IUHM, a hypermedia-based model for integrating open services, data and metadata

Jocelyne Nanard, Marc Nanard, Peter King

ACM Hypertext '03, August 26-30 2003, Nottingham, UK
This paper won the ACM Engelbart award for best paper


This paper discusses a new hypermedia-based model known as IUHM. IUHM emerged as a result of the development of the OPALES system, a collaborative environment for exploring and indexing video archives in a digital library. A basic design requirement of OPALES is that it must permit and support the integration of new services throughout its life cycle. Thus, IUHM depends heavily upon the notions of extensibility and openness. Support for openness, extensibility and late binding of services is provided in the IUHM model by a single reflexive mechanism. This uniform mechanism is used for describing all relationships between arbitrary system entities, including services, data and metadata. The mechanism in question consists of a generic, computable hypertext structure with typed links, known as the Information Unit, and is the minimal structural scheme to which all encapsulated entities comply. We describe and justify the design of the Information Unit, as well as the semantics of its four link types, namely role, type, owner, relative. We further describe the minimal kernel of the runtime layer responsible for the dynamic behaviour specified by the IUHM compliant hypertext network. We discuss the mechanisms involved in the dynamic binding of services and service composition. We illustrate these notions by real-world examples of the integration of metadata services within the OPALES system.


Hypertext Structure, Open Hypermedia, Semantics, Metadata, Service integration

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