Infrastructure for Information Spaces

Hans-Jörg Schek, Heiko Schuldt, Christoph Schuler, Roger Weber
In Proceedings
Appears in
Proceedings of the 6th East-European Conference on Advances in Databases and Information Systems (AD
Bratislava, Slovakia
In the past, we talked about single information systems. In the future, we expect an ever increasing number of information systems and data sources, reaching from traditional databases and large document collections, information sources contained in web pages, down to information systems in mobile devices as they will occur in a pervasive computing environment. Therefore not only the immense amount of information demands new thoughts but also the number of different information sources. Essentially, their coordination poses a great challenge for the development of future tools that will be suitable to access, process, and maintain information. We talk about the continuous, infinite'' information, shortly called the information space''. Information in this space is distributed, heterogeneous and undergoes continuous changes. So, the infrastructure for information spaces must provide convenient tools for accessing information, for developing applications for analyzing, mining, classifying, and processing information, and for transactional processes that ensure consistent propagation of information changes and simultaneous invocations of several (web) services within a transactional workflow. As far as possible, the infrastructure should avoid global components. Rather, a peer-to-peer decentralized coordination middleware must be provided that has some self-configuration and adaptation features. In this paper we will elaborate some of the aspects related to process-based coordination within the information space and report on research from our hyperdatabase research framework and from experiences in ETHWorld, an ETH wide project that will establish the ETH information space. Nevertheless, this paper is rather visionary and is intended to stimulate new research in this wide area.
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