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CODATA Euro-American Workshop:
Management of Data, Information, and Knowledge

Paris, France, 28-30 June 1999

Increasing amounts of data and information and the availability of fast digital network access (e.g., the World Wide Web) have created a demand for querying, accessing, and retrieving information and data. There are however some road blocks to the success of the information highway. They include

  • Adequate information and knowledge management strategies and methodologies which will support access and retrieval for distributed and heterogeneous data sources
  • Data mining strategies that work effectively in extracting relevant pieces of information and knowledge
  • Effective visualizations which will enable users to use the information highway easily and efficiently

While computer and information research and development have created methods for management of data, information, and knowledge, commercial, defense, and finance industries and science have developed effective practical applications of these methods dealing with large amounts of data.

This Workshop discussed the state-of-the-art of these important fields and defined future directions for research and development and for real-world implementations. The Workshop consisted of a Keynote Address, invited talks (in 7 sessions), short papers, a round table discussion, and a Capstone Address.

The Keynote Address on "New Concepts in How Innovative Financial Services Companies Will Use Data, Information and Knowledge to Win Their Competitive Battles" was given by William Storts from Andersen Consulting (USA). This speaker discussed the Financial Services industries, their investments in data and information management tools to increase their effectiveness, and how their data is converted to information and then packaged to be shared or sold as knowledge. He then proceeded to describe examples of innovative developments in the data, information, and knowledge this industry is using. These include behavior triage, profile databases, and knowledge widgets.

The program addressed a number of important aspects of data, information, and knowledge (IKM). In the Session 1 on Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) in Industry, Julie Gravallese (MITRE, US) described processes, tools, & people in information and knowledge management stressed that the complex framework of information and knowledge is much about culture as it is about technology. Session 2 dealt with IKM in defense systems (Y. Arens, ISI, B. Thuaisingsham, MITRE, and N. Gershon, MITRE) including issues such as prototype development, security, and command centers. Sessions 3 & 4 focused on overview (P. Carbone, MITRE), applications (S. Arikawa, Kyushu Univ., Y. Kodratoff, CNRS), and visual representation of data mining (S. Eick, Visual Insights, R. Spence, Imperial College, D. Keim, Univ. of Halle, and M. Ward, WPI).

One of the most notable achievement of this Workshop was bringing together experts in museum collections from the two sides of the Atlantic and strengthening the dialog between this important group and CODATA. This was due to the extensive efforts of J.-E. Dubois. Session 5, Information and Knowledge Management in Museum Collections, dealt with

  • The clash of priorities of the natural way in which museums do their business and the pressure of a rapidly changing technology (J. Humphries, Univ. of New Orleans)
  • A strategic plan report of the Electronic Natural History Museum by J. Gomon (US NMNH) and
  • BioCISE: Designing a Metadata Access System for European Biological Collection by W. Berendsohn (Botanic Garden, Berlin)

This theme was further elaborated at an exciting Round Table discussion on the same topic where issues and impediments on collaboration among museums within Europe and across the Atlantic were discussed. In addition to the above-mentioned speakers, participants in these discussions included Dominique Doumenc, Michel Guiraud, Philippe Morat (all from the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris), and Michèle Dufrenne (Museum de Marseille).

Session 6 dealt with tools for information management and mining and included topics such as smart documents for Web-based Collaboration (M. Jern, AVS), tree browsing with visual feedback (K. Andrews, Graz Univ. of Technology), and Web exploration based on graphical bookmarks (M. Hasecoet, Univ. Paris-sud).

Session 7 focused on IKM in Geographical and Geophysical Information Systems including papers on this topic by J.-J. Royer (CRPG-CNRS, Nancy), the contribution of GIS to systematics and evolution by F. Bouille (Univ. Paris 7), and database support for 3D GIS by M. Breunig (Univ. of Bonn).

Session 8, The Management Systems and Tools: The Internet Era, consisted of three talks: Typology of Heterogeneous Database Management Systems by H. Bestougeff (Univ. Paris 7 & Marne la Vallée), Management System of Complex Data- SYDOX by A.-F. Cutting-Decelle (ESIGEC, Chambery), and Using an XML Workbench to build a Web Server Application for Civil engineering by J. Ducloy, CNRS/CRIN Nancy).

The program included also a session with short papers.

The Capstone Address was given by Y. Kawaguchi, (Univ. of Tokyo) who presented a fascinating talk called Survival Beauty. This speaker described a system that renders beautiful images from computer-generated data. The human touch gives these images their meaning.

Many people are responsible for making this Workshop a reality. This includes the Chairs, Nahum Gershon and Jacques Dubois, Jean-Jacques Royer (who spent many hours in constructing the Web site, the on-line registration, and publishing the proceedings), Hélène Bestougeff, Ken Boff, S. Iwata, and Bernice Dubois whose relentless efforts in organizing and carrying out the on-site registration process are greatly appreciated.

This workshop was held at the beautiful Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Jardin des Plantes, in Paris , France, and was supported by

Ministére de l'Education Nationale, de l'Enseignement Supriéur et de la Recherche, France
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France
University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and the
US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, USA.

The Workshop was conducted in cooperation with IEEE Computer Society Task Force on Human Centered Information Systems and the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). It was hosted by CODATA-France.

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