ITSERR is a project designed to strengthen the ESFRI RI RESILIENCE according to the needs of the Religious Studies scientific community to support the existing national infrastructure and bring it to a higher level of maturity, in terms of involvement of technology and ability to increase the innovation, quality and variety of the knowledge produced by the community of Religious Studies.
ITSERR is based on the postulate that the Humanities can offer superdiverse datasets whose complexity challenges technologies and ICT scholars. Therefore, the project aims at transforming the scientific community of Religious Studies from being a mere actor in the implementation of established technologies to the driver of a new match with the new assets of AI/BD/HPC.
The project is implemented to:
This is the rationale describing the work conducted in WPs (Work Packages) 2 to 10 and WP12.
While WP2 offers Datacenter services including storage, processing power, databases, networking, analytics and software applications over the internet, and WP12 is dedicated to Data Management, WP3 to 10 are designed to deliver services to the scientific community while strengthening trans-versal aspects such findability, accessibility, interoperability, and re-use of data.
Services move from a use case in Religious Studies and go through six phases: analysis, scientific preparation, development, test, operation and post-operation. All cases already present a re-use case based on different scientific premises and applied to different disciplines.
WP3 develops T-ReS, a toolkit of software specifically designed and optimised for the domain of Religious Studies, aimed at empowering researchers with up-to-date, user-friendly and sustainable tools that take full advantage of the RESILIENCE research infrastructure ecosystem. The toolkit includes CRITERION, a software for creating critical editions of primary sources, and GNORM, a software for the automatic analysis and categorisation of printed religious normative sources through data miningtechniques and providing a 3D visualisation of the analysed sources.
WP4 develops DaMSym (Data Mining: the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Symbolum), which is intended as a software tool for applying text understanding techniques to the investigation of semantic textual issues, with the translations of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as a case study, adopting a connectionist approach based on the connection between advanced Deep Learning approaches, largescale learning and Digital Humanities. It aims to bring together cultural, historical and theological factors in order to produce a new type of semantic analysis tool capable of producing novel, domain-related knowledge by analysing a corpus and providing scholars with new insights.
WP5 takes part in an already existing project aiming at the development of Digital Maktaba (in Arabic “maktaba”, “library”) whose aim is to establish procedures for the extraction, management of libraries and archives and to develop virtuous models in the field of cataloguing that can accommodate texts written in non-Latin alphabets, starting with the case of the Arabic alphabet and testing it also with other alphabets. DM is born in the framework of RESILIENCE because it is intended to offer a helpful and innovative service to libraries specialised in religious studies that need to manage cultural heritage data in non-latin alphabets.
WP6 develops YASMINE, a visual-semantic metascraper that combines semantic and mapping layers in order to extract knowledge from a specific site and create a new data structure ready to be exported to multiple output formats for further scientific processing. YASMINE incorporates the ability of scraping and enriching visual and audio data, by using Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligent algorithms to automatically extract additional information that is converted into metadata. YASMINE is designed for two case-studies that are unique to religious studies: sanctuaries and the killings of orants (1982-).
WP7 develops REVER, a software based on an algorithm capable of linking summaries created through domain-specific principles (the regesta) to the documents that they summarise; it can also operate in the opposite direction, i.e. summarising a source into a regestum, by applying to documents domain-specific principles acquired through machine learning. In this respect, it is different from existing text summarisation algorithms, which subtract, or at the very least extract, value from the original text. REVER, on the contrary, makes it possible to produce summaries that add scientific value and depth to the summarised text.
WP8, uBIQUity, intends to develop a new research instrument concerning textual traditions and exegetical approaches to the Bible and the Qur’ān as offered by ancient commentaries composed in the Christian and Islamic worlds respectively. Intertextual references, whether made consciously or unconsciously by ancient commentators, work as invisible “places of memory”, hence making the sacred texts “ubiquitous”. Connecting authors of these exegetical works through their shared places of memory will help us reconstruct the “collective memories” of religious communities across cultural environments and/or historical periods.
WP9, TAURUS, has the aim of developing a software toolkit for 3d visualisation and fruition of historical heritage artefacts and materials; the toolkit is intended for specialised researchers in the field of Religious Studies and Archaeology, but is also transversally applicable to other domains. The toolkit contains three such instruments: EnLil – Enhancement of Little curved object representation: tablets from the Near East; MiRAr – Mixed Reality for Archaeology; ACIS – Artworks Conservation Integrated Sources. The tools developed in the WP share some features, such as the capability of producing 3d visualisations, but they vary in scope and application.
WP10, ReTINA, aims to provide a component of RESILIENCE dedicated to the production and fruition of a digital archive dedicated to complex, rare and/or endangered religious texts written on various supports (stone, papyrus, etc.). To achieve this goal, it uses texts from the Nile Valley (and beyond) as a case-study.
Finally, WP11 is built to ensure Trans-National Access both to facilities, services and experts already in place and running and to the ITSERR research and working teams.