Recent growth in computer power and
connectivity has penetrated into the daily lives of
humans. Industry has responded to this growth by capitalizing on the advances in science
technology and has been working on the research and development of new applications that
lead to the invention of new products and services. Today, electronic information is being
created by many people and data is being gathered in many forms and formats, stored
in many repositories around the world, and is becoming increasingly interconnected via
electronic networks. These developments have fostered the new area of digital libraries,
which is concerned with managing and bringing coherence, usability, and accessibility to
this very large amount of distributed complex data, and with transforming such data into
information and knowledge.
iAnother aspect that has been tremendously impacted by this growth and development
of information technologies is the way business is being conducted. This has paved the way
to a new area, electronic commerce. The commercialization and privitization of the Internet
and its successive increase in popularity a few years ago are the foundations which began
to propel the growth in e-commerce. This growth is reflected in organizations such as IBM,
who have recently established a Center for EC research, and European Initiative on EC.
The research and development in digital libraries and electronic commerce, on one hand
requires expertise from multiple disciplines of science and technology because of the complex
nature of the problems faced, while on the other hand, impacts a number of
science and business areas, which calls for multidisciplinary research. By collaborating with researchers
and industry experts from various disciplines, CIMIC provides a platform for multidisciplinary, integrated research and development activities. As an example, QDMS, a data
warehousing prototype developed at CIMIC has been adopted by a commercial consulting
company, MFG Systems Inc., and is presently being marketed.