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					        ARISTOTLE AND
      THE KNOWLEDGE WEB

             BY SUMATHI GOPAL

                A thesis submitted to the
           Graduate school – New Brunswick
      Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
        In partial fulfillment of the requirements
                    for the degree of
                   Master of Science
Graduate Program in Electrical and Computer Engineering


             Written under the direction of
               Professor James Flanagan
                    and approved by

       ______________________________________

       ______________________________________

       ______________________________________

       ______________________________________




             New Brunswick, New Jersey
                     October, 2000
     ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS


              Aristotle and The Knowledge Web


                           by Sumathi Gopal
              Thesis Director: Professor James Flanagan




Aristotle is a Distributed Learning System. A Distributed Learning System is an

educational tool that supplements classroom training or even replaces one.

Currently, the audience of Aristotle comprises of all the users using the

RUNet2000 intra-network of Rutgers University. The current project prototype of

Aristotle is a Rutgers University freshmen course in General Biology – Biology

101. The current implementation comprises of two portions – The Virtual Labs,

and The Online Classroom. Aristotle was commissioned during the Fall of 1999.

This thesis work concerns with the development of the Online Classroom. It

elaborates on the program utilities that were developed to generate the various

kinds of files required to launch the classroom, and the design and

implementation of the novel concept of The Knowledge Web.

The Online Classroom is unique in its class, as it renders each lecture into topics

and keywords. Each topic/keyword presentation comprises of a video-clip,

transcript, images and a definition. More so, the video, transcript and images are




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totally synchronized. This is achieved by means of SMIL, Real Time Streaming

Protocol(RTSP), RealPlayer G2 and RealServer of Real Networks Inc.

The second portion of the thesis is The Knowledge Web. This is a tool developed

specifically for the online classroom, to alleviate the process of meta-cognition. It

is a graphical representation of knowledge/information. Two applications – The

Knowledge Web Composer and The Knowledge Web Navigator have been

designed to construct and navigate knowledge webs. Details of their design and

implementation have been discussed in this thesis report.

Aristotle uses the Internet resource available to ease the learning process of

students. Distributed learning Systems overcome several problems associated

with traditional classrooms. The Knowledge Web tries to compensate for the

absence of a live teacher.

Details of the design of the Online Classroom of Aristotle and the Knowledge

Web have been presented in this report.




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               ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank several people whose efforts have been instrumental for this

achievement.

My sincere thanks to Dr. James Flanagan, Dr. Attila Medl, Dr. Joseph Wilder,

and Dr. Ivan Marsic for being on my dissertation committee.

My thanks to Dr. James Flanagan, who served as my academic advisor. He

provided me with all the resources, facilities and encouragement to design and

implement the systems.

I would like to thank Dr. Richard Mammone, whose idea it was, to launch the

online-classroom of Aristotle and introduce the concept of the Knowledge Web.

He guided and motivated me to work hard to achieve my objective in such a short

period of time.

I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Mr. Michael L Davis, who

implemented the Mica Graphics Framework. He also provided the required

technical support for using it. He exercised a lot of patience in answering the

innumerable number of questions I had regarding the framework. His timely

correction of bugs in the framework was a lot of help.

I would like to thank colleagues, Gordon Faulkner & Neal Teitelbaum for their

help. I sincerely appreciate Deborah Grove and Mr. Henri Siffre for proofreading.

I very much appreciate the support and timely help provided by the System

administrators of CAIP, The ECE Department Graduate Director - Dr. Michael

Bushnell, and ECE Department Graduate Secretary, Ms. Barbara Klimkiewicz.



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Last but not the least, I would take this opportunity to thank my parents -

Ramamani and Gopal, without whose love and efforts I could never have been an

achiever! My sincere thanks to my parents-in-law – Anasuya and Krishna

Iyengar, for their help and moral support during the tough times.

This thesis has been dedicated to my best friend, philosopher and mentor – my

husband Vinay Iyengar. This task would have been impossible without his

unconditional and selfless help and moral support.




                                     v
                           TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………………ii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS …………………………………………………………… iv

TABLE OF CONTENTS ………………………………………………………………vi

LIST OF FIGURES …………………………………………………………………... viii

1     INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................... 1
    1.1       Motivation Behind Aristotle ............................................................................... 1
    1.2       Overview of Aristotle ......................................................................................... 1
    1.3       What is The Knowledge Web? ........................................................................... 2

2     PRIOR AND RELATED WORK............................................................................ 3
    2.1       Overview of Current Online Classrooms ........................................................... 3
    2.2       Technology Used in Online Classroom and Knowledge Web ........................... 4
      2.2.1          Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) .......................... 4
      2.2.2          RealServer and RealPlayer ......................................................................... 5
      2.2.3          EXtensible Markup Language (XML) ........................................................ 5
    2.3       The Mica Graphics Framework .......................................................................... 5
      2.3.1          Features of Mica ......................................................................................... 6
      2.3.2          The Layered Architecture of Mica .............................................................. 7

3     THE ONLINE CLASSROOM OF ARISTOTLE.................................................. 8
    3.1       The Major Components ...................................................................................... 8
    3.2       Lecture Production Procedure............................................................................. 9
    3.3       Implementation ................................................................................................. 11
      3.3.1          Assimilating the Multimedia(Video And Images) .................................... 11
      3.3.2          Acquiring the Lecture Transcript .............................................................. 11
      3.3.3          Video-clips for Topics and Keywords ...................................................... 12
      3.3.4          Generating the Various Files .................................................................... 14
    3.4       Details about Generated Files ........................................................................... 14
      3.4.1          SMIL files for Topics & Keywords .......................................................... 14


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       3.4.2          RealText Files for Figures ........................................................................ 16
       3.4.3          Topics Outline Page and Keywords Index Page for Each Lecture ........... 17
       3.4.4          Main Index Page for the Lecture .............................................................. 17
       3.4.5          HTML File for Figure Lists ...................................................................... 18
       3.4.6          A Main HTML Page for Each Topic/Keyword ........................................ 18
       3.4.7          Order of Execution .................................................................................... 19
    3.5        File Naming Format ......................................................................................... 20
    3.6        JavaDocs for Program Utilities ......................................................................... 21

4      THE KNOWLEDGE WEB .................................................................................... 41
    4.1        Motivation ......................................................................................................... 41
    4.2        KNOWLEDGE WEB Visualization ....................................................................... 41
    4.3        The Knowledge Web Composer Overview ...................................................... 43
    4.4        The Knowledge Web Navigator Overview................................................... 45
    4.5        Technical details of the Implementation ........................................................... 47
       4.5.1          Understand the Architecture of Mica ........................................................ 47
       4.5.2          Recognizing Bugs in Mica and Correcting Them.................................... 47
       4.5.3          Choice of the Appropriate classes from the framework. .......................... 48
       4.5.4          Configuration Files: Image Resources and Palette ................................... 48
       4.5.5          Transforming Graphic Nodes to Knowledge Nodes ................................. 49
       4.5.6          The ‘data’ Portion of Knowledge Nodes .................................................. 50
       4.5.7          Popup Menu for Nodes in Knowledge Web Composer.......................... 50
       4.5.8          Popup Menu for Nodes in Knowledge Web Navigator ............................ 51
       4.5.9          Saving and Loading the Knowledge Web ............................................... 52
       4.5.10         The Search Tool In Knowledge Web Navigator....................................... 57
       4.5.11         Additional Composer Implementation Details ......................................... 57
       4.5.12         Additional Navigator Implementation Details .......................................... 58
       4.5.13         Summary of Classes Used for the Implementation.................................. 58

5      CONCLUSION & FUTURE WORK.................................................................... 60

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................ 62




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                          LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2.1: Mica Architecture                                                  7
Figure 3.1: Components of the Online-Classroom of Aristotle                    8
Figure 3.2: Lecture Production Procedure                                      10
Figure 3.3: Summary of File Generation Process                                13
Figure 3.4: Sample SMIL File - t010.smi                                       15
Figure 3.5: The SMIL File of Figure 3.4 When Played in RealPlayer G2          16
Figure 3.6: RealText File Containing Hyperlink to a Full-Size Image           16
Figure 3.7: Index Page of Each Lecture                                        17
Figure 3.8: : Main HTML Page of Each Topic/Keyword                            18
Figure 4.1 : Knowledge Web Representation                                     42
Figure 4.2: Snapshot of Knowledge Web Composer Application                    43
Figure 4.3: Populating Knowledge Node With Information                        44
Figure 4.4: Snapshot of the Navigator Application                             45
Figure 4.5: When Right Clicked on a Node in the Knowledge Web Navigator       46
Figure 4.6: Launches Appropriate Application to Display Information Element   46
Figure 4.7: kwml1-3.dtd                                                       54
Figure 4.8: Sample XML Document Representing A Knowledge Web                  55




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