Wednesday, September 26, 2007

CSSW 2007 - Conf. on Social Semantic Web in Leipzig - Sep 26th, 2007

For the next two days I'm going to participate at the CSSW 2007 (Conference on Social Semantic Web) in Leipzig.

The sessions will start at 10am. WLAN is working, live blogging in progress ;-)
Ok, I should not start complaining before it even starts. But, 195 Euros conference fee for 2 days (including allowance for being an 'active' participant) and you have to pay for refreshments in the conference breaks? Ok...we have also received some refreshment tickets...incredibly valuable...representing 5 Euros (of the 195 Euros conference fee)...but one glass of water (or one cup of coffee) is 1 Euro. This makes 5 glasses of water for two days. Anyway.......back to the conference ;-)

After a brief intro by the conference chair Sören Auer, the first talk is presented by Andreas Hees on 'Alternative Searching Services: Seven Theses on the Importance of Social Bookmarking' prommising an interesting combination of traditional search engine indexing and the use of taging. A major difference in both approches lays in the coverage of web pages. While search engines encompass almost up to 85% percent of the 'Surface Web', manual tagging only coveres about a fraction of that. This leads to

  • thesis 1: Limited but Growing Coverage (of Social Bookmarking Services).

  • thesis 2: A smaller index of Social Bookmarking Services does not mean less quality.

  • thesis 3: Less frequent update of Social Bookmarking indexes.

  • thesis 4: The larger the community the more likely users will find specific content

  • thesis 5: SBS are less prone to manipulation (remember the Google vs. BMW case...).

  • thesis 6: SBS are perceived to be more trustworthy than algorithmic search engines

  • thesis 7: Quality of assigned tags will improve


Ok...we all agree on the advantages that SBS do offer. But...how to combine the traditional search engine results with SBS results. This raises issues concerning indexing, actuality, inconsistency, ranking, etc...
The presentation only offers some tag suggestion and tag auto correction mechanisms....so 'how to get better quality tags'. This does not solve the general problem of combining both services.

Rico Landefeld is next, presenting 'Collaborative Web Publishing with a Semantic Wiki', presenting our SemanticWiki implementation Maariwa. One of the questions at the end of the talk concerned the very important topic of the extra 'effort' invested by the author that is necessary for the creation of semantic annotation. The benefit for all the other users is obvious, but for the author himself? Therefore, the extra 'effort' has to be minimized to the limit to make semantic annotation also attractive for the ordinary user.

Mohamed Bishr from the University of Münster concludes the session with 'Weaving Space and Time into the Web of Trust'. What is the influence of spatial dimension on trust? There is evidence of the effects of social network structures on trust as well as of geography on social networking. So the goal is a theory of the dynamics of trust in social networks with respect to the spatio-temporal regularities of the social networks.

The second session is more focused on Semantic Technology. In the first talk, Uldis Bojärs from DERI Galway ist talking about `A Prototype to Explore Content and Context on Social Community Sites`, the SIOC-Explorer ('you may call it RSS on steroids'....as Uldis says). SIOC (pronounces as shok) stands for Semantically Interlinked Online Communities is a W3C submission and is based on an ontology representing the process of social networking on the web (at the SIOC website there is even a wordpress plugin for your blog)....and with the SIOC Explorer SIOC data are crawled and aggregated for browsing and exploring. Furthermore it enables faceted browsing.

The next talk is on 'Adapting an ORDBMS for RDF Storage and Mapping' and is presented by Orri Erling. According to the title a native Relational Database System (Virtuoso) is adapted for RDF. Christian Weiske concludes the session with a talk on 'Implementing SPARQL support for RDBMS and possible enhancments'. To achieve this, a new SPARQL engine was developed and integrated into a database in a way that most of the work load will be accomplished by the database.

So far, so good...Lunch took place nearby in separate room of the Mensa (a review will soon available at küchenschreck and -- the world is small -- I've made some new enjoyable acquaintance, also coming from Potsdam. The afternoon session starts with an invited talk of Hans Hartmann with the topic 'SOA for IT? Hype, Trap, or Hoax?'. First of all, there is a SOA Hype, nobody can deny that. For an illustration, Hartmann compares tha SOA Hype with the excitement of an Austrian radio soccer reporter "....Tor! Tor! Tor! Tor! Tor! - I werd' narrisch! Krankl schießt ein, 3:2 für Österreich" (here you may find the original audio file as mp3).

Next, there is the afternoon's poster (+ demo) session with 5 short presentations. Santtu Toivonen from VTT talks on 'Mobile Social Media - General Characteristics and Interfaces with the Semantic Web'. He starts with a general review on Social Networking Companies and organizes them according to their underlying business models....but in the end, there are no mobile semantic web applications arround.alt least not yet. Next talk on 'Galaxy: IBM Ontological Network Miner' is given by John Judge working at project NEPOMUK (remember the semantic desktop...). I guess I have reviewed this paper...but it has left no remarkable impression so far. Next, Andreas Walter from FZI Karlsruhe on 'IMAGENOTION: Collaborative Semantic Annotation of Images and Work Integrated Creation of Ontologies' being motivated by Image based navigation in Multimedia-Archives. An Imagenotion represents a semantic notion graphically through an image, aggregating synonyms, Labels, links to web pages and other kinds of annotations. In the end, Imagenotions -- if I have got this right -- should ripe (= Ontology Maturing) to real ontologies). Finally....a live presentation (c.f. www.imagenotion.com). The last talk is presented by Philipp Heim from the University Duisburg-Essen on 'Semantic Integrator- Semi-Automatically Enhancing Social Semantic Web Environments.

As my battery is slowly fading away, this was the last paragraph for today (as being also the last talk). There is a 'Sächsischer Abend' announced in the conference schedule and as for my train is leaving at about 7pm, I still have some time left to take a drink. See you tomorrow ;-)

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