Web Magazine for Information Professionals

A Thread of Ariadnes

One of my previous lecturers jokingly said that once you had a title, logo and an acronym for your project, 80% of the work was done. Except I'm not so sure she was joking, now. Ariadne took (relatively) little time to be decided on as a title, but as it turned out, many other projects around the world, and one in particular in the UK, shared this greek mythological name. This has caused problems; for example, lists of digital libraries/training projects occasionally get us mixed up with the Ariadne project at Lancaster. Dr. David Nichols from this Lancaster project gives a brief run-down of other projects that have taken the name Ariadne.

The title of the Ariadne newsletter illustrates a difficulty with content-based retrieval of resources - multiple entities with the same name. This duplication of identifiers inevitably leads to confusion. These problems are particularly acute when the name has an appropriate metaphor associated with it. Ariadne, with its Greek associations of navigation in difficult environments, is a case in point - as Graham Whitaker has pointed out.

There are several other WWW resources whose projects have already chosen this identifier, several in the same field of network resources. It is not surprising that these various projects are sometimes confused with each other. Searchers could draw two kinds of inferences:

  1. They may think they have a come across a project before when in fact they have only noticed one of with the same name. This could lead to (possibly relevant) resources being overlooked.

  2. They may infer that two projects with the same name in similar areas are in fact part of the same project. For example, they may think that the Ariadne browser is part of the Ariadne digital libraries project or that it runs on the Ariadne network (neither of which are true - see below).

Using common Web search engines finds several more sites in a variety of different languages - whose relevance is hard to determine. Here is a list of those Web entities called Ariadne in the areas of computing and information science.


In addition to the Ariadne newsletter you are currently reading:

Ariadne - Collaborative Browsing
The Ariadne project in the Computing Department at Lancaster University investigates collaboration, visualisation of the search process and the history of searches in Digital Libraries.

Ariadne - Network
ARIADNE is the National Academic and Research Computer Network of Greece.

Ariadne - Intelligent Browsing
The Open Software Foundation have developed a WWW browser called Ariadne. “Ariadne is an advanced research implementation providing a simple to modify browser for the World-Wide Web. It contains a broad subset of the features found in commercial browsers.

Ariadne - Electronic Library
Advanced Retriever for Information and Documents in the Network Environment at Kyoto University, Japan.

Ariadne - searchable database
A navigation and search through the Web to Computer Science Subject Information using the ACM Computing Classification System.

Ariadne - Italian Internet Engineering Company
Ariadne offers consulting services and technical support in designing and developing information systems using public domain packages whenever possible. Main projects are based on ideas and software packages from the World-Wide Web initiative which have been used to build multimedia client - server applications.

Ariadne Solutions - Internet service provider

Ariadne ComunicaciĆ³n - Spanish Company
Consulting and public relations specializing in areas of information technology.

Ariadne - Online Catalogue
The online catalogue at Kalamazoo College Library is called Ariadne.

Lancaster’s Ariadne

A screenshot showing the visualisation interface of the Ariadne system at Lancaster University. Each card represents an action in browsing the database (in this case the Lancaster University Library online catalogue). The lower level shows actual catalogue records, the middle level search actions and the top level general navigation actions. Each card can be expanded by clicking on it - as in the lower right hand corner. These search histories can be saved, annotated and edited - further examples using BIDS are available at our web site.

Acknowledgments: several sites in this list were collated by Aileen Barry of Thomson Technology Services Group (Internet Lab Group).