Digital information publishing and searching becomes
increasingly necessary in recent years, due to the popularity
of the Internet services.
We have witnessed the growth of
a number of such web services. While these systems vary in their
particular services provided, they share
the same operation mode --
users publish data items such
as URLs, photos, advertisements, etc. that are associated
with simple descriptions such as tags and attributes created
The system organizes the published data items
based on users' own descriptions and makes them accessible.
In such systems, the
users collaboratively contribute tags to the system, which
are then used to categorize the objects to facilitate
searching (by browsing or querying the tags).
Such collaborative but unsophisticated way of organizing information
with user-created metadata is coined as folksonomy (com-
bination of "folk" and "taxonomy"), and such systems are
sometimes also called the collaborative tagging systems.
Besides simple tags, richer
and flexible data structure
could be used to describe a published item to provide more
powerful expressiveness to the user.
Some allows users to
define their own attributes, and to
describe their published objects with variable number of
The freedom from a strict syntax of the
published data items is very convenient to users. However, it
is a challenging task to organize and classify the data items
with variable schemas" and topics, in order to make them
UTab is our attempt to build a general
system framework for supporting such free-and-easy data
publishing and searching services.
This project is funded by Singapore Ministry of Education (T2 grant).