Analyst-Ready Large Scale Real Time Information Retrieval Tool for E-Governance

Analyst-Ready Large Scale Real Time Information Retrieval Tool for E-Governance

Eugene Santos Jr. (Dartmouth College, USA), Eunice E. Santos (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA), Hien Nguyen (University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, USA), Long Pan (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA) and John Korah (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-130-8.ch016
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With the proliferation of the Internet and rapid development of information and communication infrastructure, E-governance has become a viable option for effective deployment of government services and programs. Areas of E-governance such as Homeland security and disaster relief have to deal with vast amounts of dynamic heterogeneous data. Providing rapid real-time search capabilities for such databases/sources is a challenge. Intelligent Foraging, Gathering, and Matching (I-FGM) is an established framework developed to assist analysts to find information quickly and effectively by incrementally collecting, processing and matching information nuggets. This framework has previously been used to develop a distributed, free text information retrieval application. In this chapter, we provide a comprehensive solution for the E-GOV analyst by extending the I-FGM framework to image collections and creating a “live” version of I-FGM deployable for real-world use. We present a Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) technique that incrementally processes the images, extracts low-level features and map them to higher level concepts. Our empirical evaluation of the algorithm shows that our approach performs competitively compared to some existing approaches in terms of retrieving relevant images while offering the speed advantages of a distributed and incremental process, and unified framework for both text and images. We describe our production level prototype that has a sophisticated user interface which can also deal with multiple queries from multiple users. The interface provides real-time updating of the search results and provides “under the hood” details of I-FGM processes as the queries are being processed.
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One of the main challenges in E-governance is to effectively and efficiently find relevant information from vast amounts of dynamic heterogeneous sources quickly under the pressures and limitations of time, supporting tools, and resources. For instance, when natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina (2005) or the Asian Tsunami of 2004 happen, we need to quickly locate the areas that are most affected and collect information in order to estimate the amount of relief items such as medicines, foods, and drinking water. Unfortunately, in such a situation, frontline communications are typically chaotic and/or there are too many channels of information from different sources that make the retrieval of relevant pieces of information a lot harder. For “hot spots” such as disaster relief areas, combat zones, etc., information is changing rapidly and as such, there is only a small window of time during which information remains valid. Additionally, various types of data representation are used such as images, blogs, maps, news reports, audios, and videos. Each type of data format contains important and indispensable information for the various governmental agencies. Therefore, in order to better assist these agencies in addressing these challenges, there is a clear and urgent need to develop a system that rapidly provides real-time retrieval capabilities of heterogeneous sources of information. There are three main issues that we need to address: (i) how to gather and retrieve information quickly in a real-time setting given the limitations of resources and time; (ii) how to address the problem of heterogeneous data; and, (iii) how to improve retrieval success.

We address the above issues by developing a framework for intelligent foraging, gathering, and matching (I-FGM) that incrementally and distributively gathers, processes, and matches information nuggets to assist users at finding information quickly and effectively. In our previous work (Santos et al, 2005, 2006), I-FGM has been empirically demonstrated to be an effective tool for text retrieval on large and dynamic search spaces. Even though unstructured text is a typical format for most databases/sources, images are also popular with significant support from commercialized search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. In order to demonstrate that I-FGM is a general framework for information retrieval, it is necessary to study the system’s ability at effectively handling such heterogeneous databases which contain at least text and images. In this chapter, we apply the I-FGM framework on image collections by using a Content Based Image Retrieval (CBIR) method. We approach this by incrementally processing the images, extracting low-level features, and then mapping them to higher level concepts. The novelties of our approach lie with the distributed storage, and incremental processing and matching of information nuggets extracted from a region-based wavelet image retrieval scheme. We deploy a concept-based image retrieval algorithm that maps low level features of the images to high level concepts. In this way, we are also able to translate the visual information of images into document graphs (Santos et al, 2005) which are used in I-FGM as a common representation of information for heterogeneous data types. Thus, I-FGM provides a seamless integration of text and image through a single unifying semantic representation of content. By implementing and testing our image retrieval algorithm in I-FGM, we can validate the I-FGM framework as a method for future unified rankings of heterogeneous documents.

The prototypes presented in our previous efforts were primarily aimed at validating the I-FGM framework and was not meant to be deployed in the field. In order to fully validate I-FGM as an effective tool for the E-Gov analyst, we implemented a Production-level system. This system uses 79 high end computing nodes versus the 20 nodes in the earlier prototypes. The extensive computing resources enable us to guarantee quick results despite multiple queries from multiple users being processed simultaneously in the system. One notable difference with the previous prototype is that text and image retrievals are performed simultaneously for a given query. Additionally, we provide a set of tools for users to monitor the progress of their search via a graphical user interface. This interface displays the status of the internal processes in the system and allows the user to tailor the framework to his/her needs or area of expertise.

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Associate Editors and Editorial Review Board
Table of Contents
Mehdi Khosrow-Pour
Chapter 1
Marijn Janssen, George Kuk
Stimulated by the need to reduce cost and improve service provisioning and client involvement at the same time, the concept of business models has... Sample PDF
E-Government Business Models: Theory, Challenges and Research Issues
Chapter 2
Roy Ladner
In this chapter we provide an overview of electronic government as it pertains to national security and defense within the Department of Defense... Sample PDF
Electronic Government: Overview and Issues for National Security Interests
Chapter 3
Ranjeev Mittu, Suleyman Guleyupoglu, William Barlow, Michael Dowdy, Sean McCarthy
The emergence of new doctrine is enabling Security, Stabilization, Transition and Reconstruction (SSTR) operations to become a core U.S. military... Sample PDF
Towards Civil-Military Coordination During Security, Stabilization, Transition and Reconstruction Efforts
Chapter 4
Akhilesh Bajaj, Sudha Ram
Recently, there has been increased interest in sharing digitized information between government agencies, with the goals of improving security... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework Towards Information Sharing Between Government Agencies
Chapter 5
Eric T.K. Lim, Chee-Wee Tan, Shan-Ling Pan
As e-government becomes increasingly pervasive in modern public administrative management, its influence on organizations and individuals has become... Sample PDF
E-Government Implementation: Balancing Collaboration and Control in Stakeholder Management
Chapter 6
Yining Chen, H.M. Chen, Russell K.H. Ching, Wayne W. Huang
Over the last decade, the Internet has become one of the most important means of communication in all social areas. The success of Web technology... Sample PDF
Electronic Government Implementation: A Comparison Between Developed and Developing Countries
Chapter 7
Jonna Järveläinen, Eija Koskivaara, Päivi Pihlaja, Hannu Salmela, Jarmo Tähkäpää, Timo Kestilä
This collaborative action research study reports the experiences in developing e-government innovations in early childhood education context in... Sample PDF
Involving Service Professionals in eGovernment Innovation: The Case of Finnish Early Childhood Education
Chapter 8
Jyoti Choudrie, Vishanth Weerakkody
This article examines how horizontal integration between the various departments of a local authority in the United Kingdom (UK) occurs. Following... Sample PDF
Horizontal Process Integration in E-Government: The Perspective of a UK Local Authority
Chapter 9
Lucas Walsh
As developments in communication technologies impact upon many spheres of public and private life, they influence the way in which the public sector... Sample PDF
Online Policy Consultation: A Case Study of Local Government
Chapter 10
Lisa Hill
Due to compulsory voting, Australia’s turnout rate is among the highest and most socially-even in the industrialised world. Nevertheless, some... Sample PDF
Electronic Conduits to Electoral Inclusion in an Atypical Constituency: The Australian Case
Chapter 11
Kevin O’Toole
This chapter analyses local government’s response to the pressure to modernise its structures through its use of Information Communication... Sample PDF
Australia Local Government and E-Governance: From Administration to Citizen Participation?
Chapter 12
Kate Alport
This chapter examines the spread of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in South Australia. It starts by assessing South Australia’s... Sample PDF
Engaging the Community Through E-Democracy in South Australia
Chapter 13
G. P. Sahu
The study seeks to highlight the key variables affecting usage of e-government by internal users of Indian Central Excise. An e-government... Sample PDF
Users' Acceptance of E-Government: A Study of Indian Central Excise
Chapter 14
Tagelsir Mohamed Gasmelseid
The recent economic, organizational and technological transformations are motivating developing countries to adopt electronic government... Sample PDF
A Multi-Agent Service Oriented Modeling of E-Government Initiatives
Chapter 15
Shahram Rahimi
The effectiveness of current search and retrieval systems is restricted as they do not use the semantics of the data but mainly utilize keywords.... Sample PDF
A Methodology for Ontological Mediation in Multi-Agent Systems
Chapter 16
Eugene Santos Jr., Eunice E. Santos, Hien Nguyen, Long Pan, John Korah
With the proliferation of the Internet and rapid development of information and communication infrastructure, E-governance has become a viable... Sample PDF
Analyst-Ready Large Scale Real Time Information Retrieval Tool for E-Governance
Chapter 17
Marco Carvalho
Data dissemination and information management technologies for tactical environments are quickly becoming major areas of research for both military... Sample PDF
In-Stream Data Processing for Tactical Environments
Chapter 18
Dilip Kumar Sharma, Gopalji Varshneya, Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay
This article analyzes the diffusion of a Web technology named AJAX in facilitating e-government architecture and enhancing its potential by... Sample PDF
AJAX in Development of Web-Based Architecture for Implementation of E-Governance
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