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Digital library architecture

Cluster objectives

Future digital libraries should enable any citizen to access human knowledge any time and anywhere, in a friendly, multi-modal, efficient, and effective way. A core requirement for such digital libraries is a common infrastructure which is highly scalable, customizable and adaptive. Ideally, the infrastructure combines concepts and techniques from peer-to-peer data management, grid computing middleware, and service-oriented architectures.

Peer-to-peer architectures allow for loosely coupled integration of information services and sharing of information such as recommendations and annotations. Different aspects of peer-to-peer systems (e.g. indexes, and P2P application platforms) must be combined. Grid computing middleware is needed because certain services within digital libraries are complex and computationally intensive (e.g., extraction of features in multimedia documents to support content-based similarity search or for information mining in bio-medical data). The service-oriented architecture provides mechanisms to describe the semantics and usage of information services. Moreover, it supports mechanisms to combine services into workflow processes for sophisticated search and maintenance of dependencies.

The main objective of this work package therefore is the conceptual and experimental evaluation of the impact of these three main directions to a digital library architecture. A thorough evaluation of existing approaches shall reveal the advantages and disadvantages of either approach. For a quantification of the evaluation, benchmarks have to be developed jointly.

In particular, this work package will focus on the following issues:

  • Exploring new approaches to the architecture for an intelligent management of digital libraries
  • Enabling the coordinated development of information architectures by an adoption of a set of common standards and protocols
  • Managing information dynamics and mobility

Cluster activities

To achieve the goals sketched above, the following activities will be carried out:

  • Organisation of workshops on digital library architectures
  • Developments of surveys that collect most significant contributions of peer-to-peer data management, grid computing, and service-orientation for digital library architectures
  • Perform a comparison and feasibility study on the adoption of a set of common standards and protocols
  • Evaluation of approaches to connection management and information synchronisation
  • Development of a benchmark for the evaluation of digital library architectures
  • Running experiments to find out the strengths and weaknesses of different architectures

Expected Results

  • Survey on current products and trends in Web services and related architectures
  • Survey on current approaches to P2P data management
  • Survey on current approaches to data grid management
  • Survey on standards and protocols for digital libraries
  • Survey on approaches to connection management and data synchronisation
  • Benchmark for evaluation of digital library architectures

Cluster report in DELOS Newsletter, Issue 1, April 2004
Feature article in DELOS Newsletter, Issue 2, October 2004
Cluster report in DELOS Newsletter, Issue 2, October 2004

Cluster Activities of JPA2:

During JPA2 (January 2005 - June 2006) the primary goals of the first 18 months of the project will continue to be actively pursued. General Digital Library Architecture issues will continue to be considered in JPA2, with the main focus aiming at the development of a DL reference model. At the same time, two new tasks in JPA2 will more concentrate on digital library architectures for special purposes. The main focus will be on Digital Library Architecture for e-Health applications. One of the goals of WP1 will therefore be the investigation and provision of a dependable platform. Stream data play an important role in e-Health applications. So, the platform must also support stream processing based on the integration of stream operators and web services.

More details about the cluster activities can be found at:

Expected Results of JPA2:

" Reference Architecture of Digital Library Management Systems
" Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Multimedia Annotations for Users´ Collaboration
" Management of and Access to Virtual Electronic Health Records
" Integration of Data Stream Management


The deliverables of this cluster can be found at:

Cluster coordinator

Hans-Jörg Schek
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich / University for Health Informatics and Technology Tyrol