University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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OpenInfRA – Storing and retrieving information in a heterogeneous documentation system (Long Paper)
Felix Falko Schäfer, Alexander Schulze

Last modified: 2012-09-05


OpenInfRA is a new system for the scientific documentation and publication of worldwide conducted projects in archaeology. It is based on two older applications developed by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Berlin (iDAI.field + CISAR) and thematically will support not only excavations with their finds but also extensive/intensive surveys, building studies, stratigraphical drillings, restoration works and geophysical prospections. In technical terms it will focus in particular on open interfaces to publish and share its content for re-use and interoperability scenarios. It will consequently provide tools for the communication with online-systems like web-databases, geo-services or library catalogues (e. g. OPACs) on the one hand, and on the other hand, with specific professional (desktop) applications (like GIS, 3D, statistical, CAD, image processing, harris-matrices) for further evaluation and analysis of research results.

Due to the aim of the developers to provide functionalities for editing and storing primary data from various field projects with different methodological approaches and scientific questions, the information within OpenInfRA is going to be very heterogeneous in respect to data quality, data formats, data types, languages, accuracy and fuzziness. Against this background, the search queries and the visualisation of the results become a technical and semantical challenge as there is a need for incorporating impreciseness and proximity into a logic based query language. The approach taken is to integrate special retrieval algorithms that combine the power of Boolean logic with vague and uncertain conditions. Therefore, a calculus query language named CQQL (commuting quantum query language) has been introduced by the chair of Database and Information Systems at Brandenburg University of Technology. Its underlying unifying theory is based on the mathematical formalism of quantum mechanics and quantum logic.

The first part of the presentation will give a short overview of the main characteristics and issues of OpenInfRA. The second part will present the information retrieval strategies which are going to be implemented within this system.


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database; information retrieval; documentation system; query language