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Objectives

General Objectives

Scientific and Technological Research Objectives

Information Society Objectives

Educational Objectives

Societal Objectives

 

 

 

 

General Objectives

The research to be carried out in this project falls into the general context of developing methodologies and applications for the creation of the Information Society. Thus the main scientific problem to be addressed is that of combining in a principal way elements from the different areas of

(i) multimedia,
(ii) computer networks,
(iii) signal and image processing and
(iv) the impact of Information Technology (IT) on the society in order to develop new type of IT applications with enhanced capabilities.

These new capabilities involve effective cooperation at a distance, access and exchange of information not possible up to now and novel methods of education and training. The combination and synthesis of the research in the different individual areas will be achieved by grounding this basic research into the specific application area of developing electronic roads as a medium for cultural and historical preservation and exploration by the user. These electronic roads are intended to be used for educational and other purposes both locally within the country they traverse but also more generally from other countries in the region and indeed from any other part of the world. This application will offer testing ground for the validation of the basic research as well as useful feedback of important problems and difficulties that need to be addressed in building up applications under the umbrella of Information Society. The two main aims of the project are thus: o the study of the basic research problems required for the technological building of electronic roads o the development of prototype applications of electronic roads to be used for the purpose of cultural and historical exploration within both formal and informal educational contexts.

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Scientific and Technological Research Objectives

The main problems to be addressed under the first main aim of the project are as follows: Multimedia System Development Strategies, Digital Libraries and Information Retrieval for Images and Video, Networking of Heterogeneous Systems and Models of Coordination for distributed multimedia applications. More specificaly, the following scientific problems need to be addressed:

Multimedia system development methodologies. Adaptive multimedia system development.
Intelligent Navigation in Multimedia systems. User modelling.
Digital libraries for heterogeneous types of data. Organization and effective retrieval.
Intelligent information retrieval through advanced processing of video, image and sound.
Reliable and effective transmission of high bandwidth, time sensitive, multimedia information.
Multimedia traffic models and design of resource allocation algorithms for ISDN and ATM networks.
Models for multimedia data addressability and programmability of distributed multimedia applications.
Metacomputing environments for utilizing computing resources on distributed heterogeneous networks.

In addition, a major challenge to the project is the integration of these elements to build coherent theoretical and practical frameworks that can address the needs of novel applications of Information Technology.

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Information Society Objectives

For the realization of the main aims of the project, it will be necessary to involve from the beginning activities which will study the educational, societal, cultural and historical aspects of the particular mechanisms and applications to be developed. These studies will fall into two categories. On the one hand, we will need to consider relevant social and educational requirements during the design of these applications providing feedback that has direct influence on the architecture of the electronic roads. On the other hand, we will need to evaluate the wider educational, social and political implications and the potential of such applications once these start to be used. Therefore, this will be an interdisciplinary effort involving research from all these areas.

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Educational Objectives

In this project, we will examine some of the issues relating to the role of technology in education within the particular context of electronic roads and more generally within the context of networked IT systems that are made available to the students and teachers. These issues will include:

Teacher training and adaptation of teaching methods and student assessment in order to take full advantage of the new  
     capabilities offered by the technology.

Collaboration Technology: What kinds of collaborative environments and tools are most helpful in supporting students in the
     manipulation and construction of historical and cultural information?

Communication: How do school teachers use media-rich networked environments to enhance communication, inquiry and
    collaboration between students and between classrooms?

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Societal Objectives

The social and political implications of electronic roads will be considered at various social levels: a) international, b) national, c) organizational, d) communal and e) the individual. Electronic roads and more generally the recent developments of Information Technology and Communications as a social phenomenon raise many social issues such as: power and authority, ideology and social construction of knowledge, the self and social interaction, cultural variability and political choice versus technological determinism, pluralistic decision making versus class domination, individual agency versus social structural determinants. Analysing these social determinants of power, ideology and social psychological factors at the level of the small group and individual subjective perceptions, will allow us to formulate theoretical insights and concepts. These issues will be examined using empirical evidence collected through the project's application systems.

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