Scaling and productising MOSAIC search and recommendation services

van Harmelen, M. Scaling and productising MOSAIC search and recommendation services. 26 September 2010.

Commissioned by JISC, this document provides an architectural approach for MOSAIC search and recommendation services. The approach incorporates iterative cycles of development, where each cycle is preceded by an agile needs-driven approach to determine the next targets for implementation and roll out.

From the document:

The MOSAIC search and recommendation approach was a successful outcome of the MOSAIC project. [1] The MOSAIC search engine demonstrated personalised search based on user context and activity data. However, we are in an early stage of development of MOSAIC search and recommendation: Search has been prototyped, and a successful user evaluation has been performed. Recommendation has not been prototyped, though the University of Huddersfield has developed a local recommender service.

Through the MOSAIC project, we extended and refined our understanding of the approach’s functionality and now consider that MOSAIC provides the following approaches

  • MOSAIC search implements social search
  • Individual resources are prioritised in the search results according to activity data, specifically use data derived from library circulation records. At a later stage this approach can be generalised to include data derived from access to electronic resources, from such as e-journals, VLEs and repositories.
  • A user can personalise the search according to their own identity and results are then prioritised according to the user’s social group, their class cohort.
  • Users can refine search results using facets to discover who borrowed or accessed what in another year, on another course, at another institution, and/or at another progression level.
  • MOSAIC social recommendation is of various forms that include
    “Borrowers like you borrowed …” and “Borrowers of this item next borrowed …”


[1] See, inter alia:

van Harmelen , M.  TILE project: architectural proposals for creating context and enabling contribution. 2008. http://ie-repository.jisc.ac.uk/295/

Kay, D, Chad, K, van Harmelen , M, Pattern, D, Miller, P and Harrop, H. Making Our Scholarly Activity Information Count: The JISC MOSAIC Project. 2010. http://ie-repository.jisc.ac.uk/446/

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  • […] David Kay recommends a starting point from a technical perspective is ‘Scaling and productising MOSAIC search and recommendation services’ at http://hedtek.com/?p=371 […]

  • By Recent and current projects on August 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    […] and recommenders based on cohort activity (eg a prototype social search engine we developed for the MOSAIC Project) to learning analytics, where the idea is to identify students at risk of failing or dropping out […]

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