Project Consortium

The project includes partners who have a proven record of excellence in developing and publishing research results in their respective scientific areas. One of the primary objectives of this project is to bring together two communities: researchers in various domains of Complex Systems and researchers in various areas of Information Technology (Computer Science, Information and Communication Technologies, Distributed Computing), in particular those facing the challenge of Semiotic Dynamics in on line social communities. The impact that we seek on the scientific community is potentially large because it goes beyond the specific scientific objectives and technologies focused on in this project. We want to foster a general movement towards the interrelation of complex systems and Information Technology by showing successful examples of cooperation and by posing and solving concrete non-trivial problems.

PIL Group, Physics Department, University of Roma “La Sapienza”, Italy

University of Roma La Sapienza The physsapienza research group is based in the Physics Department of “La Sapienza” University in Rome, one of the largest physics department in Italy. It includes more than 250 scientists, among professors and researchers, and more than 66 research groups with topics ranging from high-energy physics to condensed matter theory, statistical mechanics and astrophysics. physsapienza team is very active in the whole area of statistical physics, information theory and complex systems. In the last few years several new projects have been launched among which:

  • agent-based modeling in linguistics
  • information theory applied to time-series analysis, linguistics and genomics
  • theory of complex networks in technological, social and biological systems
  • opinion and assimilation dynamics in social systems
Phys-Sapienza team brings into the consortium its research experience on: (a) developing new theoretical tools to collect and analyse data; (b) introducing and studying suitable modeling for complex systems in order to understand the role and the importance of the different factors in a system of communicating agents; (c) constructing theoretical approaches which could provide with different levels of abstraction and a feedback for new experiments and studies.

Sony Computer Science Laboratory, France

Sony CSL Paris Sony CSL is a basic research laboratory, founded in 1996 by Luc Steels. Research at CSL focuses on four areas: personal music experience, computational neuroscience, developmental cognitive robots, and self-organising communication systems. The team participating to the project is active in two main areas:

  • Semiotic Dynamics: (self-organising communication systems): Research in self-organising communication systems investigates through computational simulations and mathematical models how a group of autonomous agents could be able to invent and negotiate a communication system similar to human natural languages.
  • Personal music experience: Research in Personal Music Experience focuses on the future of musical listening by building prototypes of interactive devices and ethnographic experiments to see what people find exciting in music and how new ways of listening integrate into their lives.
Collaborative Tagging as a form of an evolving language system is of great interest for SONY-CSL. In addition to studying such systems, SONY-CSL contribute to the design of new applications in this field with special emphasis in combining collaborative tagging with features that are automatically extracted from data. Collaborative tagging is considered as an important step towards semi-automatic or automatic music and image categorization, which is one of SONY-CSL key areas.

Institute for Computer Science, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany

University of Koblenz-Landau The Research Group “ISWeb – Information Systems and Semantic Web” concentrates its work on the basic principles and applications of semantic-based technologies and their integration into complex, dynamic information systems. The basics of semantic-based systems include the modeling of ontologies, representation of ontologies, approaches and methods for the design and maintenance of ontologies, as well as the semantic annotation of documents, multimedia data or web services to enable the semantic search and usage of these resources.
Semantic technologies are used for information retrieval, for information integration and for semantic-based peer-to-peer networks or for semantic middleware (Web Services, Grid). Semantic technologies enrich the abilities of information and acknowledgement systems and allow a more efficient and more effective handling of complex, dynamic systems.
The contributions of the university of Koblenz-Landau within TAGora are mainly in three research areas, namely the development of a distributed semantic information system, the analysis of tagging data gathered from online social communities and the modeling and simulation of tagging processes. One of UNI KO-LD contributions will the development of the Semantic Exchange Architecture (SEA), a peer-to-peer infrastructure for tagging-based organization and sharing of personal information objects, i.e. multimedia data within TAGora. In contrast to common online social communities the idea is not to store the data on a dedicated central server, but locally on each user’s computer while still providing the same tag-related navigation functionalities.

Knowledge and Data Engineering unit, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Kassel, Germany

University of Kassel The research unit “Knowledge & Data Engineering” at the University of Kassel started in April 2004 with the establishment of an endowed chair of the Hertie Foundation. Research in the unit focuses on knowledge engineering, i.e. on discovering and structuring knowledge, on the derivation of new knowledge processes, and better communication of knowledge. In particular, UNIK research is aimed at the development of methods and techniques at the intersection of research areas such as Social Software, Knowledge Discovery, Ontologies/Metadata, Semantic Web, Peer to Peer and Formal Concept Analysis, with the perspective of reaching substantial synergies among them.
In the TAGora project, UNIK will develop methods to enable users to manage and share their knowledge in an individual and flexible way. This includes methods for detecting and managing communities. UNIK will monitor the development of community structures in the BibSonomy system ( over time. Since one expects a large number of BibSonomy users, extended functionality of the system, as well as improved scalability will be needed. In addition to this, UNIK will set up components for data collection and for tracking evolution.
Because of the high level of exposure of web-based activity, UNIK plans to develop and deploy a new generation knowledge sharing system which could reshape the social approach to sharing online information.

The School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, UK

University of Southampton The School of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton is a world-leading centre of excellence for research. Within the school, the IAM (Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia) Group focuses on the design and application of computing systems for complex information and knowledge processing tasks. With around 120 researchers, we are international leaders in the three major themes that converge in the Group’s tripartite title. UNI-SOTON has a deep expertise in ontology modelling and applications, as well as in social network analysis over the Semantic Web. TAGora will bring these skills together and apply it to various folksonomic domains to help better understand information evolution, as well as influence and dependency across different communities.
UNI-SOTON team will be focusing on two main issues: (1) information gathering and integration from various folksonomies (e.g. bibliography, music, images); (2) investigating requirements and approaches for online recommendations over and across folksonomic web sites. Folksonomy web sites are rarely closed worlds. It is quite common for individuals to be active members of several online communities and thus one would expect certain tags to spread across such communities with time. For example one could be adding images to Flickr, bookmarking web sites with, creating their music preference profiles in, and tagging articles in Connotea. By continuously collecting data from such folksonomy web sites, and monitoring changes and additions, one can cross reference emerging tags between the separate communities to extend and connect their individual networks to create an Integrated Semantic Network.

TAGora project started on June 1st 2006
Sixth Framework Programme, Information Society Technologies, IST call 5, Contract N. 34721
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