Guest editorial

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 6 June 2008



Chen, M.-Y. (2008), "Guest editorial", The Electronic Library, Vol. 26 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Guest editorial

Article Type: Guest editorial From: The Electronic Library, Volume 26, Issue 3.

Digital conversion is the process of changing content (video, text, audio, or image) from traditional forms to new digital formats. Realizing the potential of digital content will lie in the ability of companies to distribute digital content securely, in any media, to anyone, to any place or any device, at anytime and measure the result. This next generation of e-Commerce evolves to create marketplaces and trading hubs, where information is rapidly disseminated. Content owners, creators, and consumers will need to be connected through an e-Commerce network of relationships allowing rapid trading and negotiation and manipulation of digital media. As more and more companies begin to implement digital content strategies, and as technologies converge across industries. However, there are still many research or practice issues that can be discussed and improved.

Digital Contents cover a variety of fields, such as digital games, animation, e-learning, mobile learning, network service, digital publishing, e-library, digital rights management…and so on. Indeed, technology is now widely used in a variety of digital contents and performance support situations. New technologies are being introduced before we learn how to make effective use of existing technologies. This special issue focuses on artificial intelligence (AI) application in digital contents. The issues relevant to this topic include:

  1. 1.

    the impact of new technologies on the design, development and delivery of digital content domain; and

  2. 2.

    new frameworks for planning and implementing learning and work support materials for new technology settings.

This special issue of The Electronic Library evolved from the session entitled “Artificial intelligence applications in digital content” of the 11th International Conference on Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information & Engineering Systems (KES2007) in conjunction with 17th Italian Workshop on Neural Networks (WIRN 2007) held at Vietri sul Mare, Italy from 12-14 September 2007 ( Authors who presented in Vietri sul Mare were then asked for a contribution to this special issue and with few carefully chosen additions we have produced a selection of high quality papers each of them covering a different aspect of the wide area covered by the label of AI Applications in Digital Content from an original perspective.

Tsai and Chen provide an introduction to AI development and application in the field of e-libraries. They indicate that neural network and data mining techniques can be used to improve the accuracy of the recommendations for reading materials in the library. Their questionnaire survey also proved the proposed recommender system will be a suitable approach for stimulating the readers’ motivation and interest.

Chu, Hwang, Huang and Wu propose a knowledge engineering approach for developing e-libraries with metadata to meet the need of training observation and classification skills. Based on the innovative approach, an e-library of the butterfly and ecology has been developed.

The e-learner’s perspective is the main focus of a paper by El Alami, Casel, and Zampunieris. They develop a new kind of computational intelligence software tools intended to offer an online virtual educational and/or training environment. The proactive e-Learning Management System (LMS) is designed to improve the users’ online actions by providing programmable, automatic and continuous intelligent analyses of the users’ behaviours.

The system capability is also another main focus of a paper by Tai, Wu, and Li. They design a hybrid system to combine the self-organizing map (SOM) of neural network with the data mining method for course recommendation of the e-learning system.

One main instrument for e-learning enhancement is evaluation. Chiu, Sheng, and Chen propose an agent-based model which composes learning model, balanced scorecard and option pricing approach to evaluate e-learning projects’ performance. The results show the administrators can use the proposed framework to dynamically fine tune their resources to maximize their e-learning project’s effectiveness.

Miglino, Gigliotta, Ponticorvo and Nolfi implement an integrated hardware/ software system, Breedbot, based on evolutionary robotics and its application in an edutainment context. The users without any computer programming skill can determine the robot behaviour in two different ways: artificial breeding or artificial evolution. Breedbot is therefore interesting for teachers, vocational trainers and anyone involved in educational activities.

This short introduction to this special issue shows the diversity of views on AI applications in the research community. The included papers should help to define focus areas and show potential AI solutions for digital content. New questions and research issues continually arise, however, AI will still be an important issue for the e-learning and e-library research communities in the coming years.

Mu-Yen ChenDepartment of Accounting, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua, Taiwan

About the author

Mu-Yen Chen is an assistant professor of accounting at National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan. He received his PhD degree from Information Management from National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan. Dr Chen’s research interests includes financial engineering, artificial intelligent, knowledge management, and e-learning issues. Dr Chen’s research is published or is forthcoming in Journal of Information Science, Expert Systems with Applications, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligent and a number of national and international conference proceedings. He can be contacted at:

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