Hypertext Interface for Information: Multimedia and Relational Databases


HIFI - 6532

Keywords hypertext interfaces, relational databases, multimedia databases


Start Date: 15-JUN-92 / Duration: 24 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives and Approach

The HIFI project aims to create a set of tools to allow a reader to access, via a hypertext interface, a large body of information managed by external (possibly pre-existing) databases, either relational or multimedia.

The approach is based on using a model-based description (mapping) of the hypertext application, defined in a declarative and/or operational style, that translates hypertext operations (search, queries and navigation) into operations on the underlying information base, and also "materialises" hypertext objects, using objects of the underlying databases. A suitable model is also being developed for multimedia information in order to define the mapping by abstracting from strict implementation considerations.

A repository acts as an active dictionary, storing the model-based schema (description) of the interface application, the schemas of the interfaced databases, and the mapping between the two. During the "configuration" phase such definitions are extracted (off-line) from the repository and made available to the execution tools, in a suitable format.

Methodologies to support the hypertext interface development process are also being investigated.

Three different real-life applications (for banks, hospitals and museums) are being developed to show the validity of the approach.

Progress and Results

Prototypes of the three pilot applications have been developed and tested. The applications and the set of the HIFI tools have been fully specified and designed. The HDM+ model (extension of the Hypermedia Design Model) has been specified and techniques for mapping have been developed. The implementation of the execution tools has been started. A Workshop has been held on "Methodological Issues on the Design of Hypertext-based User Interface": the Workshop proceedings will be commercially published in the Esprit Series of Springer Verlag.

Exploitation

Many of the results of the project will be the basis for future products and applications.

In the short term, most of the partners of the project intend to use these results in order to:

In the longer term, specific application lines are planned by the industrial partners: the HIFI technology is widely applicable and a number of users across Europe have shown interest in the HIFI approach: negotiations are under way for new applications.


CONTACT POINT

Mr Umberto Cavallaro
Systems & Management SpA
Via Altieri 19
I - 10121 Torino
tel: + 39 / 11-5612-323
fax: + 39 / 11-5576-304
email: umberto@to.sem.it

Participants

SYSTEMS & MANAGEMENT SPA - I - C
EPSILON SOFTWARE LTD - GR - P
SYNTAX SOFTWARE SISTEMI SPA - I - P
SIEMENS AG - D - P
MUSIC FORTH - GR - A
GMD - D - A
POLITECNICO DI MILANO - I - A
BENAKI MUSEUM - GR - A


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HIFI - 6532, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook