»A machine processor converting art and culture into numbers«

Vera Münch, in Information,
Wissenschaft & Praxis, 2011

IAIS-Cortex manages huge quantities of data and establishes new semantic knowledge networks

IAIS-Cortex was conceived and developed for the German Digital Library (Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek or DDB for short). It is the core system of the DDB in terms of integrating information and data relating to the cultural and scientific heritage gathered from Germany’s cultural and scientific institutions.

IAIS-Cortex is modular and flexible. It can be applied to every application scenario where large and heterogeneous data sources shall be aggregated and linked. The system's flexible construction gives it the advantage of being able to be applied to every specific data models and formats. Using semantic technologies the gathered factual knowledge can be linked internally and enriched with external knowledge from linked open data and company specific knowledge databases as well as from ontologies. The fact that IAIS-Cortex uses a standardized interface provides it with a wide range of end user applications for the desired information, from the web portal right up to the smartphone app. IAIS-Cortex can also be integrated into given infrastructure environments.

IAIS-Cortex has proved its worth in terms of scalability and reliability in the German Digital Library which, in autumn 2012, already contained more than five million objects with the database continuously expanding.

Features of IAIS-Cortex

Flexible data integration (ingest)

An automated process based on the OAIS reference model organizes the parallel integration of information gathered from a number of data sources. Using individual mappings heterogeneous source data formats are converted to an internal data model and simultaneously combined with factual knowledge already gathered and semantically enriched with external ontologies. At the ingest stage semantic facets are generated as a basis for the search filters which are offered during later searches. The loss-free internal data model maintains the semantic depth of a range of multifaceted meta data formats meaning the original objects are preserved and can be made available at any time.

Reliable data management (persistency)

Data management of the aggregated information (e. g. indexing data), the dedicated binary data (e. g. multimedia files), and the search indices (e. g. Solr) takes place in IAIS-Cortex via a flexible interface. For instance via a freely scaleable file system, a database-based system or in a storage cloud. This means the system is particularly easy to configure for large data quantities and can be designed in several redundant ways for a particularly high system reliability.

Individual access (information retrieval)

An open interface enables individual access to stored data via third-party systems or to end user interfaces such as web portals or smartphone apps. The facetted search among the information portfolio comprises semantic filtering for the purpose of systematically restricting the amount of search results and the access to objects, binaries and the original objects.

Selected publications about IAIS-Cortex

Becker, Sven; Berkler, Katrin; Borowski, Marion:
Ein Datenlogistikzentrum mit enormem Potenzial / IAIS-Cortex meistert große Datenmengen und knüpft neue Wissensnetze

In: BuB - Forum Bibliothek und Information, vol. 03, pp. 213−215, 2012, Fachzeitschrift des BIB. Berufsverband Information Bibliothek e. V.
ISSN 1869-1137 (Print-Ausgabe)
full text (external, PDF, pp. 213)

Borowski, Marion; Stalmann, Kai; Becker, Sven:
Preparing the ground for the german digital library

In: ERCIM News, vol. Special theme: ICT for Cultural Heritage, no. 86, pp. 40–41, July 2011, special theme: ICT for Cultural Heritage
full text (external)

Münch, Vera:
Eine Maschine, die Kunst und Kultur in Zahlen verarbeitet

In: B.I.T.online 15 (2012) Nr.1, pp. 9–12
full text (external)

Münch, Vera:
Herz und Hirn für die Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek

In: Information, Wissenschaft & Praxis 62 (2011) 8, pp. 355–358
full text (external)

Stalmann, Kai; Wegener, Dennis; Doerr, Martin; Hill, Hermann Josef; Friesen, Natalja:
Semantic-based retrieval of cultural heritage multimedia objects

In: International Journal of Semantic Computing Vol. 06, No. 03, pp. 315–327, 2011
full text (DOI)