Research

Introduction

Between 2001 and 2004 I undertook a PhD in the Web Technologies Lab in the Computer Science department at Nottingham University. My research was focused on the modelling the effects of the hypermedia linking, as well as examining a new, node-less, approach to hypermedia.

Publications

Publications details

Atomic Hypermedia

Duncan Martin, Helen Ashman

The Computer Journal

"This article introduces Atomic Hypermedia which, unlike traditional hypermedia approaches, does not use the concept of a node. Instead, all content is represented as single character ’atoms’ which are placed along an arbitrary number of dimensions. This approach addresses some of the issues with node-based hypermedia. The article describes the basic mechanics of Atomic Data Structure, and how hypermedia behaviours can be obtained."

Modelling hypermedia implementation and node-less hypermedia

Duncan Martin

PhD thesis

May 2005

"This thesis addresses several areas in the field of hypermedia research. First the core concepts of hypermedia, nodes, links etc. are examined and in each case existing work is considered along with new concepts in order to form a standardised toolkit.

Secondly, the modelling of hypermedia implementation is considered. In this section the development of a modelling scheme is traced and the advantages and disadvantages of each approach are discussed.

Thirdly, a particular system based on these models, Goate, is introduced. The design, usefulness and drawbacks of Goate are discussed. Some examples of linking specifications implemented with Goate are given and discussed.

Fourthly, an entirely different way of modelling hypermedia that doesn’t rely on the concept of a node is introduced. This approach, named Atomic Hypermedia, is based around the single data construct of an atom, where each atom holds a single character.

Lastly, a language named Hedgehog is introduced which is designed for the manipulation of Atomic Hypermedia. This section details the motivation and structure of Hedgehog, as well as providing examples of operations on Atomic Hypermedia."

Links for learning: linking for an adaptive learning environment

Tim Brailsford, Duncan Martin, Adam Moore, Craig Stewart, Helen Ashman

Advanced Technology for Learning

Volume 1, Number 4, 2004

"The automated generation of links within a body of educational material is critical to the cost-effective implementation of Technology Based Learning. This paper describes the linking system used by WHURLE - an adaptive web-based integrated learning environment. Structural links are dynamically generated from lessons using an autonavigation system. Authored links are created by teachers or students, and consist of bidirectional links between different points in the content or between WHURLE and elsewhere on the Web. Authored links are defined in a linkbase that is either attached to a lesson (i.e. teacher originated) or to a user profile (i.e. student originated). These links may be single (i.e. one to one), hubs (one to many) or plural (many to many), and are implemented by Goate, a content modifying proxy system."

The end-point is not enough

Duncan Martin, Mark Truran, Helen Ashman

The fifteenth ACM conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia

August 2004

"The traditional definition of a link object is a collection of end-points, and link activation is achieved by selecting an end-point in some way. This model excludes links where the link activator is distinct from any end-point of the link. In this paper we introduce an extension to link modelling that allows for separate link activators."

Links for learning: linking for an adaptive learning environment

Adam Moore, Craig Stewart, Duncan Martin, Tim Brailsford, Helen Ashman

The IASTED international conference on Web-based education

February 2004

"The automated generation of links within a body of educational material is critical to the cost-effective implementation of Technology Based Learning. This paper describes the linking system used by WHURLE - an adaptive web-based integrated learning environment. Structural links are dynamically generated from lessons using an autonavigation system. Authored links are created by teachers or students, and consist of bidirectional links between different points in the content or between WHURLE and elsewhere on the Web. Authored links are defined in a linkbase that is either attached to a lesson (i.e. teacher originated) or to a user profile (i.e. student originated). These links may be single (i.e. one to one), hubs (one to many) or plural (many to many), and are implemented by Goate, a content modifying proxy system."

Proxy-based linking in an adaptive Web-based Integrated Learning Environment

Helen Ashman, Tim Brailsford, Duncan Martin, Adam Moore, Craig Stewart

IADIS e-Society international conference

June 2003

"Web-based delivery of educational materials is a growing area in education, offering substantial support for teachers in the face of growing class sizes and declining resources. Additionally, such materials permit additional teaching aides, such as online discussion groups and bulletin boards, 24-hour availability, and in particular, a personalised lesson plan tailored to maximise a student’s benefit from the materials. This paper concentrates on the technical aspects of this latter feature, describing the implementation of adaptive hypermedia technologies in the WHURLE system and discussing the automatic generation of hypertext links in a body of educational materials."

Goate, anyone?

Mark Truran, Duncan Martin, Helen Ashman

The fourteenth ACM conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia

August 2003

"In this paper, we present the case for certain modifications to the Goate HTTP content-altering proxy. These modifications are intended to broaden its appeal to those individuals responsible for the management of electronic document collections by dramatically increasing the number of possible users who can access those collections in a suitable format."

Caching approaches for content altering HTTP proxies

Duncan Martin, Mark Truran, Helen Ashman

IEEE ICITA conference

November 2002

"Systems such as Goate increase the functionality of traditional Web browsers by acting as HTTP proxies and altering content as it is delivered to clients. The relatively high amount of computation performed by the proxy means that caching of data would be of great benefit. However, traditional proxy caching methods are designed for systems that do not alter the content. This paper discusses some approaches, benefits and costs regarding caching data for a proxy in a content altering environment, along with factors that should be considered when implementing such systems. The paper concludes by making general recommendations for such systems."

Implementing conceptual linking on todays Web

Duncan Martin, Mark Truran, Helen Ashman

Ausweb international conference

July 2002

"In this paper, we discuss a modular approach to extended linking with the Goate link enabling proxy. We discuss which tasks are assigned to the proxy and which form part of the language modules. We then discuss a proposed conceptual linking language implemented as a Goate module."

Goate: An infrastructure for new Web linking

Duncan Martin, Helen Ashman

Open Hypermedia Systems workshop

June 2002

"In this paper, we introduce a client-platform independent mechanism for implementing new linking standards.

The paper defines the terms low-level and high-level in relation to linking languages, and discusses how HTML, a low-level language, can be used as a basis for high-level linking.

We also describe Goate, a HTTP proxy that allows high-level linking to be used with ordinary HTML browsers, first taking a high-level overview of Goate and then discussing implementation details."

Goate: XLink and beyond

Duncan Martin, Helen Ashman

The thirteenth ACM conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia

June 2002

"In this paper, we introduce a platform independent mechanism for implementing both XLink and bespoke linking standards.

The paper considers HTML linking as a low-level linking language, and how it can be used to provide a base for high-level linking services. Finally, the paper describes Goate, a HTTP proxy that allows high-level linking to be used with ordinary HTML browsers."