The University of Southampton

Semantic Media – Pervasive Annotation for e-Research

Pervasive Computing and Networks, Knowledge Technologies, Grid and Distributed Computing
EPSRC (EP/C010078/1)

The aim of the project is to investigate and innovate at the intersection of the Semantic Grid and the physical world, by focusing on the capture, distribution and use of semantic annotation in the context of pervasive devices. It addresses important computer science challenges that have arisen in e-Science projects by focusing on the future forms of scientific record that may emerge from the use of a pervasive e-Science infrastructure. The formation of this new form of scientific record raises research challenges in three distinct areas:

Challenge 1:
Recording the record requires a disparate set of information to be captured and related to each other. We need to reduce significantly the cost of capturing this additional information and develop appropriate representations for codifying this information. This will require:
  • The development of devices and techniques that map from real world actions and activities to higher level semantic representations to provide real time information streams representing the ubiquitous computing environment.
  • The investigation of semantic annotation techniques to information streams drawn from real world sensors for use in e-Research applications using multiple ontologies.
Challenge 2:
Sharing the record requires a careful re-examination of the relationship between the underlying architecture and the semantic annotations used to form the record of activities. Sharing this record across a distributed community requires:
  • The development of techniques to allow the distribution and synchronisation of multiple information sources across the infrastructure in a scalable and reliable manner.
  • To create a distributed annotation architecture that move beyond existing centralised services such as RDF triplestores to address the engineering challenges inherent in meeting the requirements of continuous or real-time media across a distributed infrastructure.
Challenge 3:
Replaying the Record requires us to consider how best to represent the record to scientists and how this might best be understood by scientists. This will require:

  • The development of interfaces and devices that present the record to scientists through a range of different interface devices including mobile and ubiquitous computing devices.
  • The development of techniques to support multiple perspectives on the underlying annotations to allow the record to be presented in an appropriate manner to those who would seek to replay it.

The Semantic Media project has been funded under the second round of the EPSRC Computer Science Challenges to Emerge from e-Science programme.

Primary investigator

Secondary investigators


  • University of Nottingham

Associated research group

  • Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group
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