Description of the VirtualOffice project
Analysis Department of DFKI executes several research projects of
which the central one is the VIRTUAL OFFICE project.
The aim of the project is research and development of innovative
solutions for document analysis and understanding (DAU) and their
integration into workflow management systems (WFMS). Although,
contemporary WFMS offer integrated solutions for efficient business
process handling, they are obviously lacking in technology for
automatically integrating informal documents into the formal concepts
of a workflow. But this is an important requirement to overcome the
weakness of interacting with documents in separate worlds - the
physical world of the desk and the electronic world of the computer.
The central topics of our research in the Virtual Office project are:
- Exploitation of corporate knowledge: Basically DAU
strongly benefits from knowledge about a given domain. In Virtual
Office we address this issue by relying on corporate knowledge
including predefined workflows as well as database relations.
- Design and implementation of modular and configurable DAU
specialists: In order to be able to solve different DAU problems,
we aim to develop a technology workbench providing a collection of
software specialists for the various DAU subtasks.
- Evaluation and development of capabilities for individually
teaching DAU specialists: Due to the fact that different
applications are characterized by different conditions, DAU specialists
have to be emphasized by mechanisms allowing for an interactive
parametrization as well as teaching of document and problem solving
- Exploration of new document image features: In order to
take into account new capabilities of printing devices, we further
investigate the employment of image features as they are contained in
gray level and color document images. By interlocking this knowledge
with text analysis techniques, we expect to achieve better as well as
The VIRTUAL OFFICE prototype consists of a commercial WFMS and the DAU
A final presentation and system demo of the VirtualOffice Prototype
(VOPR) can be found here.