Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Building bridges : follow up

With the help of the illustration of my readers flow, I stressed out in my last post the pure randomness, or close to, some of my readership, who is most welcome nonetheless. If you bear with me, as a continuation this preceding post, I will try to show hows web 2.0 means empowering a very hot subject, mostly underground after long years in the desert of conceptual useless-land, the semantic web, whose european conference is to be held next week in Montenegro. (Now look at the picture and tell me you are not interested by semantic web..) I was previously stressing out the importance of building vocabularies statistically, and to show this I would like to raise the question of why do we know stuff.
  • Well we either identify some relevant concepts, and by intuition formulate an hypothesis on their relationship. then if true, we attached our name to the relationship and become famous, if not rich.
ex : F = m a (Sir Newton)
  • Now you can also, if you have lots of data dealing with those notions of mass and forces, even though their essence is unknow to you, find the same law statistically.
ex : That hammer falling on my foot hurts. Let's try from higher
In matter of human knowledge, a broader subject than 3 variables, now one is going to take on the tasks of describing all the notions in the world. you might consider having experts doing there own domains, but you might need too many people to then connect those domains. So the only viable option is to rely on heavily distributed method. If you add the other constraint that the content producer dont have to maintain themselves the map of the notions, as they dont necesseraly have the time or interest to do so, you have little space but for statistics to rely on... or at least it should provide a great help. This subject of semantic extraction is one of the workshop of european conference, and it summarizes may be better the point (and challenges..)
Mastering the Gap: From Information Extraction to Semantic Representation
Automating the process of semantic annotation of content objects is a crucial step for bootstrapping the Semantic Web. This process requires a complex flow of activities which combines competences from different areas. The Workshop will focus precisely on the interface between the information extracted from content objects (e.g., using methods from NLP, image processing, text mining, etc.) and the semantic layer in which this information is explicitly represented in the form of ontologies and their instances. The workshop will provide an opportunity for: discussing adequate methods, processes (pipelines) and representation formats for the annotation process; reaching a shared understanding with respect to the terminology in the area; discussing the lessons learned from projects in the area, and putting together a list of the most critical issues to be tackled by the research community to make further progress in the area.
The global goal of this semantic effort is certainly not to discourage my beloved reader to come from the finest and highly spirited sites in a random manner. Randomness is something you can always have, and it is very essential to provide you with radical new knowledge. Look just how many people know of the semantic web, and now you might be more of those cutting edge people. The goal of the semantic web is to pursue that discovery of theme on the ground of items which are relevant to certain subjects. A very simple illustration. I discovered yesterday that one notion, called categories, was helping a lot in various, very different subjects I am interested in, like algebra, quantum physics, and computer langage theory. How is it that, being interested in those subjects, I had never heard of categories? Well it might be that for any of those individual domain, they might be a bit too abstract, so it goes under the radar for many people. But when you consider the 3 domain, you are much better off learning categories first and saving lots of time later. Have I had access to a semantic map of those domain, I would have noticed this strange object belonging to all of them, and get informed on it. That's what the semantic web is for, and not for discouraging dear readers to come from other quality blogs ;)

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