SEMIOTIKS is a 3 year research programme sponsored by General Dynamics and QinetiQ as part of the MoD-funded Data and Information Fusion Defence Technology Centre (DIF DTC) initiative. SEMIOTIKS aims to address the challenges faced by military and civilian agencies in leveraging the potential of large scale information repositories to support enhanced situation awareness and information superiority. The project combines state-of-the-art approaches to text analysis and resource classification with semantic technologies that support information retrieval, knowledge extraction, knowledge discovery, text summarization, knowledge dissemination and decision-making. A key aim of the project is to facilitate the identification, classification and processing of unstructured textual resources by capitalizing on the availability of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) techniques. NLP technologies are used to extract relational information from information resources in a form that is suitable for knowledge processing, while ML techniques support the classification of resources with respect to the elements of a domain ontology. Both capabilities are supported by a ML-based approach to semantic annotation in which a system progressively learns to annotate text fragments based on user-supplied exemplars.
In addition to the attempt to improve the acquisition of domain-relevant information, SEMIOTIKS also aims to support the user with respect to the manipulation, processing and dissemination of knowledge. One of the research objectives of the project is to investigate techniques for efficient and scalable rule-based processing on the Semantic Web, and the results of this work are informing the development of a generic decision support system that provides both a situation assessment and planning capability. Other research focus areas include the development of knowledge monitors that extend the situation monitoring capabilities of the AKTiveSA Technical Demonstrator System (TDS). These components alert users about any changes or events in the situation picture that might impact on a userâs problem-solving goals. SEMIOTIKS also aims to extend the user interaction capabilities of the AKTiveSA TDS. In this case, a rich suite of user interface components are being developed which support the human end user with respect to the manipulation of task-relevant information. Specific focus areas for visualization and interaction research include the development of visual query languages, graphical query designers, multi-touch displays, and novel approaches to ontology navigation and visualization.