Department of Computer and Information Sciences

University of Genoa

EU-India Economic Cross Cultural Programme

ICT for EU-India
Cross-Cultural Dissemination

The project in data and numbers

Partners: University of Udine, Italy (coordinator)/University of Genoa, Italy/Universidad Politècnica de Valencia, Spain/B.M. Birla Science Centre, India. Duration:3 years. Experts involved: 32. Budget: 400 000 €

Outline of the activities

The University of Genova, together with European and Indian partners, has launched a cultural cooperation project on the use of information and communication technology to improve cultural exchanges and knowledge dissemination between Europe and India. The project is co-funded by the European Commission's Delegation to India, under the Economic Cross Cultural Programme framework.

The vision of the project is to enhance the development of these new technologies and to exploit their power to foster cross-cultural dissemination of knowledge between Europe and India, two areas in the world featuring a rich mixture of cultural heritage and technological development potential. The initiative involves the Universities of Genova, Udine, Valencia, and the B.M. Birla Science Centre at Hyderabad.

Workgroups have been organized to explore the applications of computers to cross-cultural dissemination: advanced techniques for the World Wide Web, automatic analysis of documents in different languages, distance learning technologies, digital libraries and digital contents. A cross-cultural community of developers and end-users will be built thanks to the software and network cooperation infrastructure developed. Young people are directly involved thanks to joint research and training programmes between partners of this action, which are already active.

In addition to technical workshops, to be organized within each workgroup, three annual conferences are planned to be held in the three participating States (India 2004, Spain 2005, Italy 2006). These conferences will address a larger, more general audience and will therefore focus on less technical topics.

Specific activities of interest

The Universities of Genoa and Politecnica de Valencia will be involved in the activities of two workgroups:

Workgroup 4 – Clustering techniques for document organisation and retrieval

When searching a document collection, it is often useful to provide it with a structure. In an electronic document collection, structure should be provided automatically, and may be based on several similarity criteria. The activity is focused on the research on novel clustering techniques and their application to the information retrieval task. Some original clustering algorithms have been proposed by the participants: one is especially suitable for the organisation of a document collection, the second is useful in the presentation of search results. The performance of these techniques is promising, so their application to the information retrieval task will be investigated. This will be done by means of a set of thorough experimental tests and by analysis of their theoretical properties.

Workgroup 8 –Semantic Information Retrieval: A Natural Language Processing Task

In many approaches to information retrieval, users’ requests are expressed as keywords, and documents are represented in terms of the words they contain. Such systems cannot retrieve documents on the basis of similarity in meaning. Search engines do not consider the semantic relation between documents. For meeting the needs of inexperienced users, it is crucial to take also into account document content, and therefore to add word semantics to the classic word based access. The activity of this workgroup will allow for a conceptual search of the information on the Web..

Each workgroup activity will be closed by a workshop, to be held as follows:

Workshop 4: Genoa, June 2005

Workshop 8: Genoa, September 2006