84091 - Data Modelling and Multimedia Database

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

This course aims to initiate to data modeling, firstly by reflecting on content type: starting from traditional metadata, continuing with regular (textual) documents, and concluding with most complex multimedia documents. At the end of the course the students will be able to: master the principles and fundamentals of documents’ database design and implementation; master the most suitable methods of documents’ content description, together with their indexing techniques and query paradigms; evaluate the quality of provided results through quantitative metrics (both for effectiveness and efficiency); be familiar with the state-of-the-art of multimedia database management; analyze the requirements of specific contexts in the cultural heritage domain in order to identify the most appropriate solutions for modeling and managing the underlying data.

Course contents

Basics on structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data

  • Basic concepts of data modelling

Textual Information Retrieval (IR) systems: general principles

  • Documents representation in IR systems
  • Automatic indexing techniques, stemming, stoplist
  • Searches of Boolean type
  • Searches of phrases and for proximity
  • The Vector Space model: weighing techniques and ranking of the results
  • Evaluation of IR systems: Precision and Recall metrics

Multimedia Information Retrieval (MM-IR)

  • General concepts: feature extraction and similarity criteria
  • Examples for different types of multimedia data
  • Query paradigms and presentation of the results
  • Interactive searches
Each lecture is enriched by the teacher by means of guided classroom exercises, practical examples, use cases, and demos in the context of cultural heritage.


During the course, the teacher will provide the students with educational material in the form of slides and relevant scientific literature.

Teaching methods

Course lectures are in "traditional" classrooms and exploit the slides. Several use cases will be presented in order to show how such information technologies can be profitably applied in a number of real applications.

Provided slides are in english. Fluent spoken and written english is a necessary pre-requisite: all lectures and tutorials will be in english.

N.B. For students of the second cycle degree programmes (LM) in Library and Archive Science - Campus of Ravenna - the teacher provides the possibility to receive Italian material related to the course program. For those students it is allowed to take the final exam in Italian.

Assessment methods

Achievements will be assessed by the means of a final exam. This is based on an analytical assessment of the "expected learning outcomes" described above. In order to properly assess such achievement the examination is composed of an oral exam. To participate to the lab programming exam, interested students have to register themselves by exploiting the usual UniBO Web application, called AlmaEsami.

Higher grades will be awarded to students who demonstrate an organic understanding of the subject, a high ability for critical application, and a clear and concise presentation of the contents. To obtain a passing grade, students are required to at least demonstrate a knowledge of the key concepts of the subject, some ability for critical application, and a comprehensible use of technical language. A failing grade will be awarded if the student shows knowledge gaps in key-concepts of the subject, inappropriate use of language, and/or logic failures in the analysis of the subject.

Teaching tools

Classroom lessons will be held using slides, which will be integrated with the use of the blackboard for the development of exercises.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Ilaria Bartolini