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Last update: 2005-05-20

End: 2003-01

AHA! progress report December 11, 2002

transparent adaptive functionality for web servers


The NLnet AHA! project has started on July 1, 2001. The current team at the TU/e consists of the following people:

  • Natasha Stash is employed full-time by the AHA! project for the duration of the project (one or two years depending on funding).
  • David Smits is a part-time junior researcher (student-assistant) working on AHA!.
  • Brendan Rousseau is a (full-time) thesis student at TU/e from April 1, 2002 to December 31, 2002.
  • Barend de Lange is a (full-time) thesis student at TU/e from August 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003.
  • Bart Berden is a (full-time) thesis student at TU/e from August 1, 2002 to April 30, 2003.

In addition, two students are working abroad to initiate collaboration with other adaptive hypermedia research groups: Koen Aben is working (with Hugh Davis and Dave Millard) as an intern at the University of Southampton and Tomi Santic is working (with Peter Brusilovsky) as a thesis student at the University of Pittsburgh.

Supervision is provided by prof. dr. Paul De Bra, and when needed also by dr. Ad Aerts, dr. Lora Aroyo, dr. Licia Calvi, dr. ir. Alexandra Cristea and dr. ir. Geert-Jan Houben.

Progress (since previous report) up to this date

The status of the AHA! project as of December 11, 2002 is described below. It lists the items that have been realized or worked on since the previous progress report.

  • The AHA! 2.0 system has been released in “alpha” version. The most notable missing item still is the new tutorial.
  • The graphical authoring tool being developed by Brendan Rousseau is almost finished and a preliminary version is included in AHA! 2.0 alpha.
  • An intern (Monique Ansems) has developed support for different hiding levels (or shading for fragments. This will later be integrated with the new fragment and object support being developed by Barend de Lange.
  • Bart Berden has given a first demo of stable presentations, and developed a syntax for indicating stability requirements for pages and fragments.
  • More publications about AHA! 2.0 have been presented at conferences:
    • AHA! Version 2.0, More Adaptive Flexibility for Authors, E-Learn 2002 (formerly WebNet), Montreal, October 15-19. (pp. 240-246)
    • Concept Relationship Types for AHA! 2.0, E-Learn 2002 (formerly WebNet), Montreal, October 15-19. (pp. 1386-1389)
    • A talk/demo was given on AHA! 2.0 at the Open Source mini-conference that preceeded the yearly dutch SGML/XML conference.
  • An intern, Koen Aben, is working with Dave Millard from the University of Southampton on new ideas for AHA! and Auld Linky, and a new specification language for adaptation.
    • Auld Linky is an Open Hypermedia engine. It can conditionally include links in documents by using link bases. (The documents themselves do not contain links.) AHA! can be used to conditionally annotate the links, and also to conditionally include or hide fragments.
    • Koen Aben is working on a new language for describing the possible adaptation in an application. The language resembles a procedural language and can be used to describe both link adaptation and page construction.
  • A thesis student, Tomi Santic, is working with Peter Brusilovsky from the University of Pittsburgh on integrating ideas from AHA! and Interbook. Interbook is a well-known adaptive educational hypermedia system that concentrates on link adaptation and adaptive guidance. Integrating ideas from AHA! and Interbook may lead to a system that combines adaptive guidance with adaptive content.

Future Milestones until June 30, 2003

Work on AHA! Version 2.0 will continue, and result in a “final” release after more bugs have been fixed, and after the tutorial has been written (this will be during the christmas break. The final release will be ready on February 1, 2003.

  • In the period until the release Natasha Stash and David Smits will be working on the code while Paul De Bra writes the documentation.
  • In the period until April 30, 2003, Barend de Lange and Bart Berden will write the main additions for AHA! 3.0: the integration of fragments in the concept structure and the creation of stable presentations. This will imply that the main document format will become XHTML (without any AHA!-specific tags).
  • When an intern becomes available he will work on the addition of support for SMIL as an alternative input language.
  • David Smits will start a thesis on the analysis of termination and confluence, and the inclusion of detection into the authoring tools.
  • Natasha Stash will work on the page selectors and page constructurs.
  • The period of May 1, 2003 to June 30, 2003 will be used to integrate the tools and the documentation, and to prepare the AHA! 3.0 release.

Dissemination of results

The following specific actions will be taken to bring AHA! to the public:

  • AHA! 2.0 will be sent to people who have been actively using AHA! in the past, or are using it now, including:
    • Alessandra Cini from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (published on AHA! at the AH2002 conference);
    • Cristobal Romero from the University of Cordoba, Spain (published on AHA! at the ELearn2002 conference);
    • Serge Garlatti of ENST, Brest, France (using it in a course on adaptive hypermedia);
    • Wendy Hall and Hugh Davis, University of Southampton, UK;
    • Peter Brusilovsky, University of Pittsburgh, USA;
    • others who we come in contact with.
  • A registration procedure will be added to the AHA! website to collect addresses of people interested in obtaining AHA! (and updates of AHA!).
  • AHA! 2.0 will be used to update the Adaptive Hypertext and Hypermedia homepage. This will attract more people to the AHA! system.
  • AHA! will be used in the ADAPT project, A Socrates/Minerva project about adaptive educational technology (TU/e, UT, Univ. of Southampton, Univ. of Nottingham, Polit. di Milano and IRST, Trento). ADAPT aims at establishing a European platform of standards for user modeling-based adaptability and adaptation in the area of open distance learning. Concretely the project will define standards for high-level descriptions of adaptation, and translations of these descriptions to concrete systems, including AHA!. More information on ADAPT is available from the project website
  • We are currently investigating bringing AHA! into Sourceforce, to make it easier for outside contributors to have access to the code and contribute updates.

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