We are now beginning the serious stage of user interface design. This includes carefully determining the type(s) and interaction styles for user interface(s); query formulation, query reformulation and query expansion support; browsing support; data visualization for information retrieval. Our objective will be to assure that the overall design reflects the integration of retrieval techniques, knowledge structures and database structure at the user interface. In the next year we will also implement the HTML based interface that can be accessed over the internet. We will use this interface to allow selected users to interact with our ongoing interface design and provide feedback to the database development group.
We will proceed with development of the retrieval subsystem along several lines. First, we will work further with users. This effort includes continued study of the neurobiology (modelers and not) user population and their information seeking patterns, needs assessment, and user modeling. Second, we will continue database design for this component. This includes defining subject matter, document representations, and record structures. Third, considerable design is necessary in the area of knowledge structures and knowledge-bases. We want to be able to take advantage of domain knowledge and develop knowledge structures and knowledge bases for use in indexing and searching. Fourth, we will begin work on the actual retrieval engine itself.
During the next year we plan to implement the commercial object oriented database prototype described above, and will link the interface we have designed to the information retrieval subsystem. We will make the database available, for to those in the GENESIS development group, and then to a selected set of outside users for evaluation. Based on the results of this evaluation, we will modify the database structure. This will give us a working version of the GENESIS database built around models related to the mammalian cerebellum.
We also intend to start the process of linking the GENESIS database to some of the other database projects within the Human Brain Project. These include the Shepherd project, which is already using GENESIS and could quite naturally extend our efforts into a prototype related to the olfactory system, and to the project run by Peter Fox in which we will be able to attach human fMRI data on the cerebellum to the GENESIS cerebellar database. In this way we will begin serious exploration of the ways in which our project and several other current projects can cooperate in providing data and information of use to the neuroscience community.