Avigdor Gal

Data and Knowledge Sharing in Organizations via Automatic Schema Matching

Short Biography

Avigdor Gal is a faculty member at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management at the Technion. He received his D.Sc. degree from the Technion - Israel Institute ofTechnology in 1995 in the area of temporal active databases. During his studies, Avigdor has received the Miriam and Aaron Gutwirth Scholarship three years in a row (1993-1995). He has published more than 50 papers in journals (e.g. Journal of the ACM (JACM), ACM Transactions on Database Systems (TODS), IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE), and the VLDB Journal, books (Temporal Databases: Research and Practice) and conferences on the topics of data integration, temporal databases, information systems architectures, and active databases.
Avigdor is a steering committee member of IFCIS, a member of IFIP WG 2.6, and a recepient of the IBM Faculty Award for 2002-2004. He is a member of the ACM and the IEEE computer society.
In this talk I shall introduce the challenges in automatic schema matching, discuss a conceptual layered conceptual architecture for tackling these challenges and discuss sample solutions form each layer.


Schema matching, the matching of concepts describing the meaning of data in heterogeneous distributed data sources is one of the basic operations required for data and knowledge sharing. Due to the cognitive complexity of this matching process it has traditionally been performed by human experts. For obvious reasons, manual concept reconciliation in dynamic environments (with or without computer-aided tools) is inefficient to the point of being infeasible, and so cannot provide a general solution for semantic reconciliation. The move from manual to semi-automatic schema matching has therefore been justified in the literature using arguments of scalability and by the need to speed-up the matching process. Researchers also argue for moving to fully-automatic (that is, unsupervised) schema matching in settings where a human expert is absent from the decision process. In particular, such situations characterize numerous emerging applications triggered by the vision of the Semantic Web and machine-understandable Web resources.

Francesco Saverio Nucci

Corporate search engine as Knowledge Management Tool: the PHAROS case study

Born in 1964, he got university degree in Computer Science in March 1990 at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". After a grant for Multimedia and Tutoring System at the Computer Science Dept of University of Rome he collaborated to the start-up of the Sespim Research Consortium in Naples in the field of Human Computer Interface and Multimedia Systems Application, following a project in collaboration with the Media Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he also attended some summer schools and executive courses.
In 1996 he was appointed as Technical Co-ordinator for the SESM Consortium and co-ordinate the negotiation for a ICT large Programme funded by Italian Research Ministry. In 1999 and 2000 he was involved in finance and change management programmes and became staff for a post-merger integration in Alenia Marconi Systems, an Anglo-Italian Joint Ventures and responsible of for the introduction of EVA (Economic Value Added) method in the Company.
In the April 2001 he joined the Engineering R&D Laboratory, with the role of business developer for Digital Content and Media. He acquired more than 50 millions of budget for funding projects, becoming Responsible of European Research Projects, in this role he managed many European Consortia and relevant projects. He was director of the BRICKS project, valorisation responsible for DILIGENT Project. Today he is director of PHAROS project and member of the Steering Committee for the NEM European Technology Platform. He is author of many international papers in Digital Content, Technology based Innovation and New Media. Since 2002 he is professor at the University of Rome "La Sapienza" in the "F.aR.M." Master for Business Management of Media.


The amount of data available on the corporate knowledge systems, in organizations and enterprises is multiplying. Search has become the default way of interacting with data and by 2008, 50% of applications are predicted to include a search facility as a primary interface for end users and employees. In addition, data is increasingly becoming multimedia, including images, video, and audio files. The ever-increasing data complexity leads to the necessity of a coherent approach to the growing variety of formats, standards and tools. Users find themselves overwhelmed by the multitude of new audiovisual search tools, while businesses are at loss for stable direction. Digital data is the greatest value that many organizations possess and the ability to use it, rather than just store it, will be one of the most important aspects of strategy in the coming decade. Access to digital data is the front window and the operational backbone for most organizations. The growth of data volume is rapidly shifting to audiovisual content, yet the technologies that allow processing and retrieval of this content are either mainly experimental, or only vaguely capable of handling true queries and content.
Audiovisual search is therefore one of the major challenges for organizations and businesses today, and search-based technologies which can provide contextually relevant, integrated and scalable access to distributed and heterogeneous collections of information is essential.
The PHAROS Integrated Project (IP), funded from 2007-2009, aims at developing an innovative audiovisual technology platform, which will enable consumers, businesses and organizations to unlock the values found in audiovisual content, a platform that will take user and search requirements as key design principles and which will be deeply integrated with user and context technologies. The developed technology will sustain itself in the future by enabling new players to build on top of the platform. To achieve this ambitious task, PHAROS mobilizes 13 strong technological players, research institutions and user groups, all sharing common goals.

     Ronald Maier

From Knowledge Portals to Knowledge Infrastructures

Short Biography

Ronald Maier, born in 1968 in Linz (Austria), holds a Master Degree in Management Information Systems from Johannes-Kepler-University of Linz, Austria, a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from The Koblenz School of Corporate Management - Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management (WHU) and a habilitation degree from the University of Regensburg.
His Ph.D. thesis is on "Quality of Data Modelling", his habilitation thesis is entitled "Knowledge Management Systems. Information and Communication Technologies for Knowledge Management". His academic career started in 1992 as research assistant at the Johannes-Kepler-University of Linz, Austria. From 1993 to 1995 he was with the Koblenz School of Corporate Management - Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management (WHU) in Koblenz, Germany. From 1995 to 2002 he worked at the University of Regensburg, Germany, as research assistant and in 2002 as Visiting Professor. He worked as Visiting Assistant Professor at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia in Athens, GA, USA, from 1998-1999. From 2002 to 2007, he held a Chair in MIS, Information Systems Leadership at the School of Business and Economics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg.
Since February 2007, he has been with the School of Management, Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, Austria. He leads the Information Systems unit as University Professor for Management Information Systems. He is editor as well as reviewer for a number of research journals, international conferences and serves as expert for the European Commission. He has published articles in a number of research journals, books and conference proceedings. His research interests include business process management, data management and business intelligence, flexible and adaptive information systems and knowledge management.


Businesses and organizations are characterized by an increasing portion of knowledge-intensive work. Knowledge management instruments as combinations of organizational and information and communication technological measures can be used to improve productivity of knowledge-intensive work. If designed accordingly, knowledge portals can offer suitable platforms for the implementation of knowledge management instruments.
The development of knowledge portals involves substantial requirements for accessing and integrating data, documents and services. The consequent realization of these requirements leads to enterprise knowledge infrastructures. Implementation of both, instruments and infrastructurs, requires adequate modeling techniques that consider the specifics of modeling context in knowledge work, skills and competences of individuals, teams and communities, types and maturity levels of knowledge, processes and composition of knowledge management services.
The presentation reflects on characteristics of knowledge work, knowledge management instruments, knowledge portals and knowledge infrastructures and identifies key concepts for designing IT-based infrastructural solutions aimed at supporting organizational efficiency in handling knowledge.


  • Jul 27, 2007
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