A Digital Library Testbed for Research Related to 4/16/2007 at Virginia Tech

Start Date: 05/02/2007
End Date: 05/01/2008

A digital library (http://recovery.dlib.vt.edu) is designed to support a wide range of research studies, as well as inquiries from the general public, related to the tragedy that occurred during the morning of April 16, 2007 on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA when 33 members of the university community were killed by a student turned gunman. There is a catalog of related content, along with selected data and multimedia information, submitted from a variety of sources. These will be incorporated in the ""Virginia Tech 4-16-07 Library Archive"", permanently supported by University Libraries.

The target audience includes those interested in how technology aids detection, prevention, and responding to disasters in highly connected settings (e.g., in Virginia's largest university community, at the heart of the Blacksburg Electronic Village). A key question is how digital libraries can work in rapid-response settings, as well as for studying the aftermath of tragedies.

The thrust of this project is development of rapidly prototyped tailored systems for diverse user communities using the 5S theory (i.e., with formally defined underlying concepts: Streams, Structures, Spaces, Scenarios, and Societies), which provides a foundation for integration of distributed content and services. This project will lead to development of the theory and software support for large scale digital libraries that also allow researchers to apply closely-coupled data mining and visualization services, e.g., so that archived content can be efficiently and conveniently analyzed, and so that trends and outliers can be spotted. Computer and information scientists, following legal, policy, and human-subject guidelines, can study portions, or the whole complex, of the resulting testbed - of content, services, usage logs, etc.

Wide use of the digital library by scholars and the public, as well as dissemination of results, through the WWW, publications, and presentations, will ensure the broadest impact.

Grant Institution: NSF IIS Special Projects Program

Amount: $199,993

People associated with this grant:

Chris North
Edward Fox
Naren Ramakrishnan