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An Open Source Environment to construct Information Services for Children

No. 231507
Project Manager: Prof. dr. Franciska M.G. de Jong
Tel: +31 53 4894193 (no response: +31 53 4893740)
Fax: +31 53 4893503
E-mail: fdejong@ewi.utwente.nl

Project website: www.puppyir.eu



As adults we are keen to help children maximize their full potential. Developing children’s abilities to find and understand information is key their development as young adults. The Internet offers children exciting new ways to meet people, learn about different cultures and develop their creative potential. However, children’s ability to use the Internet is severely hampered by the lack of appropriate search tools.

Most Information Retrieval (IR) systems are designed for adults: they return information that is unsuitable for children, present information in lists that children find difficult to manage and make it difficult for children to ask for information. Worse, almost all Internet search engines confront children with pornography and other inappropriate material. PuppyIR will help children search the Internet safely and successfully by the design of an Open-Source platform of child-friendly information services.

PuppyIR will provide a suite of components that can be used by system designers to tailor IR systems for their specific needs. PuppyIR will develop new interaction paradigms that allow children to express their information needs simply and have results presented in an intuitive way. It will develop Information Services that can summarise content for children, moderate information for children, help children safely build social networks and intelligently aggregate for presentation to children. PuppyIR will also contribute to the evaluation of children’s IR systems by the development of child-centered evaluation methods.

PuppyIR will be a multi-layered architecture: system designers can choose from several interaction paradigms and information services to construct their own system. As PuppyIR is Open-Source it will be extensible for new information sources, new information services and new languages.

PuppyIR offers a package for designers to construct usable IR systems for children and the opportunity for children to fully exploit the Internet.

Project duration: 1-4-2009 / 1-4-2012
Project budget: 4.3 M-€ / 3.025 M-€ funding
Number of person/years: 429 mm / 11.9 fte/year
Project Coordinator: University of Twente (for NIRICT)
Participants: University of Twente, TU Delft, University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, AMC/Emma Kinderziekenhuis, Museon, Atos Origin Spain
Project budget CTIT: 1.21 M-€ / 968.2 k-€ funding
Number of person/years CTIT: 97 mm / 2.7 fte/year
Involved groups: Human Media Interaction (HMI), Databses (DB)