The APIS project (Advanced Personalization in Information Services) investigates the impact of personalization technology on future information provisioning. Being interdisciplinary between computer science and cognitive sciences a basic belief of the APIS group is that modern information provisioning needs advanced query processing and optimization techniques using and understanding human preferences, usage patterns, conceptual views and (domain) ontologies. At the same time the architectures for information provisioning have to move from monolithical database systems to more open service-oriented infrastructures.
Databases and information systems are crucial for a large variety of today's networked applications. Together with Web technology they form the major tools to manage the information flood on the Internet and provide pervasive information access anytime anywhere. The emerging techniques of Web services and the Semantic Web already address some of the challenges by trying to standardize semantic descriptions, addressing security issues and fostering interoperability and seamless service integration. However, these problems cannot be solved by information technology alone. Modeling semantics for intended goals relies on human cognition and cultural notions and thus needs strong interdisciplinary research.
Recent research on the nature of commonly used preferences and their integration into information systems has already gained broad attention. In today's systems, however, personalization capabilities are mostly restricted to simple keyword matching, subscribing to different channels or customizing features like the layout or presentation of information. The benefits of personalized web-based information services are pervasive information access with services for information filtering, collaboration and information sharing. Together with innovative wireless technologies and powerful client devices these services can help to pave the way towards unrestricted mobility.