The management of multimedia documents, which includes storage, indexing, query optimization, and distribution, requires very strong frameworks and policies in order to ensure its efficiency and reliability. There has been much work done in the fields of databases, information retrieval, relevance evaluation, and transaction processing for any kind of data; but these four domains are too often considered separately. This definitely causes a lack of comprehensive distributed information management. We are convinced that much benefit can be obtained by apprehending a global vision of the whole management process through XML. In fact, we want to provide technologies that improve the access to heterogeneous and distributed sources of information for people sharing common interests. In order to deal with detailed and consistent information, we have to consider several layers of metadata related to users, communities, devices, and data sources. This categorized information has thereafter to be handled and efficiently used by applications combining processes from the four operative domains. Then, we claim that it is possible to offer users an appropriate viewpoint of the data, i.e. a personalized, effective, and very accurate access to the information.
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