The subject matter of the project is to offer uniform methodology and corresponding algorithms in order to make a virtual canon employable even in the case of complex images present in manuscripts that contain important information regarding various patterns. For public access, in order to obtain referential information which will enrich preservation practices for effective learner engagement, the BYZANTION environment should include: (i) access and motivation (education & public portal); (ii) information exchange (representation of Byzantine knowledge); (iii) knowledge construction (uniform methodology, algorithms, image pattern processing); (iv) development (iconographic virtual canon).

The use of manuscript sources for the execution of experiments over the digital representation of the manuscripts requires the creation of specific interfaces which, in the case of science applications, consist of a multimedia simulation for the communication between the public users’ commands and the target system.

In order to fully understand the classification task (classification tasks are considered to categorize the images into the right class) and the methods that are applied we need to address theoretical issues such as in which spaces the sets of  canon features should be embedded or which kinds of decision boundaries are established in this space by the digitally represented items by: (i) categorize BYZANTION portal processes, their elements, (ii) map manuscript categories to functional categories (iii) describe functional manuscript categories (iv) identify global BYZANTION portal processes (v) design adequate alert portal mechanisms (BYZANTION processes) and options ensure the timely response to events (vi) break-down of portal processes.

The BYZANTION ontology will emerge as the key technology for the semantic description of targeted information, i.e. the Byzantine sources. The use of an advanced yet mature instrument such as an ontology that will realize the shared conceptualization of the particular domain dealt by the project, is considered to be of primary importance, for it will provide a shared and common understanding of the domain that can be easily and formally communicated across people and application systems, and will facilitate knowledge sharing and reuse.

The main focus is on developing a new classification method for sets of virtual canon features and on characterizing the properties and capabilities of this method; artificial data sets will be built to test relevant properties and will also include content-based image retrieval.

The “portal” term used below will be seen as a web accessible digital library / scholars collaboration space to attract and keep a larger audience and also provide access to scientific information (Byzantine manuscripts) such as national library databases, museum applications.

Scientific objectives
A semantic portal (and not only) based-on ontology:
  1. To host and characterize documents such as text and images organized into specific ontology.
  2. Collaborative workspace with access management in order to allow the public free access only for view and private secured access for authorized users which edit/update the portal content.
  3. Information retrieval based-on index, through free query by string/characters and geo-temporal interface: (persons, institutions, locations, etc).
  4. To allow the differentiation between authorized information, provided by scientific sources or common sources.
  5. To contain interactive module for the users (comments and add information mechanism –e.g. forum, opening personal pages, e-newsletter, etc)
  6. To contain other information modules (cultural, addresses).
  7. To contain a Byzantine manuscripts terms and related terms dictionary.
  8. Become a virtual gateway to all Byzantine related content that resides on other sites, and address the issues of interoperability in terms of content / metadata / security/communication.
  9. To offer the image of an important region, that has historical, aesthetic, scientific, ethnological or anthropological value.
  10. Allow the collaborative curation of information hosted in the Digital Library, by the integration of previously mentioned instruments (such as editing and querying) with annotations and versioning etc.