Corporate Memory

Corporate Memory

CoMem is an ecosystem based on evolving knowledge graphs integrating information silos and legacy systems as well as (personal) information sources of knowledge workers and their teams. The ecosystem is embedded in their office environment to support their daily work with knowledge services to form a bottom-up Corporate Memory.

We use CoMem for our research as well as realizing industry projects. CoMem is daily use in our research team for our knowledge management.

The features are:

Corporate or Organizational Memory (OM)

An OM is an information system continuously acquiring, storing, structuring, and combining information and knowledge, and providing this pro-actively and context-dependent for various tasks. An OM consists of knowledge-based services using knowledge representations based on ontologies to interface between the organization's distributed information sources and the users.

Knowledge Work Assistance

Many KM initiatives suffer from a top-down approach and the lack of involvement from individuals. Therefore, CoMem follows a bottom-up approach to knowledge management (KM) to lower barriers for individuals for taking part in KM activities: first focus on benefits for the individual user, then for the team, department, organization. To achieve this, CoMem supports knowledge work, embedded in daily work with knowledge-based services using available information sources and subjective views of the users. For instance, pro-actively providing relevant information for an email a user is looking at, e.g., the process an email is referencing/belonging to.


We see individual users with their subjective view at the core of our efforts. Therefore, the Personal Information Model (PIMO) serves as a knowledge representation layer on a user's information space. It allows to describe the information objects (such as files, emails, webpages, documents, pictures) with a personalized vocabulary and makes them machine understandable by the use of using semantic technologies. This vocabulary is intended to express the user's mental model with the help of concepts such as topics, projects, persons, tasks, etc. and their respective associations.


Individual PIMOs are embedded in an organizational-setting, thus users can share individual things with all or just selected groups. Thus CoMem consists of individual (private) PIMOs and a set of GIMOs allowing to use accessible things everywhere such as in semantic note-taking. GIMO then reflects an evolving group-view on a company's information space and forms a part of the Enterprise Knowledge Graph.


Times are going fast, so do the tasks and topics we all face. CoMem reflects this in its individual PIMOs by allowing to evolve them, driven by users and their information sources, e.g., by creating new topics, tasks, projects, and also by applying information value assessment to decide on relevancy.


CoMem aims at bridging your distributed information sources, leveraging the (corporate) data and make the whole (corporate) knowledge accessible at one place. Digitalization does not necessarily mean exchanging all legacy systems, at least not directly. Instead, legacy systems are integrated via access interfaces and - with these semantic bridges - leverage the data, aggregate and index. From personal knowledge spaces represented as semantic graphs using the PIMO to Enterprise Knowledge Graphs in CoMem, we use semantic technologies as base technology and are compatible with RDF/S.


Contexts are first order citizens in CoMem. Various places allow to build rich context from knowledge graphs such as in tasks, meetings, writing notes, solving tickets, or dedicated dashboards. Knowledge-services use these contexts for deriving information need, relevancy, enriching information items. Our most recent development here are cSpaces, self-organizing context-spaces.

Embedded in the office environment

The PIMO allows a personalization of the user's view. With the Semantic Desktop ecosystem, the PIMO is available in office applications such as e-mail clients, web browser, task management tools, and file explorer. It allows the semantic annotation of resources such as files, folders, e-mails, webpages, tasks or notes with one vocabulary over all applications, and finally, is also available on mobile devices. Various PIMO-enabled end-user services are provided such as proactive information delivery, semantic search and annotation support, or semantic writing.

The WILL3 technology from Wacom demo now also embraces note-taking on paper or tablets (see press release ) .


With its approach of integrating domain ontologies for new scenarios as well as adapting user interfaces to new domains, CoMem is capable of being introduced to new domains. Up to now, CoMem was applied in scenarios such as research & consulting, 3rd level support, property management, personal photo management, or meeting support. Further ones are in development with cooperation partners.


We are proud of this: out of research, we were pursuing our ideas until we reached a productive system which is now 24/7 in use at our department since 2011 (exchanging gnowsis and nepomuk systems). The system is extended over the years and we try the features ourselves, produce new ideas and are able to do a rapid-prototyping for new ideas also brought in from partners.


Our research has a long-standing history. Building on projects such as KnowMore, Frodo and EPOS as origins of our Organizational Memory and Semantic Desktop ideas. An ever trying to extend with new research such as managed forgetting or our Semantic Bridges. Semantic Technologies, Ontologies, Semantic Bridges, (Enterprise) Knowledge Graph, context-awareness, CBR, OBIE, Linked Data, search is semantic, faceted, pro-active, and forgetful, diary, synergetic preservation, managed forgetting,


Since the EU-project ForgetIT, we enhanced CoMem with features of digital forgetting. We see this as an enabler for realizing self-organizing information systems that semi-automatically reorganize, condense or throw away information (what we call "Managed Forgetting") in order to tidy up and rehash the user's information sphere. Key for this approach is the so-called Memory Buoyancy which is a form of information value assessment inspired by human cognition. Managed Forgetting, Memory Buoyancy, self-organizing context spaces, human cognition, cognitive psychology

Semantic Bridges

Allow the building of bridges between interfaces. Bridges bringing worlds together by simply make a way from one to the other world without touching both worlds.

Smart Data & Knowledge Services

Emerged out of our department SDS, CoMem is able to employ and incorporate several knowledge services such as knowledge-based document analysis and understanding, case-based reasoning, or data analysis for data lakes to address different use cases and scenarios.

Share project:

Contact Person
Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Maus

Publications about the project

Christian Jilek, Jessica Chwalek, Sven Schwarz, Markus Schröder, Heiko Maus, Andreas Dengel

In: AIS Transactions on Enterprise Systems AIS Transactions on Enterprise Systems, Special Issue: Intentional Forgetting in Organizations and Work Settings. 4 1 Pages 1-15 Gito mbH 5/2019.

To the publication
Markus Schröder, Christian Jilek, Andreas Dengel

In: Computing Research Repository eprint Journal (CoRR) abs/1903.05872 Pages 1-5 arXiv 3/2019.

To the publication

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz