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Enabling Semantic eMail Adressing

Student name: 
Philippe Roedlach

Nowaday, almost everyone is using eMail as a tool for communication and collaboration everyday. Especially in a business setting eMail became extremely important and a major means for information exchange. However, for efficient communication across highly dynamic groups of people (e.g. a team working over long time on some product and respective updates or ad-hoc working group) current tools are non-optimal. The primary supporting means for managing such groups are mailing lists, which are manually administrated. In particular, the management of highly groups and respective lists are overly complex. Identification of people that have to be addressed is time-consuming and error-prone and not integrated with any other applications. In order to achieve the latter, a knowledge-based approach is suitable, e.g. the creation of a knowledge layer that represents, e.g.  people, their current tasks, responsibilities, and roles. Such an explicit representation can be done by means of an ontology. A respective reasoner then allows applications to exploit and access (explicit and implicit) knowledge from this knowledge base.

Recently, Semantic eMail Adressing [1] has been proposed as a knowledge-based solution to the outlined problem. Essentially, Semantic eMail Adresses are logical (declarative) descriptions of recipients rather than static lists of strings. Therefore, they allow to sent (with the same description) eMails to highly dynamic groups of people and at the same time ensure, that the "right" people (at this specific moment in time) are addressed. Therefore Semantic eMails Adresses are stable, whereas the group might change very frequently. Moreover, they can be stored and shared with others, while keeping the same desireable property.
The purpose of this project is to explore the concept of Semantic eMail Adressing further and to investigate possibilities for implementations.
The respective candidate will:

  • Thoroughly explain and explore the concept of Semantic eMail Adressing, in particular in comparison with traditional eMail lists.
  • Investigate possibilities for a practical implementation of the concept, with a specific focus on iterative introduction in an industrial setting.
  • Possibly extend an existing first prototype for such a system that has been developed recently in a different bachelor project [2]

[1] Michael Kassoff, Charles Petrie, Lee-Ming Zen, and Michael Genesereth, "
Semantic Email Addressing: Sending Email to People, Not Strings,", AAAI 2006 Fall Symposium on Integrating Reasoning into Everyday Applications
[2] Philipp Reisinger, "Development of a Thunderbird extension for Semantic eMail Adressing",
Bachelor Thesis  Project at DERI.

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