Een groot Europees onderzoeksproject, gefinancierd door de EU, waar ik aan mee doe is het AXES-project. Dit project beoogt een multimediale zoekmachine te bouwen om al het bestaande audiovisuele archiefmateriaal beter te kunnen vinden en analyseren. Met mijn Erasmus-team (Martijn Kleppe, Max Kemman, Jill Briggeman) onderzoeken wij wat de diverse groepen burgers – professionals, academici, thuisgebruikers – willen en kunnen als het gaat om het vinden van informatie en bewegende beelden op internet en in archieven. Hieronder volgt een korte uitleg over het project.

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The goal of AXES is to develop tools that provide various types of users with new engaging ways to interact with audiovisual libraries, helping them discover, browse, navigate, search and enrich archives. In particular, apart from a search-oriented scheme, we will explore how suggestions for audiovisual content exploration can be generated via a myriad of information trails crossing the archive. This will be approached from three perspectives (or axes): users, content, and technology.

Within AXES innovative indexing techniques are developed in close cooperation with a number of user communities through tailored use cases and validation stages. Rather than just starting new investments in technical solutions, the co-development is proposed of innovative paradigms of use and novel navigation and search facilities. We will target media professionals, educators, students, amateur researchers, and home users.

Based on an existing Open Source service platform for digital libraries, novel navigation and search functionalities will be offered via interfaces tuned to user profiles and workflow. To this end, AXES will develop tools for content analysis deploying weakly supervised classification methods. Information in scripts, audio tracks, wikis or blogs will be used for the cross-modal detection of people, places, events, etc., and for link generation between audiovisual content. Users will be engaged in the annotation process: with the support of selection and feedback tools, they will enable the gradual improvement of tagging performance.

AXES technology will open up audiovisual digital libraries, increasing their cultural value and their exposure to the European public and academia at large. The consortium is a perfect match to the multi-disciplinary nature of the project, with professional content owners academic and industrial experts in audiovisual analysis, retrieval, and user studies, and partners experienced in system integration and project management.