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Duration: 5 months
Starting date: July 2002
Status: Concluded
Technologies: Fuzzy Logic, Data Mining/Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Based Systems, Multi-Agent systems
Project Contact:
Rita Ribeiro

Knowledge technologies in the context of the AURORA program - Past Research Projects
Project Summary
The project’s outcome is a report that represents combination of fields that are partially unstructured and uncorrelated although they address the same underlying concept: ‘Knowledge’. The report focuses on what is needed; for AURORA programme, which, at the limit, will not evolve independently from technologies in other domains. Moreover, the report also addresses what can be really obtained, since the major guidelines supporting our contributions are ‘enabling and efficiency’.

The AURORA missions require ‘enabling’ factors to unblock those severe constraints affecting the viability of the project. In the other hand, AURORA also requires efficiency to make the most appropriate use of the available resources and technologies (during planning, preparation and execution of the missions). The availability of automated knowledge intense processes is therefore essential. A neutral name, focused on the ‘implementation’ issues and pragmatism has been selected for this area: ‘Knowledge Technologies’.

The report has been subtitled ‘State-of-the-Art & Roadmap’ because it does both things: it is, in one hand, an analysis of current capabilities and technologies on the different fields we have grouped together. And in the other hand, it presents our own perspective of the horizon thus describing one (of the infinitude of potential paths) with which we will be confident that challenging milestones can be reached and hence the Knowledge Technologies developed to the point of being in the position of contributing appropriately to the AURORA programme.

Figure 1 depict the several chapters that describe the report:
  • Chapter 1, Knowledge Technologies background, introduces the target field: Brief historical reference plus the rational for grouping techniques and technologies in the very particular way we are doing in this ‘Past & Future’ document.
  • Chapter 2, Knowledge, focuses on the central element that aggregates the ‘Knowledge Technologies’, which is obviously knowledge. This chapter discuss concepts, produces definitions and sets up the basis for later classifications, since the ‘nature’ of knowledge represents the dominating aspect in the majority of the topics being discussed. The domain of this chapter is identified in light yellow in the figure above, being knowledge acquisition the most relevant aspects to be covered.
  • Chapter 3, Knowledge Technologies & Services, is full of pragmatism. Knowledge Technologies do not have sense if they do not have specific and characteristic capabilities yielding to specific benefit. This chapter discuss ‘cases’ where Knowledge Technology will have (currently and in the future) to contribute; This chapter also prepares the transition between the ‘conceptual’ framework and the effectively application oriented one; this is done on the basis of the basic outcomes of the knowledge transformation (Recognition and Generalization) that lead the way to the knowledge technologies and supporting services, on which the rest of the chapters are structured.
  • Chapter 4, AURORA, (also subtitled context for technology application) which consists of a straight forward mapping of the Knowledge Technologies and Supporting Services into the AURORA program, identifying – some times, just interpreting or imagining – needs and direct benefits. This represents the very basis for the very relevant Chapter 5, Future Roadmap, which depicts the needed evolution of the underlying technologies and services structured in three relevant time slices between 2002 and 2030. Still more pragmatic, Chapter 6, Workplan, transforms the roadmap into projects proposals organized around milestones oriented planning.
  • Annexes. The first presents the state of the art of knowledge supporting technologies and the second presents the state of the art of the supporting services need for the technologies.
A final remark: The report’s scope is challenging and would like, as well, to be provocative. It also features large doses of ‘common sense’ in order to counteract political (or just private) strategies fomenting localism in several scientific domains. The resulting scenario is a vast theatre summarized in targeted sections of this report. Some underlying state of the art knowledge is delivered in appendix in order to make reading more accessible. Nevertheless, the field is state-of-the-art in both the technical and human sciences and hence it should be technically and humanly complex but appealing.

Research Areas
  • Knowledge Based Systems

R. A. Ribeiro, F. J. Varas. Knowledge Technologies. Final meeting presentation at Call for Technology Exploration for the Aurora Programme, ESTEC, Noordwijk, Nederland, December (2002).