Long title: Advanced and Innovative Models And Tools for the development of Semantic-based systems for Handling, Acquiring, and Processing knowledge Embedded in multidimensional digital objects
Funding: EU, FP6
Type: NoE - Network of Excellence
Contract number: FP6-IST-NoE-506766
Period: January 2004 - February 2008
Web site: AIM@SHAPE

AIM@SHAPE pursued innovations towards digital representations of shapes capable of modeling not only the visual appearance of objects but also their meaning or functionality in a given knowledge domain. In this setting, shape knowledge has been concerned with the geometry (the spatial extent of the object), the structure (object features and part-whole decomposition), attributes (colours, textures), semantics (meaning, purpose), and has had interaction with time (morphing, animation).

The innovation objective has been being achieved by growing a new multi-disciplinary research field, which deeply integrates Computer Graphics and Computer Vision with Knowledge Technologies and uses knowledge formalization techniques (metadata and ontologies) for linking semantics to shapes or shape parts in order to process and reason on shape data. AIM@SHAPE focused mainly on the domains of Virtual Humans, Product Design, and Shape Acquisition & Processing.

The harmonization of shape modelling approaches in Computer Graphics and Computer Vision has been pursued via the definition of shared vocabularies and ontologies, not only for the abovementioned specific domains, but also on a higher level as the basis for the project’s eScience platform, the Digital Shape Workbench . As the project’s main technological innovation, this workbench served the role of an operational, large-scale, distributed and web-based software system serving as common infrastructure. The scientific innovation sought by AIM@SHAPE is focused on modelling the semantics of digital shapes at each stage of their lifecycle. Thus the work within the AIM@SHAPE framework can be divided into several components:

  • Ontology Design: For each of the three domains Virtual Humans, Product Design, and Shape Acquisition & Processing, AIM@SHAPE worked on developing an ontology describing existing knowledge and ongoing research in that particular area. General metadata for shapes and shape modelling software tools led to the creation of higher-level ontologies which constitute the common formalization to be shared, reused and extended by the specific domain ontologies. These higher-level ontologies are also of special importance to share resources via the Digital Shape Workbench.
  • DSW: The Digital Shape Workbench (DSW) has been developed as an integrated eScience infrastructure for shape research, available to academia and industry, where the necessary flow of interaction and communication is implemented. The main elements of the DSW are the shape and tool repositories, the common digital library, the ontology and metadata repository, and a semantic as well as a geometric search engine.
  • Joint Research Program: The research has been oriented to the development of a multi-layered paradigm, where the knowledge about digital shapes is organized in different levels of increasing abstraction: a) geometric (low-level description), b) structural (configuration of relevant shape sub-parts), c) semantic (expressing meaning or function)

Personal contribution to the project

I was a Research Associate working with the Informatics and Telematics Institute, Center for Research & Technology Hellas (ITI-CERTH).

Development of ontologies, design and implementation of the knowledge management system (the Ontology & Metadata Repository), and participation in the development of the search and inference engine.
Responsible for the integration of the AIM@SHAPE Digital Shape Workbench.


. Semantically interoperable three-dimensional scientific objects. In The Knowledge Engineering Review, DOI:10.1017/S026988891100021X, 2012.

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. Knowledge-based representation of 3D media. In International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, DOI:10.1142/S0218194010004773, 2010.

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. A common ontology for multi-dimensional shapes. In Proc. of 1st Workshop on Multimedia Annotation and Retrieval enabled by Shared Ontologies (MAReSO 2007), 2nd International Conference on Semantic and Digital Media Technologies (SAMT 2007), 2007.

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. AIM@SHAPE: Research Advantages and Future Contributions. In Poster and Demo Proc. of 1st International Conference on Semantics And Digital Media Technology (SAMT 2006), 2006.

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. A Semantic Based Search Engine for 3D Shapes: Design and Early Prototype Implementation. In Proc. of 2nd European Workshop on the Integration of Knowledge, Semantic and Digital Media Technologies, (EWIMT2005), DOI: 10.1049/ic.2005.0762, 2005.

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. Ontology-based Searching Framework for Digital Shapes. In Proc. of On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems 2005: OTM 2005 Workshops, International Workshop on Web Semantics (SWWS’05), DOI: 10.1007//11575863_111, 2005.

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