Yolanda Aucapiña

CEDIA is an institution that helps research projects by financing them, which has greatly supported this field.

Engineer Yolanda Aucapiña, representative of the University of Cuenca, participant of TICAL 2017 Costa Rica, tells us about her research work and her experience as the only woman, and one of the three people winning “Young People for Innovation”, being her first participation in the TICAL 2017 edition.

How do you feel? What project will you present?

It is an honor to represent the University of Cuenca. I also want to emphasize that the project is not only mine, but also my colleague´s, Carlos Plaza. It is an honor to present it in the TICAL 2017. This is our graduation project, in coordination with Engineer Victor Saquicela as our tutor. The subject of the research is a semantic search engine that aims to facilitate the search for information in the current data sources in universities.

What searches can we make using this tool: is it mainly a research tool or is it for general searches?

The problem itself is based on the fact that we have several sources, we have systems that manage this database, but they do not integrate the information as such, regardless what kind of information it is, generic or academic. If you want to search for a person, for example, you have to find out if they are a teacher, if they are a student, if they have publications or not, then you have to do individual searches. Our project proposes to integrate all this through an ontology and generate an RDF so that the user can make a query directly about the integrated whole. Then, with a graphical navigation display, the user can filter teachers or students. If they were a student you can check how long ago, and what they studied. If you want to see the publications go to the library repository, then the publications they have are displayed. This greatly speeds up the search process.

You mentioned the term RDF. What does that mean, for those of us who aren’t technicians?

RDF stands for Research Description Framework, it is a language that allows modeling terms, is based on trinary, that is, three terms that are the subject, predicate and object. It is modeled with these three elements, allowing for simple descriptions and terms before starting a download. Inference relationships can be defined so that the computer is able to infer knowledge. It is not equal to a database where you look for something with which it is related. You can do reverse searches, that is, perform related searches that integrate everything in a single model.

How much research time has it taken to generate this solution, how long are you working on this, and at what stage is the research?

Our work began when we graduated in February, then in March we were in a research stage and needed to obtain the state and the foundation for starting. At the moment we are in the modeling stage of the process. Before this we performed a requirement survey, which was quite complex. Questions needed to be prepared for competence, and then establish vocabularies to find resources that already exist. The anthology design is essentially based on reuse, i.e., do not create everything from scratch without first looking for parts that can be reused.

At the moment we are looking for what can be reused. We find different vocabularies that can join each part, and thus form the organizational ontology of the university.

What is your final expectation after giving your talk?

Make them interested, help them find something useful, give them the solution and then continue working and show how a solution is implemented, that you can visually represent the result and see how feasible it is.

How did you find out about TICAL?

We learned about TICAL precisely because of the Director of Technologies, Victor Saquicela, who informed us that we could submit our proposal.

What did you know about CEDIA? What is your opinion about CEDIA now?

I know that CEDIA is an institution that helps research projects, that finances them. I know about research projects and colleagues from the university that have worked with CEDIA and I know that it is an institution that has supported this field a lot.

Do you think to continue your research project with CEDIA so that next year you can appear in our competitions and earn one year of funding so that you can continue the research?

Of course, it would be excellent, because the project is extendable then several more things can be done, and if CEDIA gives us its support it would be excellent!

Any comment you would like to add to the interview?

I would like to thank CEDIA, for its management. Engineer Juan Pablo Carvallo has my sincere gratitude, he is a great person, and a great teacher. I have had the pleasure of being your student several times. A sincere thanks to you.