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ActiveTM - The Factory for Domain-customised Portal Engines

Article, was published by Lutz Maicher and Benjamin Bock at 2009-04-28

The article presents ActiveTM, which implements a Model-driven approach to automatically create subject-centric portal engines.

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Our goal is increasing the users’ value and experience and decreasing the implementation time for web portals. To achieve this goal we adopt a subject-centric perspective on information architecture. The fundament of this approach is that portals should be driven by subject-centric models of the portals’ domains. Out of these domain models, the interaction and interface design of the portals is self-evident. Amongst others, the international industry standard Topic Maps is a portal technology and an implementation of the subject-centric modelling paradigm. With ActiveTM we introduce a technology, which implements a Model-driven approach to automatically create domain-customised, subject-centric portal engines, based on Topic Maps. Extending ActiveTM, Information Shapes provide domain-specific views of the ActiveTM data, increasing the reusability of view components. ActiveTM and Information Shapes have proved as techniques for reducing the implementation cost of portals enormously and the implied subject-centricness increases the users’ value and experience significantly.


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As a former information scientist, I am fascinated since 1999 by the capabilities for building Topic Maps-based knowledge systems having the potential to augment human mind. One can model arbitrary knowledge organization systems, deal with semantic heterogeneity, collocate all facts about one subject in one logical place, and with TMQL have semantic retrieval on federated semantic networks. Therefore I expect bright prospects for business concepts building on the exchange of such knowledge snippets via semantic knowledge services.

Alexander Sigel
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab