Next generation web based information systems and services need to support a step-change for ordinary web users so that available WWW resources and services can be easily adapted, dynamically (re)composed and personalised for individual users’ purposes with minimal (manual) intervention. The goal of the AMAS research programme is to research and develop innovative techniques and technologies to support dynamic, integrated adaptivity and personalisation of web media and services to enable rich repurposing of existing content and web application services.
Thus next generation adaptivity will need to support the seamless integration and dynamic adaptive presentation of web resources; the dynamic adaptive composition of the web resources (content); the dynamic adaptation of existing web service behaviour and the dynamic adaptive composition of the web services. However, just automated adaptivity is not enough as user centricity, (i.e. ensuring the user is in control of the personalisation process), also needs to be considered. Such user centred control may be enhanced through correlating usage patterns with self-expressed user goals and providing users with tools to explore and navigate large information spaces.
In order to tackle these scientific challenges, AMAS adopts an ‘action based research’ methodology. This research methodology requires that innovations are applied in real usage situations and that a rapid cycle of research development and evaluation is used to inform the research. To facilitate this feedback, AMAS uses industry case studies as vehicles for evaluating and validating the research. These case studies provide an authentic experimental basis for evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of, and user satisfaction with, the richness and affordances of the adaptivity.
Therefore two application areas where personalisation and dynamic adaptivity can have significant impact on user effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction, have been selected. These are Technology Enhanced Learning and (educational) ePublishing. Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) offers one of the broadest and most challenging application areas for adaptive and personalised web services and content. TEL involves a broad range of learning activities, the use of rich multimedia content as well as a broad range of users with differing expertise e.g. learners, teachers, mentors, parents, publishers, etc.
Some educational theories (based on constructivism, social constructivism and constructionism) stress the importance of learner activities even above content exposition. Therefore, having the ability to adapt entire learning activities and workflows (service adaptivity) as well as adapting the navigation and presentation of content (content adaptivity) is extremely valuable in realising successful personalised learning. Thus personalised technology enhanced learning is an appropriate yet challenging evaluation environment in which to test the integrated adaptivity of web content and services.
The key outcomes of this research will be –
• Advances in the state of the art in adaptive hypermedia (AH) and adaptive web systems (AWS) to support integrated model driven automated (re)composition, aggregation and presentation of multimedia resources and web services.
• Prototype service based adaptive technologies which can integrate the execution of service and multimedia resource adaptivity and (re)composition
• A set of prototype (proof of concept) tools and a methodology to support reuse knowledge models needed for driving personalisation in application areas
• An evaluation and validation of research via prototypes development in each of the technology enhanced learning and ePublishing case studies.