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Using Ontologies for Advanced Information Access

Michael Sintek; Bidjan Tschaitschian; Andreas Abecker; Ansgar Bernardi; Heinz-Jürgen Müller
In: John Domingue (Hrsg.). The Third International Conference and Exhibition on The Practical Application of Knowledge Management. Practical Applications in Knowledge Management (PAKeM-2000), April 12-14, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2000.


Accessing heterogeneous information sources poses interesting problems not only with respect to technical integration, but also with regard to conceptually sound and ergonomically adequate user interaction. Suitable ontologies offer the means to structure the domain on various levels and with appropriately choosen terms, concepts, and interrelations. Using a recent application study as an example, we demonstrate how such ontologies can support the interaction with the user on adequate but varying levels of detail. We illustrate the contribution of the ontology to the automatic configuration of a graphical user interface and argue that the consideration of ergonomical questions will lead to a transgression from the descriptive ontology towards an integrated navigational epistomology. The results facilitate the easy access to complex and weakly-structured information sources. This is applied to information retrieval and experience reuse in the software development department of a large telecommunications company.