PATHS documentation

Kate Fernie

A report providing an overview of the PATHS system including hardware, software, applications and interfaces, details about the development process itself and comprehensive data model and API documentation is now available online.

The first PATHS prototype and Web Service API were released in May 2012 and the system was then subjected to intensive testing, feedback was gathered through combination of user trials, demonstrations and technical assessments. Specifications for the final prototype were then finalized and the development of the final prototype described in this report took place in early 2013.

The report is available for download here .  The landing page for PATHS system documentation is:

The  PATHS system includes hardware, software, applications and interfaces. 

The system consists of three major parts:
1. A logical data model, the PATHS Database
2. A web service API, the PATHS Web API:
3. A web application, the PATHS Prototype User Interface (UI):

The data model is implemented as a combination of SQL and non-SQL databases and indexes combining the power of the PostgreSQL RDBMS with that of Apache Solr inverted index and Virtuoso RDF triple store. All relationships and references in the data model are implemented using persistent URIs as foreign keys. This allows for flexible integration between the three data stores.

The web service API is implemented on top of a wide range of server components and controls all data I/O operations towards the data layer. It consists of more than 30 different web methods grouped into seven Web Services. The Web Services communicate over the HttpGet, HttpPost, Soap and Soap 1.2 protocols. The default return format is JSON but the services are also capable of delivering XML.

The web application is implemented with a number of sophisticated end-user interfaces that rely and data received through Web Service requests for their operation. The application is user centric and emphasizes good interaction design as well as innovative modes of exploration.  The prototype is designed to demonstrate the core functionality of the system and the potential of the navigation, information retrieval and content enrichment methodology proposed by the project.


System architecture specification

Functional specifications:

Content processing:

User interface design

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