The project, aims to be an umbrella platform for active cooperation between computer scientists. The portal will serve both as a centralized source of relevant information of various kinds; in addition it will provide services and resources for using this information towards unification of the community of computer scientists in the Czech Republic and more effective communication of current issues and implementation of activities in this area.

The main contribution of the portal we can see in these areas:

  • Facilitating communication between computer scientists as well as with other entities in the field of education and research, economic and governmental sectors by means of a global forum, and thematically focused forums for centralized discussion on urgent topics in computer science, such as research funding, university curricula, etc.
  • Provision of access to large amounts of information, materials and references concerning informatics and computer scientists (course materials, documentation of successful projects, etc.).
  • Establishing and developing co-operation, creation of job or interest groups, searching for suitable entities (people, institutions, research teams and companies).
  • Support of job offers supply and demand.

Two important characteristics of persons and other entities are introduced in the network: knowledge and scientific profiles. These two concepts of structured profiles are proposed in order to precisely and explicitly express knowledge and scientific alignment of an IT professional. These will enable to describe the knowledge and the scientific focus in a structured way and provide the advanced tools for searching and matching entities in the social network compared with existing solutions. These two profiles will make it possible to search and compare IT specialists, their groups and projects or pair the users to the demands on the market

Important features, functions and services that the portal SoSIReCR will provide are:

  • Recruitment of new members: This is an important aspect since the success of the portal depends on the size and quality of the community of its users. Among frequently used functions for recruitment of new members there belong import of contacts of existing users, recommendations of the portal content to potential users, public presentations of portal members and making a portion of the portal content and functions accessible for unregistered visitors.
  • User-portal interactions: Semantic web technologies can be used in the portal to understand the meaning of its content that can further make it possible to automatically generate recommended material to the users based on their profiles. Other means of the user-portal communication involve e-mail notifications, discussions, sending contributions to blogs and others.
  • Interactions among users: This functionality can be realized by internal mail, blogs and other means of instant distribution of questions and answers in the portal community.
  • Well-arranged graphical user interface: From the usability point of view the intuitiveness of portal functions and easy user orientation on the portal is crucial. If possible, all pages of the portal should adhere to the same structure. The most important is the home page of the logged in user, the member of the portal, which is the most frequently visited page. It is advisable to have there, besides static links and information, a dynamically changing part with recommended information, news and functions individually selected for each particular user.
  • User profile: Reliable user identification allows assessing credibility and relevance of the information the user adds to the portal. Based on the user's profile, relevant information can be actively presented to the user as an alternative to the classical (passive) searching for the specific information. In order to make the portal content processing and selecting the relevant data fully automated, the user profiles have to be rich and well-structured.

Structured Profiles and their Exploitation in SoSIReCR

The central part of our portal is a social network of people, their groups and projects. The people in the network are particular computer specialists from academia, government as well as private sector. They are also users of the portal. In the real world, computer specialists are organized into various research or working groups. The groups then cooperate on solving particular projects. The social network of computer specialists has a complex structure. The aim of the portal is not only to capture the structure but also allow for effective searching in the structure. For this, it is necessary to identify particular characteristics of particular entities in the network.

The portal allows for each specialist, group and project to publish a profile which provides basic information and, also, social links to other specialists, groups and projects. E.g. a person profile contains "classical" information on person's name and employer, group memberships or solved projects.

Scientific profile

Scientific profile is associated with a particular entity, e.g. computer scientist, group or project and specifies its scientific alignment. If associated with a scientist, it characterizes his or her areas of research (s)he is working on. If associated with a research group, it characterizes the research areas of the whole group. The group scientific profile does not necessarily need to be an aggregation of the profiles of the group members. Similarly, if associated with a project, it characterizes the research areas the project fits into. More formally, a scientific profile is a pair S = (A, R) where

  • A is a set of axes each representing a particular area of computer science, e.g. databases, operating systems or software engineering. Each axis may be further structured into more detailed axes representing sub-areas, e.g. the operating systems axis may be further structured into performance or file systems sub-axes, and
  • R is a partial function called rating which assigns a number from {0, …, 5} to axes or sub-axes in A.

For a given axis a from A, we call R(a) rating of a in S. It expresses the quality of research in the respective (sub-)area as follows:

  1. No relationship to the (sub-)area
  2. Basic knowledge, interested in the (sub-)area
  3. Exploitation of results in own research but no research contributions in the (sub-)area
  4. Preliminary research contributions in the (sub-)area
  5. Continuously publishing research contributions in the (sub-)area at conferences and journals
  6. Research guru in the (sub-)area, publishing own research contributions in top conferences and journals recognized in the (sub-)area.

Rating is a partial function. From the practical point of view, it means that it is not necessary to specify the rating of all axes and sub-axes in the profile. Having two scientific profile, we are able to compare them even their rating is not total. There is also another practical concern. To be able to compare scientific profiles universally, it is also necessary to unify the set of rated axes R. In other words, it is necessary that each scientific profile processed by the portal uses the same set of axes and sub-axes. Currently, we consider the ACM classification which already defines a sufficient set of axes and is widely applied by scientists to classify their scientific papers.

Sample Scientific Profile Fig. 1: Sample Scientific Profile

A sample scientific profile (to be correct, only its part) is depicted in Fig.1. The figure shows that scientific profiles may be visualized in a user-friendly way. The left-hand side picture depicts the part of the rating function which assigns a rating to each top-level ACM classification axis. The right-hand side picture then provides a detail of the rating of the sub-axes of the Software top-level axis. It is shown only when a user viewing the profile is interested in this particular top-level axis. Suppose that the profile is associated with a computer scientist. Then it specifies that, among other research areas, the scientist is experienced in Software. In particular, operating systems is one of her main research sub-areas in this area.

Knowledge profile

Knowledge profiles are very similar to scientific profiles. Formally, a knowledge profile is, again, a pair K = (A, R) where A is a set of axes and R is a rating function. In this case, the axes do not characterize research areas but certain knowledge areas which are important for computer specialists. These include not only knowledge areas typical for computer specialists but also "lighter" areas such as knowledge of legislation, team management or experience in a particular industry, e.g. medicine or automotive industry.

A knowledge profile may be used to characterize knowledge of a particular computer expert. On the other hand, it may characterize a call for a particular computer expert. Or, it may even characterize a curriculum educating students in particular computer science areas.

Again, it is necessary to unify the set of axes R for knowledge profiles processed by the portal. We employ the axes proposed in [6]. They introduced 17 axes. The rating function assigns, again, each axis with a number from {0, …, 5}. Currently, it seems that these axes will not be sufficient for the purposes of the portal. We will probably extend these basic axes with their more detailed classification to sub-axes similarly to the scientific profiles.