Wednesday, September 27, 2006

XML Tage Berlin 2006

I'm just back from the XML-Tage in Berlin, an annual event dedicated to XML-Technology -- which means a real broad spectrum of topics. For being a mere 'national' event - the conference language was german - a huge number of participants showed up -- at least on the list of participants there are more than 500 entries. But, the lecture room where our sessions took place wasn't crowded at all (30 - 50 people). Interesting for me were the two invited talks: Heiner Stuckenschmitt from Uni Mannheim was asking 'what's wrong with the Semantic Web?', giving way to modular ontologies and distributed reasoning -- thus, for the semantic web we will need some distributed semantic google.... Andreas Hotho from Uni Kassel gave a presentation on bibsonomy, the well known social tagging (bibtex database) service. In the same way as, bibsonomy is tagging urls. But, in addition, you are able to administrate (and tag) your (and others) bibtex bibliographies...a rather useful tool for authoring scientific papers.
If everything works out well, we will cooperate with Andreas and his group by enhancing bibsonomy's features as well as by exploiting bibsonomy's database for Ontology Learning and Data Mining.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Web Monday in Jena - Aftermath

Yesterday evening, I visited the first Web Monday in Jena (see yesterday's Blog post). After all, it was a reall success. With almost 50 participants (ok...some 10 or 20 of them coming from synchronity alone) I had a large audience for my presentation on 'Semantic Web 2.0 Hype...'. After Lars welcomed all guests he briefly explained the idea of Web Monday and its relation to web 2.0 in general. Interesting thing to mention is that I became acquainted with Lars via openbc - although his office is only a few minutes from mine. He told me about Web Monday about a month ago and I volunteered to give the very first keynote speech -- although I first thought that I only had to give a 5-10 minutes spotlight talk (as it is the traditional way for Web Mondays).
My talk went rather smoothly but according to the echoes of our audience (see links blog references below) they seemed to like it.
For me the following discussion and socializing was even more interesting. Only to mention a few of the emerging topics:
  • web 2.0 and handicapped users -- a rather interesting and IMHO also important topic (application of specialized CSS, etc...)
  • user generated metadata beyond mere tagging (semantic wikipedia, ontology editors, etc...)
  • semantic web technology vs. information retrieval technology
  • ajax vs. modern programming paradigms and wasting resources (bandwidth)
  • applications of the web of trust
All in all the evening was some real success and we should be curious about the upcoming Web Mondays (ass proposed on October 16th and November 20th). So stay tuned!
Finally some echoes from other blogs:

Monday, September 18, 2006

Web Monday in Jena

Today, the first Web Monday in Jena will take place at TowerByte eG, c/o Intershop Tower, Leutragraben 1, 07743 Jena at 19.30. Lars Zapf volunteered to bring the idea of Web Monday to Jena. Web Monday is kind of an informal meeting focussed on the topic of web 2.0 (in the broadest sense). It connects users, developers, founders, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, researchers, web pioneers, bloggers, podcasters, designers and other folks interested in Web 2.0 topics. I will host the 'opening session' with a talk about 'Semantic Web / web 2.0 - Hype and Reality'.
The tricky thing for me in this talk is, how to connect semantic web and web 2.0.....and the answer is pretty simple as that. What is needed to bring Semantic Web to life? [short theatric pause] Yes, it's Metadata! And what's the 'dernier crie' concerning web 2.0? [another pause...] Yes, collaborative tagging! So, maybe we should choose collaborative tagging as kind of 'missing link' in between web 2.0 and semantic web.
Of course - you will say - tags are only flat (shallow) metadata without any structure, etc....But why not create structured metadata (or even 'deep' and complex metadata) in a collaborative way. What's missing are - again - suitable interfaces (technology) for easy (non expert) metadata (ontology) editing. In semantic web, somehow we have the same situation as in pre-Blog/pre-Wiki times....only experts are able to create complex metadata... but there are too few of them...and thus, too few metadata. Semantic Wiki is one initiative that points in the right direction. Rico Landefeld is one of my students, who for his diploma thesis tries to implement a fully functional semantic wiki (maariwa). more to come soon....

Monday, September 11, 2006

InetBib 2006 in Münster

On wednesday, September 6th, I visited InetBib 2006 (a conference on libraries and the internet) in Münster. Together with Steffen Büffel and Michael Schaarwächter I was contributing to the workshop Web2.0- Technologien: Zukunft der Bibliothek - Bibliothek der Zukunft ("the future of libraries" and "the library of the future"). From my point of view (as a computer scientist) libraries and Web 2.0 in combination constitute a rather interesting subject. Decentralization of information, active interaction with and involvment of the users, esp. w.r.t. providing keywords and tags for the library index (catalog), blogs and wikis as new (living) web based library information systems are only a few of all those rather promissing approaches. I have collected a few links on articles and further resources about InetBib 2006:

Friday, September 01, 2006

An Integrated View on Document Annotation.... (part 3)

As already mentioned in [1], we identify three semantically interrelated structures within a document or a collection of documents:
  • logical structure (chapters, paragraphs, pages, ...)
  • conceptual structure (index entries, concepts, definitions, ...)
  • referential structure (references, associations, links, ...)

All three in concert form the so called dependency graph (or reading graph).

Now, what is the purpose of this dependency graph? Imagine, your intention is to understand a certain topic. What you usually do is to enter one or more descriptive keywords related to that topic into a search engine. More traditional, you would look up the index of a textbook for those keywords to identify some relevant sections to read to understand the given topic. Probably you look up a certain index entry and the section in the text contains other terms that you don't understand. Thus, you look up those terms in the index to read the referring section and you will probably again find terms that you don't understand. Thus you enter an interative process that stops, if you have read all sections that cover all the terms that you didn't understand before looking up the first index entry.

In this way, we recursively define a rather simple concept of understanding: To understand a term, we have understood all terms that are mentioned in a descriptive definition of that term.

This iterative process is closely related to self containment. Therefore, to understand a topic means to calculate the self containment closure of that topic. The size of the closure is determined by the end of the iterative process. The process ends, if there are no new terms that are not understood (i.e. read). Thus, the size of the closure depends on how much the user already knows (i.e. has read), is different for individual users, and changes (adapts) while the user is reading (understanding).
The dependency (reading) graph is then ordered sequentially (with the help of the logical document structure) to form a roadmap that leads to a better understanding of the given topic.
(to be continued....)

[1] An Integrated View on Document Annotation (part 1) (part 2)