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Design and realisation of a knowledge base

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par Sawssan SELMI
 - Ingénieur en informatique 2011

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State of the art

Chapter 1 State of the art

1.1 Introduction
The state of the art aims to seek what are general information and publications related with methods of design and development of a knowledge base and the main features it has to offer. It's the preliminary step to our project. So it is necessary:

§ To search beneficial information related to this topic.

§ To be aware of the environment: find more information, methods and standards used in this field; this helps to broaden the subject.

§ To define areas of research, from knowledge of the environment: it will explain how to apply current knowledge to its needs.

1.2. Study of the current situation

As already said, this study will allow us to know more from knowledge base operations and reach some common features between all these systems that are no longer mandatory and must be presented in first step of conception and development. There are two principal functions: document search and information sharing.

And the other basic advantages are documentation of knowledge, intelligent decision support, self learning, reasoning and explanation.

1.3. Description of the existing

A study of existing is to look at what already exists; it is from this study that we can make real progress versus the existent, not to 'create' something already created in previous works, to overcome their flaws and add more benefits to our system.

As already said; Knowledge base is a special kind of  database for  knowledge management, providing the means for the computerized collection, organization, and retrieval of  knowledge.

Our own study has provided that there is no knowledge base to ESPRIT; there is only moodle site that is missing several features; 

The initial design of this site presents in my opinion many misconceptions

§  Navigation is via a full-page general index and thus causes an impractical navigation

§ It doesn't offer a search engine

§ You should register to all courses you want to download file related with.

§ All other members can see what topics you are registered to.

§ It displays your real name instead of your pseudo

§ All other members can know if you are connected at the moment.

§ If a user forgot his password he can't retrieve it again; he should register with another login, password and e-mail.

§ News of the institute is not displayed in the site.

§ the site is not updated and this is possibly returned to the difficult management of Some units

§ It doesn't have an attractive design.

And many other missing features...

A study was conducted to develop a web knowledge base Information System that would alleviate all of the problems detected. The choice of a web-based application was obvious. Esprit has two universities and aims to create an entire campus, so it needs to share data across a large distance (using internet).

One of the other fundamental strengths of the Internet is the set of standards that define how users connect to servers and how data will be displayed. We take advantage of the network capabilities of the Internet and the presentation standards of the World Wide Web. By developing an application to run on a web site, with ensure of a widest possible compatibility and accessibility to the system. Users can benefit from their features even if they are not physically present at the institute (as long as they have access to a web browser).

We should mention also that since the development of personal computers, software products produced by development companies have dominated the market. These products account for the vast majority of software sales and are usually cheap as the development cost is spread across hundreds or thousands of different customers. Among these software's; we can mention:

§ Knowledge Base Software

§ Interspire

§ Knowledge base publisher

§ Omnistar knowledge management software

§ PHPkb

The common point that may be mentioned among all this software, is that they are developed by well known languages that we are already studied like php, c, java and they reflect what they think customer will use. They are generally not flexible and designed more for businesses than for institutions use.

So a software engineering approach is ideal for manually developing our Esprit knowledge base; particularly as we are engineering students, so with the support of our supervisors we can design and develop this site from the beginning to the end without intervention of any knowledge base software.

The specifications for these systems are often the basis for the contract between customer and contractor. In this project, there is a need to define all specifications and changes in detail. This poses no problem because I am an Esprit student, I present some students segment and my supervisor will present professor segment.

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