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Adaptive Web-Based Systems: Current Trends and Open Issues
Bujar Raufi, Juliana Georgieva
of Communication Sciences and Technologies, South East European University, Tetovo, F.Y.R. Macedonia Faculty of Computers and Control Systems, Department of Programming and Computer Technologies, Technical University of Sofia, Sofia, Bulgaria
Abstract: Adaptive web based systems tend to arrange its content and internal structure based on user access patterns. A myriad of approaches and frameworks have been presented recent years, however many of them bypass an important component of such systems which is the data itself. In this paper we propose a new, top-down five layer framework for adaptive web based system considering the data as an important, inseparable part of such systems. Keywords: User-Adaptive Software Systems, Adaptive Web Sites, Adaptive Hypermedia
1.INTRODUCTION More than two decades ago, from its very beginning, the web has been a place where a content can be presented and accessed from billions of users all over the world. Its gradual evolution has made itself accessible not only to different users and businesses, but also to different services and applications. This progressive development crafted the web not only as an environment where a content can be only presented, but also an environment where the content can be searched, found as well as customized to users needs. Traditional general purpose web pages of today usually suffer from a “one-size-fits-all”  problem. This means that when a patient accesses medical web page of a hospital, it will be presented with the same set of information every time it accesses it. A tourist that tries to find information about travel and hotel arrangements will be presented with the same order of information regardless of its destination preferences . The same issue can be generalized for many, but not all, web applications in various domains like: e-commerce, corporate web sites or education. The solution to this situation is the development of user-adaptive software systems that arrange their content, structure or both based on user access preferences. Starting as a pioneering work of a few research communities in the middle of the 90's (See Perkowitz and Eztioni ), today it represents a research milestone for many communities involving diverse research disciplines like: user modeling, information retrieval, recommender systems, machine learning, data mining, Web Usage Mining, natural language processing, intelligent tutoring systems, cognitive sciences and web based education. There are several approaches in implementing user-adaptive software systems depending in what degree the user access or data criteria is involved in this implementation. If we use the first criteria, then the adaptive web based systems can be categorized as: •Adaptable : where a preliminary user information is needed in order to perform adaptation. This is usually done by asking from the user to fill a preliminary survey or login form.
navigation and presentation. The whole WebML created site is consisted of two types of pages: the so called C-Pages which are context aware and regular pages which are not.RELATED WORK Many attempts in creating an Adaptive Web Based System started with initial design of a framework followed by a real life implementations (like Interbook. If we take into account the second data-centric criteria the adaptive web systems can be also: •Dynamic : where there are no predefined data presentations. But. They envision the site consisted of structure. The domain model consists of concepts and relationships. all these frameworks and implementations have open issues that limits their applicability in one specific domain (mostly education). However this approach does not indicate a clear hierarchical relationship between above mentioned elements. Matera and Facca  seek the possibility of developing context aware web applications by using a specific UML based markup language called WebML which is based on object oriented relationship model. not on atomic units of data. Therefore we have a kind of semi-adaptive web application. pattern miner.International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008 •Adaptive : where no preliminary user information is at hand. Ceri. This type of adaptive web based systems is of particular research interest to us as we are going to speak about open issues and some possible solutions by presenting a top-down framework for dynamic adaptive web based system. modularity and interoperability. Xing and Ghorbani  focuses on information domain modeling for Adaptive Web Based Systems. The other problem in this approach is that the hierarchical relationship between elements is not indicated similarly like in . the system generates the pages dynamically based on atomic pieces of information. 2. The main concern of this semantic web approach is that it considers only the upper layers of the semantic web stack while completely omits the lower data layer. based on user behavior. The rest of the paper is organized as follows: In section 2 we give an introduction to recent research work done in the field of adaptive web based systems. Daniel. some recent paper in this research area have been compared. but the system rather tries to learn from monitoring user activities and then attempts to adapt its presentation content or link structure to users browsing preference. AHA!. 1005 . Their Domain Modeling System (DMS) is consisted of a data model they call Domain Model and four auxiliary processors named: author tool. graph generator and recommendation provider. image or media (audio or video). this approach does allow only predefined data do be considered for adaptation and the adaptation is done only on pages. which in adaptive web based systems ensures flexibility. These atomic pieces can be text. TANGOW or WHURLE). This data mining approach tries to reorganize the web sites structure as a whole by using a simulated annealing optimization algorithm. So. The approach is mainly data-centric where semantic aspects (knowledge centric approach) are relatively unexplored. Chibing and Nordahl  approach the problem of adaptive web sites by using a specific optimization method. In section 4 we present a top-down framework for Dynamic Adaptive Web Based Systems and section 5 concludes this paper. composition. In section 3 we present a new research direction by emphasizing an important issue which has been omitted in many research articles. In order to find these open issues. which on the other hand dismiss the possibility of extending the approach for creating dynamic adaptive web based systems mentioned in section 1. However.
This is important when want to design a loosely coupled and fine grained adaptive web based system consisted of atomic units of information. This contentconcept relationship or knowledge-hyperspace linking as mentioned in . But. is the linking between content and concept. expressivity and reusability which are some of the fundamental semantic web requirements. User Model. Instead it uses only a partial inclusion of atomic data which the author calls conditional inclusion of object data. where the data resides. which they call Open Hypermedia Structure. This five layer hierarchical framework (Domain Model. This framework is consisted of three matrices whose planes represent different ontological representation of knowledge. Gena and Torre  a specific semantic web framework for adaptive web based systems is proposed. The approach tries to extend the adaptation of only known documents in web site structure (closed corpus adaptation) to external resources that are semantically annotated (open corpus adaptation). Wills and Hall  propose an Adaptive Personal Information Environment called a-Pie which is based on Open Hypermedia model called FOHM (Fundamental Open Hypermedia Model). some of them we have mentioned. 1006 . Other related work include Bailey. De Bra  proposes a concept oriented tool based on AHAM. There might be situations where one atomic unit may correspond to several concepts. This very important fact is the importance of data and its role in the overall functioning of the system as a whole. However the relationship between data and knowledge is not indicated. many of them use the upper levels where the rules and logic frameworks are located. a Dexter-Based reference model for adaptive hypermedia. But. may not always be one -to-one relationship. Cena. This concept based approach allows relatively fine grained adaptation. Adaptation Model and Presentation Model) ensures flexibility. seen in hierarchy of the semantic web stack. Maneewatthana. Another important issue. Kravčik and Gaševič  propose a complete framework for adaptive hypermedia based on semantic web by structuring the knowledge.RESEARCH DIRECTIONS Based on the some of the open issues mentioned above it can be easily seen that every approach disregard one important fact when designing an adaptive web based system. it is not clearly indicated how the relationship between knowledge and hyperspace is done. They implement this approach in the WINDS project (Kravčik and Specht ). Adaptation is done through software agents made available through web services. Millard and Weal  with their adaptation approach separating link structure from content. Most of the todays adaptive hypermedia systems.International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008 In Carmagnola. However. 3. Goal and Constraint Model. depicted in figure 1. Cristea  extends its framework (LAOS) for authoring adaptive hypermedia system for educational purposes to meet the semantic web requirements. All these above mentioned approaches suffer from open issues. The questions risen and possible solutions are going to be treated in the next section. Hall. the hyperspace (data) and the connection between these two. However this systems does not clearly separate the domain model from adaptation model in the adaptation engine in one hand and it does not generate a whole page from atomic units of information. do not even descent to the second level. this approach lacks a well established ontological reasoning and clear content-concept relationship or at least this is done through keywords.
This usually involves describing the whole resource with RDF or describing a piece of it with XML literals in RDF .A TOP-DOWN FRAMEWORK FOR ADAPTIVE WEB BASED SYSTEMS In order to have good and consistent framework that will address the above mentioned open issues. Instead we propose two methods for creating a content-concepts relationship. 4. This method can be extended to create a fully automated authoring for adaptive web systems. This means that there should be no particular problem if an eventual upgrade in certain layer occurs. The first one is well known discipline in artificial intelligence called natural language processing. The second approach is strong content-concept annotation by using XML data markup. Another aspect that should be considered seriously is the issue of link and weight storage. such upgrades should not obstruct the other layers. It is composed of five layers namely: 1007 . Considering that we are dealing mainly with loosely coupled atomic values. All these aspect we are summarizing in a top-down five layer framework we propose in next section. Some of these criterias are as below: •Flexibility: The content-concept linking that we propose should offer quicker discovery of new knowledge and the reuse of the same. which has been used extensively in many areas but moderately used and explored in web systems. Today we have many adaptive hypermedia systems that links concept and content manually or in Fig. an information about previous and next link as well as information weight of that atomic value in higher semantic levels is of particular importance. •Expressivity: Should allow extensive usage of semantic web in the sense of good manipulation and reasoning with the knowledge at hand. 1: The Content-Concept relationship in an atomic piece of information. several criterias were needed to be taken into consideration. Having all these criterias in mind our framework looks like in figure 2. •Modularity: that should allow a certain degree of independence between layers. •Interoperability: Should offer us sharing and accessing data from other resources as well for performing adaptation (In case of open corpus adaptation ). Thus. a semi-automated way. However a feasibility of these approaches are yet to be proven.International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008 Concerning the method in what way the content-concept relationship is going to be done belong the the issue of authoring an adaptive web based systems.
31-33  Perkowitz. (2000) Adaptive Web Sites: Examining the potential use of automated adaptation to improve web sites for visitors. P. time constraints and performance of the system and authoring feasibility. Journal of Communication of the ACM 45. Fig. 152-158 1008 . expressivity. (2002) From Adaptive Hypermedia to the Adaptive Web. Maybury. Journal of Communication of the ACM 43. User Layer represents a layer where user preferences like access patterns and user behaviour are collected and used to perform adaptation. 5. Its is strongly related to data layer via content-concept relationship as depicted in figure 1. In this stage. M. Consisted of concepts and concept relationship.International Scientific Conference Computer Science’2008 Data Layer where all the data and the site link structure resides. The main goals of the framework is to provide flexibility. Some questions that still lurk over the framework include whether all the page elements should be adaptive.CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORK In this paper we proposed a framework that will give solution to some open issues that still tackle the adaptive web based systems in general. T. Adaptation Layer performs adaptation based on knowledge gained from concept layer and user layer.M. a rearrangement of atomic pieces of information is done in order to meet the adaptation goal posed in adaptation layer. interoperability and interoperability...REFERENCES  Brusilovsky. Etzioni. The future work would include answering these questions as well as implementing methods that will meet the conditions posed in each of the layers presented above. O. Also this is the layer where the atomic information is located with the precedence and next links as well as information weight. 2: A Top-Down Framework for Adaptive Web Based System Concept Layer represents the semantic layer of the system. 6. Finally the Presentation Layer is what the user sees at the end as a final product of adaptation.
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