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Knowledge Systems

AIAI's Knowledge Systems Research concentrates on those areas of Artificial Intelligence that are concerned with explicit representations of knowledge. These are Knowledge Representation, including Ontologies, Enterprise Modelling, and Knowledge Management; Knowledge Engineering, including tools for acquiring formal models and checking their structure; and, more recently, services and brokering on the Semantic Web.

The group explores and develops generic approaches by engaging in specific applied studies. It uses the knowledge gained in specific client projects and consultancies with all sizes of companies world wide. Applications include automatic layout, hazard assessment, bid management, management of spare parts, etc.

Current research in knowledge systems is supported by the Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) IRC project, a 6 year EPSRC-funded project with 6 UK university groups researching subjects ranging from knowledge acquisition and knowledge publishing to knowledge management and knowledge maintenance.

The Semantic Web: will become the means of delivery for many knowledge-based services. Representing knowledge in web-compatible formats such as RDFS and OWL, and implementing brokering agents that allow web services to be discovered and invoked are some on-going research activities.

Knowledge Representation: developing ways to organise and formalise knowledge of different types and for different purposes. Edinburgh has a long tradition in the development of knowledge representations and extensive experience in the use of a variety of knowledge representations. AIAI is also noted for its involvement in representation standards initiatives.

Ontologies: definitions of concepts for sharing and re-using knowledge. There is strong interest and experience in the development of ontologies, and in their use in applications. Ontologies for plans, actions and processes have been developed within the Cyc Knowledge Base; an ontology of business terms has been developed during the Enterprise project.

Enterprise Modelling: describing those aspects of an organisation that are relevant for supporting its operation. This field covers areas such as multi-perspective modelling (in both senses of perspective - different viewpoints on the same artifact, or different opinions of a single concept), and it draws on a variety of methods and techniques from areas like ontologies and task management. Developments range from research into issues and techniques for Enterprise modelling to the development of support tools for enterprise modelling and tools that use enterprise models to support the running of the organisation itself. Projects of note are Enterprise, TBPM, and SDBA. Also note I-DE domain modelling support efforts under AIAI's I-X work programme.

Knowledge Engineering: developing knowledge-based software systems. Areas of expertise include the use of methodologies for knowledge engineering, knowledge acquisition techniques, and in programming knowledge-based software systems. Three projects of note are the Rapid Knowledge Formation project (RKF), which is building power-tools for knowledge acquisition to allow experts to provide knowledge to a software system without the help of a knowledge engineer, AUSDA, which analyses and integrates software development approaches, and TOPKAT which links knowledge acquisition with CommonKADS knowledge representation. Our most successful deployed knowledge-based systems are Formation and EASE.

Knowledge Management: identifying the use of, or need for knowledge in an organisation, and proposing strategies to look after that knowledge and to make it more widely available. Edinburgh's approach draws on methods and techniques that use rich modelling of knowledge, such as ontologies, multi-perspective modelling, and established knowledge engineering methods. Applications include skills management, validation of business models, and web-based information services.

Projects Publications Contact
Capability Modelling and Knowledge Management
The Enterprise Ontology
A Process Ontology
Sharing and Checking Organisation Knowledge

Austin Tate
Jussi Stader
Stephen Potter
Jessica Chen-Burger
Stuart Aitken

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Updated: Tue Jul 15 15:03:52 2003
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