What is Metamorphosis

Topic Maps

Metamorphosis' Architecture









Metamorphosis' Architecture

The main idea behind Metamorphosis is to integrate the specification of conceptual networks or ontologies, with their storage and navigation, as well as, their automatic extraction and validation.

Just to give a flavor of the system, a Metamorphosis' application can be described with an example: suppose that an information system composed of several resources like XML documents, relational databases, and PDF documents, must be accessible through the Web. At the first try it is important to built a complete index of all data items. That index is huge and web browsers is not capable of displaying it. It is possible to fractionate this information in a conceptual way. Here is the point where it will start discussing the organization of this information system and here it is introduced \textit{Metamorphosis}. It is not need to change anything in these resources; an ontology for this information system must be created that represent the desired domain.

One of the first Metamorphosis' applications was the production of site maps; another of our former concerns was the contents publishing in the context of e-learning. Metamorphosis can be also used to test some functionalities of a dynamic web system because it creates, in a fast way, a web interface that interacts directly with data sources.

Metamorphosis takes as input:

Information resources: composed of one or more data sources: XML documents, web pages, databases, ... Metamorphosis does not interfere with any of it, it will only use part of the information to build the semantic network;

XML Specifications: the description of data sources (written in XSDS -- XML Specification for DataSources); the description of the ontology (written in XS4TM -- XML Specification for Topic Maps); and the description of the constraints to be complied by topic map instance (written in XTCHE -- Topic Maps Schema and Constraint Language).

and generates as output:

Conceptual Website: The final generated website through which it is possible to navigate through the information system driven by concepts organized in a semantic network.

Metamorphosis Architecture

Figure above shows Metamorphosis' architecture that came up from the principles underlying our proposal. This architecture is composed of:

(1) Oveia: The processor that builds topic maps. Its core is a processor that extracts the topics instances from the information resources and builds a topic map. It reads and processes the XSDS and XS4TM specifications.

(2) Generated topic map: The topic map automatically generated by Oveia stored as an XTM file or alternatively a relational database.

(3) XTche: The processor that consumes the previous XTM file and verifies the topic map according to a set of constraints defined in XTCHE language.

(4) Valid topic map: The previous topic map automatically validated by XTche.

(5) Ulisses: The processor that takes a topic map and produces a whole semantic website, a set of web pages where it is possible to navigate through structural or syntactic links as well as through a network of concepts.


Departamento de Informática - Campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga - Portugal
Tel.: +351 253604470 Fax : +351 253604471