Equalia Presentation at the conference Culturelles Erbe in der Cloud

(Published on 25 November 2013)

The Equalia evaluation service was presented by Alexander Nussbaumer at the conference "Culturelles Erbe in der Cloud" (Cultural Heritage in the Cloud) in Graz, Austria, on November 22, 2013. This event was organised by the Center for Information Modelling in the Humanities of the University of Graz together with Europeana Local Austria.

Equalia was presented as poster in the context of the CULTURA project together with its digital libraries: the 1641 Depostions and the IPSA Collection. An explanation of the CULTURA project and Equalia was given to the whole conference audience in a poster presentation session and in conversations with individual participants in the poster exhibition area.

The CULTURA project - Top Story on CORDIS portal

(Published on 23 October 2013)

A brilliant publication about CULTURA recently appeared on the CORDIS website, to disseminate the concept and the objectives of the CULTURA platform.

'When looking at historical material a lot of information is not immediately obvious, there can be many ambiguities and inconsistencies, so what are needed are processes that can dig out that information and find those non-obvious references,' explains Dr Owen Conlan, Trinity College's School of Computer Science and Statistics, in the piece. And he provides the example of the repeated references in the 20.000 pages of the "1641 Depositions" to Phelim O'Neil, that is also known in the depositions under different names and spellings or referred to simply as 'the rebel'. Language normalization is in facts one of the features of the CULTURA platform.

The tools available thanks to the CULTURA environment analyze the connections between entities and relationships within the content, thus helping in placing historical events and figures in context, so that it is easier to visualize and comprehend them.

CULTURA solution is extremely effective also with image based online collections such as the Imaginum Patavinae Scientiae Archivum (IPSA), which is a digital archive of herbalists' manuscripts and illustrations with Latin language commentaries. 'Using our social-network analysis, we can see, for example, who drew which illustrations, who financed them and what other illustrations they were influenced by', explains Dr. Conlan.

This system is a very powerful resource for research, but it also will make cultural and historical heritage more accessible thanks to user profile personalization process that develops dynamic storylines around certain events, dates, places or people, generating an easy to follow narrative for any user, which adapts dynamically to the user's profile and usage history. 'Historical resources should not only be accessible to university professors and researchers, but to many different types of people, from school and university students to historical societies and interest groups and members of the general public,' Dr Conlan emphasizes. 'One of the biggest challenges digital collections face is accessibility and awareness - CULTURA goes a long way towards addressing these issues.'

There are plans for CULTURA project to expand also to other on line repositories, for example those of the Irish 1916 Easter Uprising, and to look for to commercialization and re-use of different parts of the technology that compose the system.

Read the whole article on CORDIS website

Two new dissemination occasions

(Published on 8 October 2013)

The CULTURA project has been recently disseminated in two important occasions:

At the Third annual conference of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities the TCD team presented a CULTURA Panel under the name of "Semantic Uplift in the Digital Humanities".

A demo of the project has been presented at the 2nd International Workshop on Supporting Users Exploration of Digital Libraries in the occasion of the TPDL 2013 Conference, always by the TCD team.

CULTURA, part of the CNGL Centre for Global Intelligent Content

(Published on 8 October 2013)

CULTURA was demoed last Thursday 3rd October, as part of the new CNGL center headquartered in TCD: an Irish Government Minister was present, as well as lots of industrial partners (Intel, Cisco, Microsoft, Symantec etc.)

The CNGL Centre for Global Intelligent Content has secured a total of €13.5 million from public and private sources to continue its research. CNGL is an academia-industry research consortium dedicated to delivering disruptive technologies like multilingual content analysis. It is led by Trinity College Dublin and co-hosted by Dublin City University. Now entering its second funding cycle supported by Science Foundation Ireland, to date CNGL has produced seven spinout companies, raised €1.25 million in venture capital and created 30 jobs.

As well as receiving funding from the exchequer and EU, CNGL has the backing of several industry partners include Microsoft, Symantec, Intel, McAfee, Cisco, DNP, Xanadu, Welocalize, Alchemy Software Development, and VistaTEC.

Read More

THE RESEARCHERS' NIGHT - 27 September 2013

(Published on 3 September 2013)

(Updated on 8 october 2013)

The Researchers' NIGHT will take place on Friday 27 September 2013, and will be the occasion for a European wide public and media event for the promotion of research careers and projects. It is intended to ensure as large a geographical coverage as possible, involving the maximum number of Member States and associated countries.

This is a mega event taking place every year on a single September night in about 300 cities all over Europe and its aim is to disseminate and let the general public (families, schools, curious ones) exploring science in engaging ways. The program includes behind-the-scenes guided tours of research labs that are normally closed to the public, interactive science shows, hands-on experiments or workshops.

The theme is "What do researchers really do and why does it matter for your daily life?" In this extremely wide context, the project CULTURA is participating through activities held by the Trinity College in Dublin and by the Padua University.

The Researchers' Night in Dublin

In Dublin, within the wider event Discover Research Dublin, a bank of computers allowed the public to become historians for a night, exploring the digital collections and learning how technology can be used as a tool for exploration. TCD School of Computer Science and Statistics and the Digital Repository of Ireland is piloting new cultural collections and archives in the CULTURA system, and a portion of these have been made available to the public to interact with.


The Researchers' Night in Padua

Padua University partecipated in the event NEAR, Nord East Night, together with other prestigious Italian Universities. In particular, in Padua at the Cultural Heritage department there was poster of CULTURA and a workstation to show the systems IPSA and IPSA@CULTURA, with the presence of experts such as Maristella Agosti, Marta Manfioletti, Nicola Orio and Chiara Ponchia, who illustrated the project and its functionalities to the visitors.

CULTURA represented at the 1st EU-Day at the 13th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies (i-KNOW 2013), Graz, Austria

(Published on 23 September 2013)

The CULTURA project participated at the 1st EU-Day, which was held at the 13th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies, on 4-6 September 2013 in Graz, Austria. The CULTURA team from Graz University of Technology contributed in various ways to this interesting and fruitful event.

I-KNOW is a well-established international conference taking place every year and bringing together researchers, developers, and practitioners from the fields of knowledge management and knowledge computing. The conference attracts annually more than 500 international attendees from different disciplines.

The first EU-Day taking place in the context of i-KNOW 2013 pursued two main objectives: on the one hand, bringing together like-minded EU-projects at a synergy workshop to present and discuss project results, directions and research challenges; and on the other presenting the project ideas and results to industrial and science partners in order to test exploitability of the project as well as to exchange experiences and needs. The EU-Day was hosted by the MIRROR project; participating projects were ImREAL, CULTURA, ROLE, and Learning Layers.

In the context of the synergy workshop three main topics were addressed in separate sessions: User modelling, user support, and evaluation. In the session on evaluation the CULTURA team presented the evaluation service ‘Equalia' as one of the technologies developed in the context of CULTURA. Equalia was outlined as a service for designing, carrying out, and analysing evaluation. Its applicability in the context of technology enhanced learning (TEL) was described, giving concrete examples on how the evaluation process of a TEL system can be supported by Equalia.

The second part of the first EU-day@i-KNOW consisted in a dissemination and exploitation track, addressing in particular HR-related challenges. In this context, a project overview on CULTURA was given to experts and practitioners in the field of HR. The applicability of evaluation approaches developed and applied in CULTURA to human resource development and management was presented. In particular, the significance of Equalia and the internal evaluation of CULTURA for a systematic approach to conducting employee surveys in organisations was outlined.

In addition, at the demo session of the i-KNOW conference, the TUG team had the opportunity to present and demonstrate the evaluation service Equalia. Furthermore, the CULTURA project was represented at an EU-project booth for the duration of the whole conference with a slideshow, the project poster, and flyers and hand-outs.

TPDL 2013 The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries

(Updated on 3 September 2013)

The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL) constitutes a leading scientific forum on digital libraries that brings together researchers, developers, content providers and users in the field of digital libraries. TPDL 2013, the 17th edition of the conference, is organized by University of Malta and it will be held in Valletta, Malta on September 22-26, 2013.

Valuable and rapidly increasing volumes of data are produced or transformed into digital form by all fields of scientific, educational, cultural, business and governmental activities. For this purpose the digital libraries community has developed long-term and interdisciplinary research agendas, providing significant results, such as conceptual models, added value infrastructures, software tools, standards and services.

The advent of the technologies that enhance the exchange of information with rich semantics is the epicenter of the discussions of the community. Information providers inter-link their metadata with user contributed data and offer new services outlooking to the development of a web of data and addressing the interoperability and long-term preservation challenges. TPDL 2013 general theme is "Sharing meaningful information", and keynote speakers of the conference include dr. Christine Borgman, "Digital Scholarship and Digital Libraries: Past, Present, and Future", and Dr. Sören Auer "What can Linked Data do for Digital Libraries?"

Tutorials and workshops: the first day of the conference will offer conference attendees and local participants a stimulating and informative selection of tutorials covering current topics in digital libraries and related technologies and areas of research. The final day, September 26, 2013, after the Main Track of the conference, a series of selected Workshops is organized.

Conference Website

Media supporter Digitalmeetsculture.net

MM4CH 2013

Second International Workshop on Multimedia for Cultural Heritage

(Updated on 3 September 2013)

The 2nd International Workshop on Multimedia for Cultural Heritage will be held on the 10th of September 2013, in conjunction with the 17th International Conference on Image Analysis and Processing (ICIAP), Naples, Italy, and it aims to be a profitable informal working day to discuss together hot topics in multimedia applied to cultural heritage.

Multimedia technologies have recently created the conditions for a true revolution in the Cultural Heritage area, with reference to the study, valorization, and fruition of artistic works. The use of these technologies allow creating new digital cultural experiences by means of personalized and engaging interaction.

New multimedia technologies could be used to design new approaches to the comprehension and fruition of the artistic heritage for example through smart, context-aware artifacts and enhanced interfaces with the support of features like story-telling, gaming and learning. To these aims, open and flexible platforms are needed, to allow building services that support use of cultural resources for research and education. A likely expectation is the involvement of a wider range of users of cultural resources in diverse contexts and considerably altered ways to experience and share cultural knowledge between participants.

Call for papers is now open and submissions are expected to deal with multimedia in areas including, but not limited to:

  • Interactive 3D media and immersive environments
  • Multi-modal multimedia computing systems and human machine interaction
  • Multimedia databases and digital libraries
  • Multimedia applications and services
  • Media content analysis and search
  • Hardware and software for multimedia systems, also in mobile scenarios
  • Security issues in the presentation and distribution of cultural information

The workshop is a good occasion for CULTURA dissemination, following the previous valuable experience of University of Padua during the First MM4CH workshop held in Modena, Italy, on May 3, 2011, where CULTURA was disseminated in the conference and also in the proceedings book with a wide submission.

The staff of University of Padua is already planning to submit a new article about the most recent results of CULTURA.

Multimedia for Cultural Heritage

Workshop 2013

Workshop 2011

Book Chapter

ENRICH 2013: Exploration, Navigation and Retrieval of Information in Cultural Heritage

(Published on 2 September 2013)

On August 1st 2013, in the framework of the 36th Annual ACM SIGIR conference, the first workshop on Exploration, Navigation and Retrieval of Information in Cultural Heritage (ENRICH) has been held in Dublin.

The three main goals of the workshop were:

  • To discuss the challenges and opportunities in Information Retrieval research in the area of Cultural Heritage.
  • To encourage collaboration between researchers engaged in work in this specialist area of Information Retrieval, and to foster the formation of a research community.
  • to identify a set of actions which the community should undertake to progress research in this area.

ENRICH has been supported by the European Projects CULTURA and PATHS.

Workshop Website

CULTURA presentation in Humanities Lecture at University of Graz

(Published on 23 July 2013)

In cooperation with the Center for Information Modelling in the Humanities the TUG team had the opportunity to present the CULTURA project on 25 June 2013 in an introductory lecture on basics of information technology for humanities. The two digital collections used in CULTURA (1641 Depositions and IPSA collection) were introduced and both instances of the the CULTURA environment were demonstrated as a showcase for information modelling in the humanities. An overview of evaluation work carried out in the CULTURA project was given and feedback from students was collected.

CULTURA represented at the 'Humanities Day' of University of Graz

(Published on 23 July 2013)

The CULTURA project was introduced by Alexander Nussbaumer at the interdisciplinary symposium Bairisch-österreichische Dialektkulturen vor 1800, which was organised by the Dialect Cultures project in conjunction with the Humanities Day at the University of Graz, 20-21 June 2013. CULTURA was presented as an example research envrionment for digital cultural heritage collections in the context of discussing potential further development and evaluation of the Dialect Cultures database.

CULTURA represented at Europeana ECloud Expert Forum

18 June 2013

Researchers from CULTURA participated in the first eCloud expert forum in Dublin, helping to guide the design of the next generation of tools for use on Europeana content. Europeana Cloud is a Best Practice Network, coordinated by the Europeana Foundation, designed to establish a cloud-based system for Europeana and its aggregators. Europeana Cloud will provide new content, new metadata, a new linked storage system, new tools and services for researchers and a new platform - Europeana Research. CULTURA is sharing its experience of user-centred design and humanities tool development.

DIGITAL HERITAGE International Congress 2013

The Congress will be held in Marseille, France, the 2013 European Capital of Culture, and it covers heritage in all its forms, focusing around 5 heritage themes:

  • Built Heritage (sites to cities, towns and cultural landscapes, ie World Heritage)
  • Culture & Traditions (folklife to languages, song, dance, craft… ie Intangible Heritage)
  • Museums & Collections (movable objects and their museums, ie Movable Heritage)
  • Libraries & Archives (books to maps, manuscripts,Documentary Heritage)
  • Art & Creativity (digital / new media art to creative digital and online culture)

The result of this Congress will be the largest international scientific event on digital heritage in history, bringing together hundreds of researchers, educators, scientists, industry professionals and policy makers to debate, discuss and present digital technology applied to the protection, documentation, and understanding of humanity's shared heritage.

For the first time ever, under the patronage of UNESCO, the leading scientific and industry events from across the digital and heritage spheres will join together under one roof to explore the state-of-the-art and address future emerging research scenarios.

The Congress includes scientific conferences and symposia, exhibitions, workshops and awards, in a very rich and intense program.

Conference Website


CULTURA Workshop at COLAB Parma

On April 15th, Chiara Ponchia of the University of Padova has led an evaluation session with the Co-Lab centre of the University of Parma. CoLab is a cross-department research centre for learning and digital publishing support. It organises workshops on e-learning, digital publishing, digital humanities, and in general topics related to IT applied to teaching and learning. To organise the interaction with CoLab UniPd is currently working with one of the researchers in charge of the centre, who is also responsible for the International Master in Digital Library Learning (DILL).

The trial involved non-domain professional users with different fields of expertise: IT engineers, researchers from the Department of Languages and Philology and Art historians. We firmly believe that such a heterogeneous group will provide useful and meaningful feedback, because they will concentrate on different aspects of the system, according to their different cultural background.

SIGIR 2013

SIGIR is the major international forum for the presentation of new research results and for the demonstration of new systems and techniques in information retrieval. At a time of exceptional growth in the importance of search technologies, the world's leading information retrieval experts from academia and industry will converge on Dublin from 28th July to 1st August for SIGIR 2013.

The conference consists of five days of papers, posters, tutorials, workshops and demonstrations focused on research and development in the area of IR, as well as social events at major landmarks in Dublin.

Official Website

CULTURA Workshop at Center for Information Modelling in the Humanities

TUG cooperation with Center for Information Modelling in the Humanities for demonstrating and testing the CULTURA environment.

On March 13th 2013, the TUG team of CULTURA has held a half-day workshop at the University of Graz, Center for Information Modelling in the Humanities. This center is doing applied research in the field of information and data processing in the humanities, with a focus on theory of data-modelling and, in particular, on the practical implementation in teaching and projects. In addition to staff members of the center, a member from the Department of History with a research focus on historical information and documentation science, as well as a small group of students from the European joint master's degree programme 'European Heritage, Digital Media and Information Society' participated in the workshop. In the workshop, the CULTURA environment was demonstrated and useful feedback was collected from participants, who trialled the implementations for both, the 1641 Depositions and the IPSA collection.

Workshop Website


Digital Humanities 2013

Every year the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) organizes an international conference inviting submissions on any aspect of the digital humanities, encouraging interdisciplinary work and focusing on new developments in the field.
The next Digital Humanities Conference will take place at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in July 2013: the call for papers was recently closed and, within the project CULTURA, four articles were accepted for the conference.

  • The FAST-CAT: Empowering Cultural Heritage Annotations
  • by Munnelly, Hampson, Ferro, Conlan (Full Paper)

  • Abstract: The role of annotations in digital humanities is well known and documented (Agosti et al., 2004, 2007) (Bélanger, 2010). Subsequently, many different tools which allow for the annotation of digital humanities content have been developed. Unfortunately, tools designed specifically for an individual portal are typically only compatible with that system. More general solutions, which can be easily distributed across various sites, have been developed, but these systems often have limited functionality (only annotating a single content type, no sharing features etc.) (Okfn) (TILE, 2011). FAST-CAT (Flexible Annotation Semantic Tool - Content Annotation Tool) is a generic annotation system that directly addresses this challenge by providing a convenient and powerful means of annotating digital content. This paper introduces FAST, the backend service providing powerful annotation functionalities, and CAT, the frontend Web annotation tool, and discusses how its features are tackling important challenges within the Digital Humanities field.

  • An Evaluation of the Involvement of General Users in a Cultural Heritage Collection
  • by Agosti, Benfante, Manfioletti, Orio, Ponchia (Short Paper)

  • Abstract: Digital tools are becoming an increasingly important way for aiding research in the humanities. Scholars in different disciplines related to cultural heritage are currently exploiting digital resources at different levels, from the simple storage of digital acquisitions of cultural objects in an online collection to the 3D rendering of complete sites, from the use of advanced search functions to browse multimedia collections to the possibility to annotate the digital objects or to personalize the interaction with the system. Once a digital system has been developed for and populated by researchers, a natural step is its opening to a wider public, which, in this way, can be able to access culturally relevant content. This extension poses a number of interesting issues, which are strictly related to the interest a specialized collection can raise. In this paper we present the results of a user study carried out over two years on two user groups: specialists in the domain and members of the general public.

  • CULTURA: Supporting Professional Humanities Researchers
  • by Bailey, Sweetnam, O'Siochru, Conlan (Short Paper)

  • Abstract: A key challenge facing professional researchers in the domain of cultural heritage across Europe and worldwide is the interrogation of growing digital humanities collections. However, the full value of these heritage treasures is not being realised. After digitisation, these collections are typically monolithic, difficult to navigate and can contain text which is highly variable in terms of language, spelling, punctuation, and consistency of terminology. These difficulties are compounded by a lack of normalised spelling in most European languages before the eighteenth century. This means that search across these digital collections tends to return sub-par results as multiple spellings for many common words are treated as independent document keywords. CULTURA is a corpus agnostic environment with a suite of services, including personalisation, annotation, and recommendation, providing necessary supports and features for a diverse range of professional researchers.

  • Normalisation in Historical Text Collections
  • by Lawless, Hampson, Mitankin, Gerdjikov (Poster)

  • Abstract: Improved full-text search, named-entity recognition and relationship extraction are all key research topics across many areas of technology, with emerging applications in the intelligence, healthcare and financial fields amongst many others. In Digital Humanities, there is a growing interest in the application of such Natural Language Processing (NLP) approaches to historical texts. This paper will discuss the normalisation of historical texts and investigate how this can improve both the analysis and exploration of these collections.

Official Website


IRCDL 2013: 9th Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries

On January 31th and February 1st 2013, the 9th Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries held in Rome. In this occasion two papers within the CULTURA project have been presented:

  • Fostering interaction with cultural heritage material via annotations: the FAST-CAT way
  • By Nicola Ferro, Gary Munnelly, Cormac Hampson and Owen Conlan
  • The evaluation approach of IPSA@CULTURA
  • By Maristella Agosti, Marta Manfioletti, Nicola Orio, Chiara Ponchia and Gianmaria Silvello

Official Website

UNIPD cooperation with Salvalarte

UNIPD cooperation with Salvalarte for testing the CULTURA Environment.

Salvalarte is an association that deals with Culture Heritage tutelage: the cooperation with Unipd aims at getting useful feedbacks from "informed users" in the artistic and culture area, and obtaining important hints towards the opening of the CULTURA Environment to the general public.

Official Website

Euromed 2012, international conference about cultural heritage

Euromed 2012 conference is dedicated to the protection, preservation and e-documentation of the Cultural Heritage.

Under the patronage of UNESCO, in Cyprus, from 29thOctober to 3rd November 2012, the cooperation among professionals, the policy makers and authorities will move ahead with research, development and technology in the field of cultural heritage.

The agenda of this prestigious international conference will include hundreds of excellent oral and poster presentations, as well as workshops and demonstrations from academia and industry, reflecting the wide scope of international work in the area of cultural heritage.

Call for papers was recently closed and, within the project CULTURA, two articles were accepted for the conference:

  • Project full paper
  • The CULTURA Project: Supporting Next Generation Interaction with Digital Cultural Heritage Collections
  • By Cormac Hampson, Maristella Agosti, Nicola Orio, Eoin Bailey, Seamus Lawless, Owen Conlan and Vincent Wade
  • Short paper
  • Issues to Be Addressed for Transforming a Digital Library Application for Experts into One for Final Users
  • By Maristella Agosti, Lucio Benfante, Marta Manfioletti, Nicola Orio, and Chiara Ponchia

This conference will be an important occasion for dissemination. Two accepted articles represent a very prestigious result and witness how the CULTURA project is an appreciated experience, worth to be shared with a valuable audience as the one at Euromed.

Official website

TPDL 2012

The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries

The International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries is the successor of the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries (ECDL). TPDL/ECDL has been the leading European scientific forum on digital libraries for 15 years. The conference continues to bring together researchers, developers, content providers and users in the field of digital libraries. TPDL 2012 is organised by the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) in collaboration with the University of Cyprus and the City University London. It will take place in Paphos, Cyprus on 23-27 September 2012.

Over the last years, Digital Libraries have taken over a central role in our society. As the volume of digital material grows, and its use becomes more ubiquitous, the challenge of combining our digital futures and digital past becomes more important. Innovative methods, collaborative working and new forms of content challenge established digital library methods. Similarly, the need for increasingly sophisticated means for supporting the analysis of digital content by humanists and scientists, practitioners and academics, leads to new difficulties for the infrastructure and interface of information repositories.

An article about CULTURA project has just been accepted among the conference's papers. The article is: User Needs for Enhanced Engagement with Cultural Heritage Collections, by Mark S. Sweetnam, Maristella Agosti, Nicola Orio, Chiara Ponchia, Christina M. Steiner, Eva-Catherine Hillemann, Micheal O' Siochru', and Seamus Lawless.

The paper describes the research carried out in order to elicit user needs for the design and development of a digital library and research platform intended to enhance user engagement with cultural heritage collections. It also outlines a range of user constituencies for the digital library. The paper outlines a taxonomy of intended users for this system and describes in detail the characteristics and requirements of these users for the facilitation and enhancement of their engagement with and use of textual and visual cultural artefacts.

The TPDL is indeed the right place to disseminate CULTURA project to a very well-selected and prepared international audience.

Official website

A very valuable seminar at the University of Padua

June 28, Padua

University of Padua – Department of Information Engeenering, the Italian partner of CULTURA, is hosting a very special guest: dr. Christine Borgman, Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Professor Borgman is a very well know international researcher and teacher. Her research interests include digital libraries, information seeking, information retrieval, information policy, infrastructure, human-computer interaction, and she is best known for her work in scholarly communication, scientific information, and bibliometrics.

In Padua, she will hold a seminar about research data: Why and how should research data be cited and attributed? The seminar will report on an international initiative to assess, develop, and deploy best practices for data attribution and citation.

The seminar will take place on 28th June, 3.30 pm, and will be the occasion to meet an exceptional expert in information studies, computer science, and communication.

20th Symposium on Advanced Database Systems

24 — 27 June, 2012 at Cultural Center Don Orione Artigianelli, Venice, Italy

The Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padua, Italy, is now managing the organization of SEBD, a prestigious event about research which will take place in June.

That will be the good occasion for further dissemination activities of the project Cultura.

Currently at its twentieth edition, SEBD Sistemi Evoluti per Basi di Dati is the major annual event of the Italian research community in the database field.

The symposium is thought of as a gathering forum to meet, discuss and exchange experience among all those, both in the academy and industry, who are interested in database theory and systems, and in all their broad range of applications.

    Relevant topics for the SEBD 2012 include, but are not limited to:
  • Access methods, indexing, and physical design;
  • Data structures and algorithms for data management;
  • Transaction and workflow management;
  • Distributed and parallel databases;
  • Grid, peer-to-peer databases and cloud computing;
  • Real-time, embedded, sensor, and mobile databases;
  • Domain-specific databases (multi-media, scientific, statistical, spatial, temporal, geographic);
  • Data in social networks;
  • Active databases;
  • Object-oriented databases;
  • Deductive Databases and knowledge bases;
  • Graph databases;
  • Data models and database design;
  • Incompleteness, inconsistency, and uncertainty in databases;
  • Query languages;
  • Query processing and optimization, approximate query answering;
  • Semi-structured data, including XML and RDF;
  • Data mining, knowledge discovery, information extraction, and machine learning;
  • Data warehousing;
  • Data integration;
  • Meta-data management, data quality, data provenance, data cleaning;
  • Data visualization;
  • Semantic-Web data;
  • Ontology-based data management;
  • Information retrieval and digital libraries;
  • Interoperability and Web services;
  • Privacy, security, and trust management;
  • Performance, scalability and dependability;
  • Benchmarking and performance evaluation.

Submission Instructions

SEBD 2012 invites submissions of research, industry, and application contributions as well as software demonstrations. Research papers (12 pages max.), describing original ideas on fundamental aspects of all forms of database systems and technology, are solicited. Moreover, extended abstracts (8 pages max.) containing descriptions of ongoing projects or presenting results already published are also welcome. Papers will be peer-reviewed by at least 3 members of the program committee. It will be assigned a best student paper award. Students and post-docs researchers are strongly encouraged to submit papers.

At SEBD 2012 we plan to continue the Poster Track introduced at SEBD 2011. Regardless of their original form some of the submissions might be accepted as a poster paper.

Official website


  • General Chair: Letizia Tanca, Politecnico di Milano
  • Program Chair: Nicola Ferro, Università degli Studi di Padova
  • Local Organization Chair: Gianmaria Silvello, Università degli Studi di Padova

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission: March 28, 2012
  • Paper submission: April 4, 2012
  • Notification of acceptance: May 7, 2012
  • Camera-ready: May 18, 2012
  • Early Registration: May 18, 2012

Joint Conference on Digital Libraries

JCDL 2012: June 10-14, Washington, DC

The Joint Conference on Digital Libraries (JCDL) is a major international forum focusing on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues. JCDL enhances the tradition of conference excellence already established by the ACM and IEEE-CS by combining the annual events that these professional societies have sponsored on an annual basis, the ACM Digital Libraries Conferences and the IEEE-CS Advances in Digital Libraries Conferences.

The CULTURA project will be disseminated through a contribution written by M. Agosti and N. Orio: "To Envisage and Design the Transition from a Digital Archive System Developed for Domain Experts to one for Non-domain Users".

Memorandum of Understanding

CULTURA and PROMISE just signed an official Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation.

PROMISE (Participative Research labOratory for Multimedia and Multilingual Information Systems Evaluation) is a very interesting project that aims at advancing the experimental evaluation of complex multimedia and multilingual information systems in order to support individuals, commercial entities, and communities who design, develop, employ, and improve such complex systems. PROMISE will provide a virtual and open laboratory for conducting participative research and experimentation in which it will be possible to carry out, advance and bring automation into the evaluation and benchmarking of complex multimedia and multilingual information systems.

The coordination of PROMISE is managed by University of Padua, and several Universities in all Europe are partners in the project as well as other agencies.

CULTURA and PROMISE will cooperate along the following action lines: 

  • Investigation of proper evaluation methodologies for adaptive services for digital cultural collections;
  • Cooperation to support dissemination, training, and awareness events which promote the goals of both projects.

Further action lines will be added as the cooperation among the two projects goes on.

For any information about PROMISE: Reference

Italian Research Conference on Digital Libraries 2012

Bari, February 9-10, 2012

The IRCDL conference series has been launched and initially designed by DELOS, an EU FP6 Network of Excellence on digital libraries, together with the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padua, Italy, which had sponsored the event for the initial six years.

Over the years IRCDL has become a self-sustainable event that is sponsored and supported by the Italian Digital Libraries Community. IRCDL is now a yearly deadline for Italian researchers on Digital Libraries related topics. This year the conference will be hosted in Bari and the focus will be on legacy and cultural heritage material.

Indeed, Digital Library Systems are getting more and more mature and largely deployed. Not only they have to ensure users effective and personalized access to information but it is also now time to face the need for smoothly processing and including in the DL repositories the available legacy and cultural heritage documents, in addition to born-digital ones. This calls for the ability to deal with compound objects in different media, to provide uniform solutions and methodologies across different cultural heritage institutions, and to take into account preservation, restoration, and curatorial aspects.

CULTURA will be well disseminated through 2 participations: the first one is more focused on engineering topics, and the title is: "Can a Digital Archive System Developed for Researchers Be Extended to Non-domain Users?", authors Maristella Agosti, Lucio Benfante, Nicola Orio. The second one is more humanities-related and the title is "Engaging the User: Elaboration and Execution of Trials with a Database of Illuminated Images", author Chiara Ponchia.


IRCDL Website

IRCDL 2012 Website

Available in bookstores the MM4CH 2011 papers

This book constitutes the revised selected papers from the First International Workshop on Multimedia for Cultural Heritage, MM4CH 2011, held in Modena, Italy, on May 3, 2011.

The 8 full papers and 9 poster papers included in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 25 submissions. In addition, the book contains a paper resuming the outcome of the discussion session.

The workshop aimed on creating a profitable informal working day to discuss hot topics in multimedia, with special application to cultural heritage.

University of Padua participated to the book with a wide submission regarding the project CULTURA and contributing to the outcome paper.


Springer Website

PROMISE Winter School 2012

The general theme of the Promise Winter School 2012 was "Information Retrieval meets Information Visualization".

Professor Maristella Agosti, Italian referent of project CULTURA, was Member of the Program Committee of the PROMISE Winter School in Switzerland.

The School has been sponsored by CULTURA within its dissemination activities, and even professor Owen Conlan of Trinity Dublin College, technical leader of CULTURA, was involved in the Winter School as lecturer.

The aim of the Promise Winter School has been to give participants a grounding on information retrieval and information visualization that are at the basis of the multidisciplinary area of Multilingual Information Retrieval. It actually was a week-long event consisting of guest lectures from invited speakers who are recognized experts in the field. It was intended for PhD students, Masters students and senior researchers as well as post-doctoral researchers.

The School took place in Zinal, Valais – Switzerland from 23rd to 27th January 2012.


Winter school 2012 section in the Promise Website

CULTURA Humanities Partners Meeting

19 – 20 January, 2012

Department of Information Engineering, University of Padua

2012 has profitably started with a meeting of CULTURA Humanities Partners in Padua.

Irish and Italian researches met to have an update and sum-up of the progresses of the project, but mostly the core of the meeting was represented by a moment of genuine interaction with students and among researchers.

At the meeting there were present historians and art historians from Italy and Ireland, with the support of the IT experts, to share questions, issues and crucial points of the workflow for each sector.

The aim of such discussion was to find the common points among all the stakeholders, in order to get advices and hints to improve the navigation system for the digitized collections.

In facts digital collections like the 1641 Depositions of Dublin, which is fully open to users' access, or the Imaginum Patavinae Scientiae Archivum (IPSA) of Padua, which provides a controlled access to University students and other users, are very wide and permit many different research approaches.

Users of digitized collections comprehend specialists, researchers, students from high school and university, followers and curios ones. Actually, advanced users of digital collections know very well how to navigate into the collections and how to collect and connect the pursued information; not so the students, who are less expert, and the basic users.

In November and December 2011, a group of master students of Padua University was invited to navigate the collections, and then to fill a survey – which was developed by a team of psychologists - with the aim to better understand what are the key issues related to their investigating purposes. The same students took part this the meeting with the project experts to share their experience and express their point of view about the matter.

Other topics which were discussed during the meeting are related to the importance of good and well-linked metadata (key issue for art historians when they have to compare different images in order to find the correlations), normalization of the texts (key issue for historians, to find connections among different and often cryptic documents), intellectual property rights and related confidentiality of research contents, copyright of the images, users' tracking which is necessary both to protect and to convey the contents.

The meeting was nice and lively, and the brainstorming was very challenging: and it encouraged everybody to go on in the project with great enthusiasm and clear targets