantic description brings a valuable benefit for
today Web and for the Web of the future with
unlimited amount of resources. Subscribing to an
opinion of (Nixon, 2006), bridging the gap between
the emerging folksonomies of Web 2.0 and the
formal semantics of Semantic Web, ontologies
would benefit the Semantic Web community with
being able to leverage the content and knowledge
that Web 2.0 is already generating from its users and
making available over standardized APIs. Proposed
technology allows creation of a Human-centric open
environment for resource collaboration with an
enhanced semantic and context-based visual
resource browsing. It can be considered as a new
valuable extension of text-based Semantic
MediaWiki to Context-based Visual Semantic
MediaWiki. This is a good basis for the different
business, production, maintenance, healthcare, social
process models creation and multimedia content
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4I (FOR EYE) TECHNOLOGY - Intelligent Interface for Integrated Information