"The BeeSpace environment will include all information relevant to social behavior of honey bees, from genome databases and scientific literature," he said. "This information will be indexed with new semantic technologies that will support interactive navigation across many sources from many viewpoints, at the level of concepts rather than data."
Technologies to statistically analyze the information sources to enable semantic indexing will be developed by ChengXiang Zhai, professor of computer science and an expert on processing natural language for information retrieval. Sandra Rodriguez-Zas, professor of animal sciences and expert on designing microarray experiments, will pursue technologies to analyze the gene expressions.
The experimental users of BeeSpace will be an international community of biologists who study honey bees and related organisms. The education and outreach will be supervised by Bertram Bruce, professor of library and information science. Students and educators will be fundamentally involved in the project. University students will be trained in the frontiers of integrative biology, and advanced high school and minority middle-school students will get a taste of the scientific research.
"By testing the BeeSpace environment with users at different levels, we hope to demonstrate the utility of concept navigation across community knowledge," Schatz said. "Similar information technology can then serve as a model of the Interspace, the generation of the Net beyond the Internet, where all the world's knowledge can be easily analyzed across many sources."