Research clan implements new chatbot

The C3DLO is a chatbot developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST, one of the institutions participating in the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT. This chatbot can find information in large databases in natural language dialogues, even if the user does not know the filing structures. The Center of Excellence Logistics and IT was responsible for implementing the prototype.

In view of the increase in data volumes we are facing in these times of the Internet of Things, the way information is managed is also changing. Archiving documents such as product sheets, “development documents” or “contracts” by scanning them is now a thing of the past. Digitized business processes require fast and direct access to information – without using keyword-based searches in archives. In the course of digitization, data storage systems are therefore increasingly being used that store company information in semantic structures and thus enable automatic interpretation.

So-called NoSQL database systems are used for data storage – a class of databases that enable data to be stored independent of fixed schemata and at the same time also support the administration of the semantic structures of this data. These structures are used by modern query languages such as SPARQL to directly access searched information instead of using full text searches in archives. However, the formulation of SPARQL queries is a matter for IT experts. The Fraunhofer ISST has therefore developed C3DLO for business users – a chatbot which users can communicate in natural language – in written or spoken form. Well-known examples are Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft or Google Now. TheC3DLO helps the user in an uncomplicated way to search for information and then to carry out the subsequent activities.

In the context of the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT, the “Advanced Data Processing Technologies” research clan has now implemented the chatbot prototype and has adapted it to be able to suit company-specific needs. The solution provides companies with more transparency in their databases and fits seamlessly into digitized business processes.

Photo: mehrzeiler & kollegen

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