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JY Le Meur CERN Jean-Yves.Le.Meur@cern.ch. Integrated Digital Conferencing. Introduction: the InDiCo Project. INDICO, an European Project. Issues recognized by European Commission who finance InDiCo: Long term archiving of meetings material

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jy le meur cern jean yves le meur@cern ch
JY Le Meur



Integrated Digital Conferencing

indico an european project
INDICO, an European Project

Issues recognized by European Commission who finance InDiCo:

  • Long term archiving of meetings material
  • Enlarging access to scientific conference content
  • Integrating multimedia into conference web archives
  • Reducing conference organization cost

The European Solution for managing and saving conference content in long term

JY Le Meur

indico project resources
INDICO Project Resources
  • 26 people involved
      • About 13 full time
  • 2 years project :
      • From May 2002 to end April 2004
  • 1.6 M euros invested
  • 5 institutes:
      • Italy: SISSA, University of Udine
      • Holland: TNO TPD, University of Amsterdam
      • CERN

JY Le Meur

three major components
Three Major Components
  • Archives

Traditional conference material and new increasing

multimedia content must be preserved

  • Video and Audio toolkits

Content captured during events can be analyzed to provide better

rendering and richest search capabilities

  • Conference Management Software

From announcement to proceedings, InDiCo software proposes a

range of solutions to manage an event

JY Le Meur

global view
Global View

advanced search

Service Providers

filtering, etc.




Digital Library





Audio recognition

Video segmentation


Conf Management




@ Institute 1


@ Company 1


JY Le Meur

some existing products i
Some existing products (I)
  • Commercial
    • Eveni: http://eveni.com
    • Suvisoft: http://suvisoft.fi/Corg software
    • Conference.com: http://conference.com
    • Softconf: http://softconf.comStart software
  • Freeware
    • CyberChair: http://www.cyberchair.org/
    • Open Conference System: http://www.pkp.ubc.ca/ocs/
    • Zakon Group LLC: http://www.openconf.orgOpenconf
    • CDS Agenda http://agenda.cern.ch CERN
  • And lot of home-made apps…

JY Le Meur

some existing products ii
Some existing products (II)
  • Commercial products
    • Mainly hosting is proposed
    • Mostly service oriented, with “manual” intervention like hotels booking, paper shipping, etc
    • Targets are large conferences. Not convenient for one day workshop
    • No multi-conference features
    • High Cost: each event is charged and additional fees often asked to participants
    • Long Term problem: longevity of the web site requires to pay every year. Strong dependency on ‘small’ company

JY Le Meur

some existing products iii
Some existing products (III)
  • Freeware products
    • Very basic features proposed and poor web interfaces
    • Incomplete
    • No much flexibility in the design
    • Aiming at single event management
    • Very little experience: not much used so far by conference organisers
  • With >10,000 agendas of events stored in CERN Agenda Application, we had an interesting starting point…

JY Le Meur

major issues
Major Issues
  • Variety of document types related to conferences
  • Variety of actors involved in Conferences
  • Difficulty in management of multimedia material
  • Richness of conference types (processes, structure, size, management, workflow…)

JY Le Meur

reminder of what is a conference i




Conference organization


System Manager


Conference Secretary

Reminder of what is a conference ! (I)
  • Many people…

Web site users

  • And more ! (sponsors, travel coordinator, publishers…)

JY Le Meur

what is a conference ii





What is a conference ! (II)

> Call for Material

> Material Submission

  • Lot of “objects”…


> Material Selection

Categories contain many conferences

that contain many sessions that contain many contributions that may contain many talks with many attached material…

> Program Setup

> User Registration

> Web Site Management

> Electronic Proceedings

> Long term archive


Lot of processes

JY Le Meur

development process
Development process
  • Based on the Unified Software Development Process light weighted and adapted
    • 5 iterations defined based on the use cases
    • Activities & results:
  • Implementation and use of several prototypes for validation and ensuring quality and scalability

JY Le Meur

architecture overview


file repository





conference management



user management


conference participants

conference organisers



Architecture overview




JY Le Meur

technology i
Technology (I)
  • UML for technical documentation (development models)
  • Python
    • General purpose scripting language
    • Supports the OO paradigm
    • High-level  less developing time
    • Java or C/C++ components can be easily integrated
    • CDS has good experience
    • Easy to learn for potential contributors

JY Le Meur

technology ii
Technology (II)
  • Persistence based in ZODB (Zope Object Database)
    • Object Oriented database implemented in Python
    • Transparency: no need for explicit read/writes of the objects
    • Fits very well with our complex object model
    • Performance and scalability proved as it is the DB engine of Zope
  • Apache+mod_python as application server
  • The web interface is built using pure HTML

JY Le Meur

technology iii
Technology (III)
  • OAI (Open Archive Initiatives) for ensuring connectivity and integration with other services
    • Standard protocol for information exchange between digital libraries
    • Allows to expose conference data
    • Data provider  record=conference
    • Allows other systems to fetch conference data and build services over it
    • Simple mechanism  XML over HTTP
    • INDICO offers Dublin Core and a home made metadata formats

JY Le Meur

final remarks
Final remarks
  • Released under open source license
  • Easy packaging & deployment
  • Multiplatform (tested on Windows and Linux)
  • Integration with other systems  OAI
  • Already hosts more than 20 conferences at CERN and it is running in many institutes

JY Le Meur

more information
More information
  • Production@CERN:


  • InDiCo Project:


  • CERN contact:


JY Le Meur