Dynamic Adaptation of Content and Structure in Electronic Encyclopaedias

Josef Kolbitsch, Christian Safran, Hermann Maurer

Abstract


Adaptive functionality has been applied successfully in many areas ranging from user interfaces to hypermedia systems. Digital libraries and electronic encyclopaedias, however, have rarely made use of the power of adaptation.

In this paper, an approach to include adaptation into encyclopaedic environments is presented. The proposal covers a set of adaptation techniques. They enable the system to explain technical terms and replace domain specific expressions with "plain" words automatically. Moreover, specific terms can be linked to further articles automatedly. Blacklisting, whitelisting and general link alteration are employed in order to assure quality standards and to provide users with more appropriate hyperlinks. With navigation support based on the automatic insertion of trails and suggestions of potentially interesting articles, the users' navigation in encyclopaedias can be facilitated.

A first version has been implemented in project "Alexander" and has been made available to a limited public. The system is based on a traditional client-server architecture, where the server-side components perform the actual adaptation. Details of this pilot project are provided.

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