About the event


This talk discusses the challenges faced in undertaking interdisciplinary research projects that aim to develop specialist knowledge bases to support the research of Humanities scholars. These challenges typically include the lack of existing ontologies or datasets on which to base the design of the knowledge base, the incremental development of the domain experts’ conceptual model in tandem with the incremental collection of the data, the incompleteness and imprecision of the data, and the difficulty in specifying requirements for the design of facilities to search, visualise and analyse the data while the conceptual model development and data collection are still in progress. The gradual collection of diverse data and gradual development of understanding points to the need for adopting semantic technologies and iterative, agile development methodologies.

The talk describes our experiences in two recent AHRC-funded research projects, the challenges faced, design and development approaches adopted, and lessons learnt.  The projects are “Weaving Communities of Practice” (www.weavingcommunities.com) and “Mapping Museums” (www.mappingmuseums.org).



Alexandra Poulovassilis is Professor of Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, Birkbeck, University of London, and Director of the Birkbeck Knowledge Lab. Her long-term research interests are in data integration, querying, visualisation and personalisation and she has published widely in these areas. She has held numerous research grants, many of them pursuing interdisciplinary research in collaboration with domain experts from education, the arts, and the sciences. She served on the UK RAE 2008 and REF 2014 sub-panels for Computer Science and Informatics, and is currently Deputy Dean with a Research Enhancement remit in the School of Business, Economics and Informatics at Birkbeck.



The Alan Turing Institute

1st floor of the British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB