The SPRINT project will contribute to promote a modal shift towards green modes of transport, such as rail, by improving the intermodality between different transport modes. The development of multimodal travel information, planning and booking services and the interoperability between business applications is currently limited due to the fragmentation and incompatibility of interchange formats and protocols, both within and across transport sectors as well as within the supply chain.
Within Shift2Rail, TD4.1 aims to enable a complete transformation of the European Transportation ecosystem into a global assets marketplace, liberated from technological barriers where actors and business models will be able to emerge and prosper for the benefit of European Travelers. The Interoperability Framework released by the IT2Rail project represents only a first step towards such marketplace. Complementary IP4 projects are expanding the scope of the IF with the integration of new assets and promoting the inclusion of new transportation modes, operators and providers. Consequently, the reliability of the IF mechanisms needs to be reinforced.
The SPRINT project will assess the results from such projects and will evaluate alternative architectures and new software paradigms to sustain a large deployment of the IF, overcoming performance and scalability issues. The evaluation of alternative IF architectures will also check their complementarity with the results of Shift2Rail IP4 projects and with the running initiatives in the public transport sector (e.g., NeTEx, SIRI, Smart Ticketing Alliance, ITxPT, National Access Point) to contribute to the Single European Railway Area (SERA).
Moreover, the current approaches proposed by TD 4.1 projects (e.g., the ST4RT conversion process) to ontology-based annotations and mappings of legacy data representations enabling the conversion/translation of heterogeneous messages exchanged by different systems require a significant set of tasks to be performed by skilled software designers. Such designers need a deep understanding of both semantic technologies and the application domain since they are the key actors of an efficient conversion process. Currently designers spend an excessive amount of time in error-prone, tedious manual tasks due to the lack of maturity of semantic interoperability tools and a not-yet-optimised conversion process.
The SPRINT project will identify and evaluate new mechanisms to automate the generation/extension/revision of ontologies (especially lightweight ontologies) and the definition/revision of ontology-based annotations and mappings. These mechanisms will be based on extending the current state-of-the-art in methods, techniques and tools for the collaborative development of ontologies.