Informedia Digital Video Library:  Digital video library research at Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science
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  Carnegie Mellon University
  School of Computer Science
  5000 Forbes Avenue
  Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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Threading Information Pathways through NSDL Video

Howard Wactlar
Alex Hauptmann, Mike Christel
National Science Foundation , National SMETE Digital Library
September 1, 2000 - August 31, 2002

Project Description 
NSDL Program Overview     NSDL Today (2004)                

The services being developed in this project will enable patrons of the future National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL) to efficiently locate video resources and meld them into compositions that effectively support particular objectives. Video is a rich medium for communicating visual, time-dependent phenomena and for providing real-world footage capable of illustrating and motivating science and mathematics concepts. Vast collections of video have captured field studies and experiments, documented discoveries in space and throughout our planet, and recorded events in our world and in micro-environments not accessible to the human eye. However, despite their potential for use in educational settings, video resources are often discounted or overlooked by science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) educators and students. Barriers include:

  • Loss of investment made by authors of video compositions who blaze pathways through the video information space. These pathways remain unmapped, and hence undiscovered by other information foragers with similar requirements.
  • Lack of support to tailor video resources to specific needs.
  • Frustration in searching and browsing video, as much time is invested in
    viewing numerous video clips to gauge their relevance.
  • Inability to locate pertinent video material, due to insufficient indexing of its contents.

This project is exploring ways to overcome these barriers by capturing and managing the threads of video information access, use, and reuse within the NSDL. Specifically, the project is working on the following services:

  • Creation and organization of annotations for video compositions and information pathways, enabling a dynamic information repository where one's diligent work in producing a stellar video lesson plan can be recognized, rewarded, archived, and reused in future overlays of video information.
  • Support for composition of video lesson plans and multimedia essays from component clips meeting the time, message, and pedagogical requirements of the NSDL patron.
  • Explicit video annotation mechanisms, whereby NSDL patrons can access
    reviews and other commentary aligned and synchronized with video resources.
  • Implicit annotation mechanisms for video, allowing information retrieval schemes with relevance judgments based on access frequency and incorporation of video resources into derivative works.
  • Enhanced content-based video search functionality derived from the integration of speech recognition, language processing, and image processing automated techniques.

The project's focus on video complements the research of others focusing directly on the text or image domains.

NSDL Program Overview

The National Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education (SMETE) Digital Library (NSDL) is anticipated to evolve into a federated repository of quality teaching and learning SMETE resources appropriate for educators and learners at all levels. This repository will naturally include video resources, considering the capability of the media to engage, inspire or immerse the viewer in the subject matter. However, information discovery and quality assessment with respect to video can be frustrating and error-prone due to insufficient and inexact content-based indexing of video. Also, video's temporal dimension often leads to time-consuming inspections where an hour-long video may take an hour or more to review. Most importantly, the intellectual effort applied in creating a new overlay of annotations and sequences of the video information is lost not only to other patrons, but often to the author as well over time. This project proposes to deliver services to the NSDL enabling it to better create, organize and deliver video to its user communities. These services build from prior success with automated video processing, retrieval and summarization while leveraging from newly established World Wide Web Consortium recommendations and the creation of better dynamic annotation management services.

NSDL Today (2004)

NSDL is a digital library of exemplary resource collections and services, organized in support of science education at all levels. Starting with a partnership of NSDL-funded projects, NSDL is emerging as a center of innovation in digital libraries as applied to education, and a community center for groups focused on digital-library-enabled science education. NSDL provides educational resources for science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The NSDL mission is to both deepen and extend science literacy through access to materials and methods that reveal the nature of the physical universe and the intellectual means by which we discover and understand it.

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