Academic journal article Informatica Economica

A Trivia like Mobile Game with Autonomous Content That Uses Wikipedia Based Ontologies

Academic journal article Informatica Economica

A Trivia like Mobile Game with Autonomous Content That Uses Wikipedia Based Ontologies

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

1 Introduction

The mobile industry is literally huge. In the US, 55% of the adult population owns a smart phone and it is predicted that by the end of 2016 we will have 1.4 smart devices per person on the planet. Even if the market is so big, its granularity is still high from an OS point of view. The leader is the Android OS, closely followed by the iOS. Another players are the Blackberry OS, Windows OS and the last but not to ignore, the recent launched Firefox OS.

A mobile device owner uses in average 26.8 apps per month and 57% of these people use their apps daily. The most used apps are from the "Search, Portal & Social" category (with 10 hours and 56 minutes spent per month per user), closely followed by the "Entertainment" apps which are used 10 hours and 34 minutes monthly per user [12]. Unfortunately the most apps from the Entertainment category, which the games are part of, involve a whole team of developers for the engine of the game at the beginning and then, for developing the content. With investments that sometimes overtake the budgets of many movies, the games consume more and more money.

But what if we can use an automatic way of providing the content? Robots that write press articles already exist [10], so why not developing a game that uses a semantic web approach in providing its content in general, or to be more specific, general knowledge questions in particular.

The path for semantic answering questions in a gaming environment was paved since February 2011 when the Watson Question Answering system built by the IBM Research team challenged two human champions in the American TV quiz show Jeopardy! and bested them. However, the questions being played for the quiz had been created by human authors. The information used to solve these questions came from the Linked Open Data (LOD) and analysis of large amount of documents like newspaper articles. Even though Watson has won the quiz show, the knowledge that can be drawn automatically from the LOD cloud is far from being perfect [8].

But this thing doesn't mean it can't be used for entertainment purposes like question source for a trivia like game. In fact its correctness can be adjusted by players. If more players report a question as being incorrect then the system can consider that most probably it is and ignore it from future shows. Maybe it is a better approach to have an almost infinite number of possible question with an accepted error ratio, than to have a limited number of 100% correct questions that will repeat themselves.

2 Technologies Used

As we saw in the previous section, right now there isn't a unique approach in developing a native mobile application. Each platform and operating system has its own development environment and its own programming language for writing apps.

But, even so, there is an alternative in the name of hybrid apps. They are usually responsive web applications that run in a native web browser control. There are multiple platforms for developing this kind of apps, but the most important is PhoneGap. PhoneGap is a platform based on HTML and JavaScript which can be used for developing hybrid mobile applications (Figure 1).

Basically a PhoneGap application implements platform specific webView like controls which run JavaScript code in order to access specific elements of the mobile device like network connectivity, contacts, file system, multimedia or camera. The graphic interface is defined exclusively by using HTML5 and CSS3 and, in order to display it on a mobile device, the browser features are used. This approach unfortunately makes the PhoneGap apps slower than similar native apps, but the advantages of writing code just once and knowing just one programming language make it a reliable solution [2].

Node.js, called sometimes simply - Node, is a server-side JavaScript environment that is based on Google's runtime implementation - the aptly named "V8" engine. …

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