Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Co-Construction of Community Ontologies and Corpus in a Limited Technological Environment

Participants : Olivier Corby, Papa Fary Diallo, Isabelle Mirbel.

In this thesis, we study the implementation of an online platform to build and share the collective memory of citizens in Senegal and revive stories by using a semantic layer. During the first year of this thesis, the first step has been to describe some Use Cases about the platform we would like to develop. We started to define what community means in our work which are group of people with a shared history, culture, ethnicity or interest and want to exchange or collaborate via the Web to share their knowledge of this area.

Our communities are characterized by three components: 1) a common socio-cultural interest, 2) exchange, collaboration and sharing among members and 3) use of the Internet to interact. Thanks to the use cases, we define two main types of users. A community member who is an user who participates in the construction of information and who has interactions with other users. The second type is a simple user who visits the platform for having information, he can be a tourist who want to have information about Senegalese communities activities.

With these use cases, we determine some features that the platform should have. Community members should have, among other thing, a place where they interact to collaborate. To have a "living" community, the system must notify the members of the community about new entries on their focus. Also, to have a catchy presentation, we plan to use maps with different kinds of information.

The second step has been to do a state of the art of online communities. This review allows us to find different definitions and typologies which differ from the study domain – anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist – or the objective – demographic, technological environment, members characteristic. The broadest definition takes into account our concept of community in the context of a knowledge-sharing platform is that of Porter [80] . Despite the fact that numerous typologies are proposed, none is completely consistent with our vision of community. However, the "Toronto School" proposes a category in the classification based on the knowledge transmission called ”knowledge-building community” applied in the education area. We think that this type of community could be generalized in the field of socio-constructivisme development, which our communities belong to, for sharing socio-cultural knowledge.

Then, the second phase of this review has been to present the WestAfricapedia project which takes place in this thesis. The main objective is to enhance and sustain the socio-cultural heritage of Senegalese communities through a framework of sharing and co-construction of sociocultural knowledge. Thus we distinguish two main types of communities: knowledge-building community extended in the culture area and exchange information community that has sub-categories such as sports community, commercial community, etc.