Ontology-Based Document Management System for Public Institutions

Ontology-Based Document Management System for Public Institutions

Aurelia Pătraşcu (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploieşti, Romania), Ana Tănăsescu (Petroleum-Gas University of Ploieşti, Romania), Constanţa-Nicoleta Bodea (Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania) and Patricia Ordoñez de Pablos (University of Oviedo, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4530-1.ch015
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This chapter presents an ontology-based document management system developed for the Romanian public institutions. The system meets both general and specific requirements for this type of organization. The system has a three-tier architecture. FileZilla ftp server version 0.9.37 was used as application server. Jess Expert System Shell version 7.0p1 was the solution in developing knowledge base of the system and MySQL open-source server, version 5.0.51 is chosen for data tier. The system ontology is developed using the Protégé environment. The system is validated and deployed at Ploiesti City Hall. Employees from different departments (town planning, taxes etc.) working with the system provided validation information.
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Transforming classic documents into electronic ones enables organizations to respond rapidly to changes in the business environment, by streamlining the information flows. Organizations face with the need to manage electronic documents effectively (Ale, Chiotti & Galli, 2008; Ale, Gerarduzzi, Chiotti, & Galli, 2008; Ermine, 2000; Gschwandtner, Kaiser, Martini, & Miksch, 2010; Klischewski, 2001; Mihye, 2003; Österle, Fleisch, & Alt, 2001; Scheffczyk, Borghoff, Rodig, & Schmitz, 2003; Uren et al., 2006). Deployment of document management systems is often based on the existing working systems that involve keeping documents in an environment with access controlled, and their authentication by signature.

Document management systems (DMSs) allow more effective distribution of control over the electronic documents within an organization, providing storage capacity, versioning, metadata, security, indexing and quick documents retrieval. The document management systems lead to the improvement of storage efficiency; retention and availability of records; opportunities for verification of all activities in the system and tracking the lifecycle of records; quickly implementation of the workflows; flexibility to any organizational structure; a high degree of security; adaptability to any type of document; connectivity to other applications; ease of use and scalability to future developments (Laserfiche, 2004).

The ontology based document management system accomplishes the classical functions of a DMS, such as: creation of folders that are necessary to the activity deployment of a city hall and adding the appropriate documents to them; allocation of a unique registration number to each folder and document, as well as entry them into the input-output register; identifying the folders’ recipients; changing the characteristics and the content of a folder and/or a document; sending the document for resolution and completion to persons that are designated to fulfil this thing; searching the folders into database by different criteria (registration number, state, location, etc.); creation and updating the classified lists that contain information about folders types, documents types, meta-descriptors types, registers types and entries types in the document management system; creation of the users and granting the access rights to the system; managing documents versions. But the ontology based document management system allows, also additional functions, such as: generating appropriate metadata for different documents, advance search facilities, problems solving facilities using the documents content, communication between persons working with documents, computing the average time for document processing, nomenclatures development, etc. In order to access the knowledge embedded into documents the concept of semanticdocuments was developed.

In the light of the above mentioned state of facts, the chapter proposes an innovative and flexible system, for improving the management of the documents within public institutions. The chapter focuses on the system architecture and ontology. The chapter is structured as following: two section dedicated to the research context–document and knowledge management system, especially the ones using ontologies, a section in which the development of the document management system is presented, a section in which the ontology for document management is described, the section with the system usage scenarios and the conclusions part, in which the originality and novelty of the system are highlighted.

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