Ontology-Based Personalization of E-Government Services

Ontology-Based Personalization of E-Government Services

Fabio Grandi (Università di Bologna, Italy), Federica Mandreoli (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy), Riccardo Martoglia (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy), Enrico Ronchetti (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy) and Maria Rita Scalas (Università di Bologna, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-032-5.ch008
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Abstract

While the World Wide Web user is suffering form the disease caused by information overload, for which personalization is one of the treatments which work, the citizen who gets ready to use the e-Government services which are made available on the Web is not immune from contagion. This seems a good reason to try to prescribe a personalization treatment also to the e-Government user. Hence, we introduce the design and implementation of Web information systems supporting personalized access to multi-version resources in an e-Government scenario. Personalization is supported by means of Semantic Web techniques and relies on an ontology-based profiling of users (citizens). Resources we consider are collections of norm documents (laws, decrees, regulations, etc.) in XML format but can also be generic Web pages and portals or e-Government transactional services. We introduce a reference infrastructure, describe the organization and present performance figures of a prototype system we have developed.
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Introduction

In this Chapter, we present our research activities concerning the implementation of Web information systems supporting personalization for e-Government (eGov) applications (ECeGov, n.d.; USeGov, n.d.). More precisely, our work makes use of temporal database and Semantic Web techniques to provide personalized access to multi-version resources and services made available on the Web by the Public Administration (PA), aimed at improving and optimizing the involvement of citizens in the e-Governance process. The achievement of a high level of integration and involvement of the citizens in the eGov and e-Governance activities, the necessity to fairly deal with different categories of citizens (including disadvantaged ones, with a potential risk of increasing digital divide), the requirements to support flexible, user-friendly, precise, targeted and non-baffling services, all claim for the personalization of the services offered and of the information supplied. In this respect, eGov is suffering from a general problem due to the quick growth of information and services becoming available on the Internet, which makes the task of retrieving the resources of interest more and more difficult. Hence personalization based on user profiling is one of the most interesting solutions proposed to fulfill the needs of individual users and guide them towards a useful navigation.

In particular, we consider ontology-based user profiling and personalized access to online resources (internally available in multi-version format), which may range from guided browsing of PA informative Web sites and portals to selective querying collections of norm documents, and to enactment of customized services implementing administrative processes. Notice that, although all these kinds of resources are already available in existing eGov Web information systems, personalization is either completely absent or at most “predefined” in the Web site structure/contents or service definition/workflow, as for example in eGov portals organized according to the “life events” metaphor.

For instance, the Italian eGov portal (http://www.italia.gov.it), which is the main national portal to all the informational and transactional services provided by PAs, is composed of five main sections: “I am…”, “Life Events”, “Thematic Areas”, “Online Forms”, “Online Services”. The main sections are further organized as hierarchical multi-level directories, which allow citizens to locate and access online resources. In this way, the paths to access specific resources of interests for an individual citizen have been hardwired in the portal structure by human experts and the citizen starting from the home page must follow, without any other kind of navigational aid, the right link sequence in order to locate and enjoy the desired resources. For example, in order to retrieve a norm concerning support to female entrepreneurship, one have to follow the link sequence:

“I am…” » “Woman” » “Women and Work” » “The Law for Female Entrepreneurship”

or, in order to find information on tax allowances for retired persons, the link sequence:

“Life Events” » “To Pay Taxes” » “Retired Person” » “Which Taxes on the Pension?” » “The Allowances”

Also other eGov portals usually show a similar organization and functionalities. For instance, the U.S. eGov portal (http://www.usa.gov), is organized into four main sections: “For Citizens”, “For Businesses and Nonprofits”, “For Government Employees” and “For Visitors to the U.S.”, yet with a basically hierarchical multi-level structure. For example, an American citizen looking for recent norms ruling voting rights has to follow, starting from the home page, the link sequence:

“For Citizens” » “Voting and Elections” » “Learn about Elections and Voting” » “Help America Vote Act of 2002”

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Barry Smyth
Preface
Constantinos Mourlas, Panagiotis Germanakos
Acknowledgment
Constantinos Mourlas, Panagiotis Germanakos
Chapter 1
Nikos Tsianos, Panagiotis Germanakos, Zacharias Lekkas, Constantinos Mourlas
The plethora of information and services as well as the complicated nature of most Web structures intensify the navigational difficulties that arise... Sample PDF
Assessment of Human Factors in Adaptive Hypermedia Environments
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Chapter 2
Barry Smyth
Everyday hundreds of millions of users turn to the World-Wide Web as their primary source of information during their educational, business and... Sample PDF
Case Studies in Adaptive Information Access: Navigation, Search, and Recommendation
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Chapter 3
Sherry Y. Chen
Web-based instruction is prevalent in educational settings. However, many issues still remain to be investigated. In particular, it is still open... Sample PDF
The Effects of Human Factors on the Use of Web-Based Instruction
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Chapter 4
Gulden Uchyigit
Coping with today’s unprecedented information overload problem necessitates the deployment of personalization services. Typical personalization... Sample PDF
The Next Generation of Personalization Techniques
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Chapter 5
Nancy Alonistioti
This chapter introduces context-driven personalisation of service provision based on a middleware architectural approach. It describes the emerging... Sample PDF
Advanced Middleware Architectural Aspects for Personalised Leading-Edge Services
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Chapter 6
Syed Sibte Raza Abidi
This chapter introduces intelligent information personalization as an approach to personalize the webbased information retrieval experiences based... Sample PDF
Intelligent Information Personalization: From Issues to Strategies
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Chapter 7
Babis Magoutas
This chapter introduces a semantically adaptive interface as a means of measuring the quality of egovernment portals, based on user feedback. The... Sample PDF
A Semantically Adaptive Interface for Measuring Portal Quality in E-Government
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Chapter 8
Fabio Grandi, Federica Mandreoli, Riccardo Martoglia, Enrico Ronchetti, Maria Rita Scalas
While the World Wide Web user is suffering form the disease caused by information overload, for which personalization is one of the treatments which... Sample PDF
Ontology-Based Personalization of E-Government Services
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Chapter 9
Maria Golemati, Costas Vassilakis, Akrivi Katifori, George Lepouras, Constantin Halatsis
Novel and intelligent visualization methods are being developed in order to accommodate user searching and browsing tasks, including new and... Sample PDF
Context and Adaptivity-Driven Visualization Method Selection
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Chapter 10
Honghua Dai
Web usage mining has been used effectively as an approach to automatic personalization and as a way to overcome deficiencies of traditional... Sample PDF
Integrating Semantic Knowledge with Web Usage Mining for Personalization
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Chapter 11
Constantinos Mourlas
One way to implement adaptive software is to allocate resources dynamically during run-time rather than statically at design time. Design of... Sample PDF
Adaptive Presentation and Scheduling of Media Streams on Parallel Storage Servers
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Chapter 12
Gheorghita Ghinea
This study investigated two dimensions of cognitive style, including Verbalizer/Imager and Field Dependent/ Field Independent and their influence on... Sample PDF
Impact of Cognitive Style on User Perception of Dynamic Video Content
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Chapter 13
Mathias Bauer, Alexander Kröner, Michael Schneider, Nathalie Basselin
Limitation of the human memory is a well-known issue that anybody has experienced. This chapter discusses typical components and processes involved... Sample PDF
Building Digital Memories for Augmented Cognition and Situated Support
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Chapter 14
Rafael Morales, Nicolas Van Labeke, Paul Brna, María Elena Chan
It is believed that, with the help of suitable technology, learners and systems can cooperate in building a sufficiently accurate learner model they... Sample PDF
Open Learner Modelling as the Keystone of the Next Generation of Adaptive Learning Environments
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Chapter 15
Klaus Jantke, Christoph Igel, Roberta Sturm
Humans need assistance in learning. This is particularly true when learning is supported by modern information and communication technologies. Most... Sample PDF
From E-Learning Tools to Assistants by Learner Modelling and Adaptive Behavior
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Chapter 16
Violeta Damjanovic, Milos Kravcik
The process of training and learning in Web-based and ubiquitous environments brings a new sense of adaptation. With the development of more... Sample PDF
Using Emotional Intelligence in Personalized Adaptation
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Chapter 17
Yang Wang
This chapter presents a first-of-its-kind survey that systematically analyzes existing privacy-enhanced personalization (PEP) solutions and their... Sample PDF
Technical Solutions for Privacy- Enhanced Personalization
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About the Contributors