5. Integration of DataLex knowledge-bases with AustLII and other LIIs

5.1 Overview - Integration of DataLex knowledge-bases with their sources

DataLex has five principle features which enable it to be integrated into the web context, and, in particular, into AustLII and AustLII Communities:
  1. Automated addition of links to AustLII legislation;
  2. Automated addition of links to case law on AustLII or any collaborating legal information institute (LII), or with a citation table in the LawCite citator;
  3. Explicit links to any other web resources;
  4. Explicit links to searches over AustLII (or other search engine); and
  5. Cooperative inferencing using knowledge-bases from multiple pages or sites.
Further forms of integration which are not yet available are the inclusion of links from AustLII primary materials to DataLex knowledge-bases, and the inclusion of knowledge-bases in AustLII search results.

See the articles listed in Chapter 1 for the theoretical advantages of various types of integration discussed in this chapter.

Links to names of Acts (and sections within Acts) that are located on AustLII can be added automatically to your knowledgebase, without the need to create explicit links to those Acts or sections.

To effectively create links to AustLII legislation, observe the following guidelines:
  • Each time an Act or section is referred to in the body of a rule, put the full name of the Act and section (for example 'Privacy Act 1988 section 6D'). If the Act name is not included, the mark-up software might not be able to determine in which Act the section is to be found.
  • Reference to 'section 5' or 's.5' or 's5' or 's5(3) or 'subsection 5(3)' are effective, but 'paragraph 5(3)' is not - change 'paragraph' to 'section'.
  • Automatic links are not created to words defined in Acts. However, as shown below, explicit links can be created to such definitions.
  • Automatic links are not (as yet) provided to legislation in jurisdictions outside Australia, but explicit links may be created to such legislation (see below).

Where a decision in a case is properly cited (either by a neutral citation or proprietary citation) in the name of a rule, or in the body of the rule, this will result in the automatic creation of a hypertext link to either (i) the text of the decision, if the decision is included in AustLII or another collaborating LII (eg NZLII, BAILII, HKLII, PacLII, SafLII, CanLII), or (ii) the LawCite citator, if the decision has a citation table there. The LawCite record for a decision can also be accessed from that decision.

Links to these cases are available in relevant reports and explanations, and to provide assistance when the user is answering questions relevant to a case. For example, in the Finder KB application, when the user is asked about the finder of a chattel 'Was he the occupier of the premises ?', and responds 'Why?', the system replies 'This will help determine whether or not the situation is similar to Armory v Delamirie [1722] EWHC KB J94.', with a link to the LawCite citator entry.

As discussed in Chapter 6, with EXAMPLE rules based on decisions in particular cases, it is particularly important that a full title and citation for the decision be included in the title of the EXAMPLE. Automatic links to cases in Reports means that the user can go to the cases cited in the Report, in order to asses whether they agree with the suggestions for following and distinguishing particular cases given in the Report. In making such a decision they can inspect not only the text of the suggested cases, but also the LawCite record for each of the suggested cases in order to determine whether there are subsequent cases that have a bearing on the suggested cases (and may have been decided after the knowledge-base was written). For discussion of the value of such facilities, see the article 'Utilising AI in the Legal Assistance Sector - Testing a Role for Legal Information Institutes' cited in Chapter 1.

In addition to automatic links to AustLII, specific links can be specified in the knowledge-base. The keywords LINK and TO are used to specify in a knowledge-base that a particular word or phrase is always to appear as a hypertext link to a particular URL. This is very useful for creating links to definitions or cases.

LINK …TO … can be used to create links from a knowledge-base to anywhere on the world-wide-web, not just to AustLII.

5.4.1 Example

LINK document of an agency TO http://www2.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/foia19822

RULE Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) s11(a) PROVIDES

s11(a) applies ONLY IF

       the document is a document of an agency AND

       the document is not an exempt document

5.5 Stored searches from DataLex knowledge-bases

It is also possible to use LINK …TO … to create links from a knowledge-base to a stored search over AustLII, or over any other web-based search engine.

5.5.1 Example

To link to a search over AustLII for the phrase 'official document of a Minister':

LINK official document of a Minister TO http://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinosrch.cgi?me

RULE Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) s11(b) PROVIDES

s11(b) applies ONLY IF

       the document is an official document of a Minister AND

       the document is not an exempt document

5.6 'Co-operative inferencing' - knowledge-bases in multiple locations

'Co-operative inferencing', as we are tentatively calling it, is an innovative aspect of DataLex. It allows different knowledge-base developers to place knowledge-bases on any web page anywhere in cccse other knowledge-bases located elsewhere on the web which they specify are to be 'included'. In this sense, knowledge-base development becomes a 'co-operative' activity where developers can contribute their small (or not so small) knowledge-bases to a larger enterprise.

5.6.1 The INCLUDE keyword

The use of the keyword INCLUDE in a knowledge-base, followed by the URL of another page containing a DataLex knowledge-base, will cause the second knowledge-base to be loaded with the first knowledge-base, and the two run together.

More than two knowledge-bases can be declared to be INCLUDEd. There is no limit on the number.

It does not matter if an INCLUDEd knowledge-base INCLUDEs the knowledge-base that INCLUDEd it - ie DataLex does not go into an endless loop loading the same knowledge-bases.

It is useful to make the URLs of INCLUDEd knowledge-bases live links, so that users of a knowledgebase can conveniently view all knowledgebases which are to be included in a consultation. See the 'FOI s11 (start here)' knowledge-base for examples.

5.6.2 Example

To include a KB 'DefinitionOfDocument' in the evaluation of this freedom of information KB, so that the attribute 'the item requested is a document' will be evaluated:

INCLUDE http://austlii.community/foswiki/DataLex/DefinitionOfDocument

GOAL RULE Access to documents under Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) s11 PROVIDES
the person applying does have a legally enforceable right under s11 of
the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to obtain access to the document requested ONLY IF
the item requested is a document AND
Freedom of Information Act 1982 s11 (1)(a) applies AND/OR
Freedom of Information Act 1982 s11 (1)(b) applies

5.6.3 At least one GOAL rule must be specified if INCLUDE is used

As in the example above, you must specify which rule is the GOAL RULE that is to start the consultation, because the operation of INCLUDE means that you cannot be certain which rule DataLex will consider is the first one appearing in your knowledgebase.

If more than one GOAL RULE is specified in a set of 'co-operative' knowledge-bases, the user will be given a choice of which rule is to start the consultation. GOAL RULEs may be declared in any knowledge-base.

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