Amy Guy

Raw Blog

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Week in review: recovering?

25th - 31st March

A busy, non-PhD-related activities filled week.

Social computing seminar on Friday. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Taming Blogger

Experimenting with running this entire website from the age-old Blogger backend.

Beating it gradually into submission with help from Temple of Doom stripped down Blogger template, and some pro tips from Blogger Sentral.

Because, why not?  I have a lot of stuff on this blog.  Time to organise it how I want.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week in review: foreverreading

11th - 17th March

Had a sensible conversation with Ewan about when I should stop reading and start actually producing something.  The answer is sooner, rather than later.  I'm aiming for a literature review that is "neither a first nor final" draft by the end of April.  I started outlining topics that should be in it, and began faffing about with LaTeX (and Markdown and Pandoc).

Then started panicking and promptly quadrupled the amount of things on my to-read list.  Oops.  I blame Matthew Rowe.

I finished reading his first year review (2007) as well as his paper about Meervisage: Community-based Annotation for the Semantic Web.  I compiled a massive list of more things to read from his lit. review, and then looked up what he's been doing since then.  A lot.  Mostly relevant.  At the very least, interesting.  Damn.  Don't worry, I'll prioritise that list, and don't aim to finish it before I start writing.

Going to Serbia on Tuesday, for  What should I bring back?
  • Information about creative processes for digital artworks.
  • Anything to do with open data or decentralized social networking movements.
  • Potential case studies or people to work with.
  • ... to be discovered?
Had a chat with Russell of Makur Media about video metadata and ontologies for describing film/TV production processes.  We're doing some of the same research and keeping in touch is likely to be mutually beneficial.  Note to self: Summerhall Cafe is nice and the food is cheap; go there for lunch one day.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Notes about Meervisage - A Community Based Annotation Tool (for the Semantic Web)

Rowe, M. (2007)  Meervisage - A Community Based Annotation Tool. ‘Towards a Social Science of Web 2.0’ Conference at the University of York 5-6th September, 2007.

How SW can benefit from incorporation with existing 'Social Web'.
"...collaborative generation of metadata... using social networks as a user base..."

Uses fb groups created for sharing and organisation of research.  Suggests posting links to useful resources is comparable to annotating the resource.  Comments are more metadata.

Points out usual stuff of actually generating semantic data being a problem for SW.

System requirements:
  • Annotations must be shared in a community.
  • Annotations can be reviewed and edited (/audited) (by group)
  • Collaborative
  • Central repo.
  • Annotations contain semantic metadata.
  • Content of resource annotated, not URL.
  • Communication layer that doesn't interrupt annotation (uses external services).
Review of existing systems:
  • Annotea [9] [13]
    • J. Kahan, M.R. Koivunen, E. Prud Hommeaux, R.R. Swick. Annotea: an open RDF infrastructure for shared Web annotations. Computer Networks. 2002.
    • M Koivunen. Annotea and Semantic Web Supported Collaboration. Proc. Of 
    • the ESWC2005 Conference, 2005.
    • No communication layer (but has discussion threads, wat?). 
    • Can only be edited  by author, but can be reviewed by others.
    • Can be local, private or shared.  RDF.
  • Piggy Bank [10]
    • D Huynh, S Mazzocchi, D Karger. Piggy Bank: Experience the Semantic Web Inside Your Web Browser. Springer-Verlag GmbH. 2005. 
    • RDF. 
    • Auto and manual.  Bundled with scrapers; if they fail, manual.  Only of one type.
    • Share group or global, or save to local 'semantic bank' <-- find="" is="" out="" this="" what="">
    • Reviewed by all, edited by author.
    • Community of users, but no SNS integration.
  • KIM [14]
    • A Kiryakov, B Popov, D Ognyanoff, D Manov, A Kirilov, M Goranov. Semantic Annotation, Indexing and Retrieval. Journal of Web Semantics, Springer. 2004.
    • Automatic named entity recognition.  
    • Links to knowledgebase with ontology.
    • Creates new URIs for new entities or link swith entities it already knows about.
    • Global sharing.
    • Can be deleted but not edited.
    • No social involvement.
  • Magpie [11]
    • J Domingue, M Dzbor and E Motta. Semantic Layering with Magpie. Handbook on Ontologies. 2004.
    • Auto annotate webpage.
    • Similar to KIM, but does not hyperlink to knowledgebase; instead each item gets context menu (right click) with services depending on entity.
    • 'Multi-dimensional approach'. Uses ontology to trigger other services depending on concept.
    • Plugin for IE.  
    • Simply looks for entities that are in ontology (Dzbor 2004).
[1] Using existing information to derive semantics from folksonomies (delicious):
X Wu, L Zhang, Y Yu. Exploring social annotations for the Semantic Web. Proceedings of the 15th international conference on the World Wide Web, 2006.

[15] Social bookmarking tools and how semantic info aids resource discovery.  Probabalistic model of how resources are annotated:

A Plangprasopchok, K Lerman. Exploiting Social Annotation for Automatic Resource Discovery. Eprint arXiv, 2007.

[16] Distributed nature of folksonomies.  Improve search mechanisms.  Tags not great:

S Choy, A. Lui. Web Information Retrieval in Collaborative Tagging Systems. Proceedings of International Conference on Web Intelligence, 2006.
[17] Rigid taxonomies not great:

C Shirky. Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags. Clay Shirky’s Writings About the Internet, 2005.

[18] Methodology for easier browsing of large scale social annotations:

Z Xu, Y Fu, J Mao, D Su. Towards the semantic web: Collaborative tag suggestions. Collaborative Web Tagging Workshop at WWW2006, 2006.

All use one annotation per resource, not annotation of content within, so only one lot of metadata about a page.


"To aid the process of collaborative annotation of web documents"

Allows sharing of annotations between subset of SNS users (eg. fb group).

Management of users and groups offloaded to third party.

Stored in central annotation store.

Annotations contain author, SNS, folksonomies and date.  Made from content within.

Meerkat is "responsible for generating semantic metadata by annotating external web resources."  Meervisage for management via social network.

Meerkat allows a user to edit another user's annotations if they are members of the same group on facebook.

Popularity rating of resources rises with fb discussion.
Meerkat informs browser users if they come across a resource that has been heavily discussed on fb, and by which group etc.

Meervisage also provides RSS feed.

Evaluate by comparing precision and recall metrics of annotations by one user in an allotted time, and those by a group.
-> Don't know how this helps to assess quality of annotations; maybe I'm dumb?  Find out.

Limited to private, says it's like that's a good think :s
Oh, because public access would be "laborious and resource intensive".

Annotations rated on usefulness and weighted.

[20] Attempt to describe folksonomies as part of formal ontology.  Meervisage doesn't; limited to users' viewpoint:

S Angeletou, M Sabou, L Specia, E Motta. Bridging the Gap Between Folksonomies and the Semantic Web: An Experience Report. Workshop: Bridging the Gap between Semantic Web and Web 2.0, European Semantic Web Conference, 2007.

[9] + [13] are most similar.  Have groups, but groups aren't already established networks.

Future work
Annotating multimedia.
Matching assigned tags with ontology terms mined from Web.
[19] Desktop app for annotating text with ontology:

A Chakravarthy, F Ciravegna, V Lanfranchi. AKTiveMedia: Cross-media Document Annotation and Enrichment. Poster Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Semantic Web Conference, 2006.

Open Data Day: Joined Up Edinburgh #joinuped

The 23rd of February was International Open Data Day.  Since this fell at the end of the ILWhack week, it seemed like a good opportunity to take advantage of the momentum and engage the stirring Edinburgh Open Data scene.

Many ODD were organised around the world; most of them were hacks.  In Edinburgh we went for a different approach, thanks largely to input from local community activists like FredaLeahAndy and Ally.  Some might call it 'social hacking'.  Our aim was to gather together people with little knowledge of Open Data, people with data that may or may not be open, and developers and technical types.

With Open Data stuff exploding worldwide, and developers going nuts creating cool apps and services that make use of data being released, it's important, you see, for {local, small-scale, voluntary, grassroots} groups and individuals to get involved early on.  Such parties are arguably likely to benefit the most from empowerment by data, and if they're not part of the discussion early on we might well see a lot of services developed that meet needs imagined by a not-quite-connected but well-meaning tecchie.

So on that note, we want to spread the word about Open Data to those who might normally be left behind.  When these groups know what the possibilities are (we can show them successful projects, locally (eg. ILWhack) and worldwide), what is available, and what could and should be available, we empower them to take action that will benefit them.  More specifically, people can find out that the English government has released data about such-and-such-of-interest, and politely demand that the Scottish Parliament or local councils do similarly.  They can interface early on with developers who are keen to start making, and make sure their real problems get solved (or at least prioritised over potential imaginary ones).  They can get involved with things like ILWhack, and have a better idea of what it's all about.

Between 10am and 2pm, we gathered around 35 people in the Informatics Forum and, fuelled by tea, coffee and biscuits, began the discussion.

We started with an hour of ten minute talks, about a variety of topics:

Sally Kerr told us about Open Data at the City of Edinburgh Council; the progress they've made so far and where they hope to go in the future; NESTA's local government Make It Local programme helped Edinburgh Council to move forward with Open Data.  She gave a nod to the ILWhack projects that made use of Council data in the week prior.

Alex Stobart of MyDex talked about big, open data, and the challenges this presents to citizens and politicians.

Iain Henderson explained the Standard Label; an easy to read specification for data holders to present to their users how the user data will be used.  Like nutritional advice, but for data.. Other ODD events were centred around hacking with it we spoke!

Bob Kerr talked about OpenStreetMap and GeoRSS.  I love the obsessive hyperlocal detail in some places, like where the animals live in Edinburgh Zoo.  On a serious note, OSM has really empowered local governments and NGOs in developing countries.

Andy Hyde discussed asset mapping for voluntary groups; how ALISS collate dispersed health and wellbeing information into a central, open repository, ripe for manual and programmatic access.

From Lizzie Brotherston we heard about the Post-16 Learner Journey Project; helping the Scottish Government understand the learning landscape.  They're holding a hack in April.

Next it was unconference time!

We had a short while of whole-room discussion, before identifying three key areas:

  • Standardising visualisation (headed by Bob Kerr)
  • Small scale voluntary organisations (headed by Leah Lockhart)
  • Sustainability of data projects (headed by Ewan Klein)
Everybody picked a group and we broke apart for the next couple of hours.

The final part of the day was a return to the main room, and further room-wide discussion of the breakout debates.

The standardising visualisations conversation focussed around bringing people into conversations about data using visuals.  Someone pointed out that if news readers used Open Data visualisations, the general public would be a lot more interested in Open Data.  It's interesting to imagine a future where data visualisations are embedded into the world, into the landscape.  To be able to interact with data meaningfully, you've got to know what it is - to recognise it.  A standard - think periodic table - would help people to know exactly what you're talking about straight away.  This goes beyond graphs and charts, into a world of layered visualisations that allow layered public contributions of interpretations.

Those interested in small scale voluntary organisations discussed data holding and data access issues, including strategies for persuading big organisations to open data (eg. by showing success stories, and proving a certain return on investment).  It was agreed that interfacing with developers is important to get things done that organisations really need; but organisations might not know what they need.  It was discovered that there's a lot of crossover between groups represented by people who were in this discussion; common needs but gaps in talent.

Finally, with regards to sustainability of data projects it was agreed that strategies are needed for keeping things going beyond short hack events; how to sustain that burst of energy for a longer term usefulness?  How to keep track of everything that's going on, and link communities with events (see OpenTechCalendar!).  Some kind of coordination body might be useful, or working groups / task forces.

We wrapped up, collected everyone's details for sharing (to ensure sustainability of the outcomes of the day by making sure everyone can keep in touch!) and people began to drift away.

There was an enormous positive energy throughout the day.  Discussions were lively and passionate, and we had an excellent mix of people, exactly as hoped for.

NB. It looks like Joined Up Edinburgh will come under the umbrella of the Scotland branch of the Open Knowledge FoundatioN, so will be a good place to keep an eye on now.  And to keep in the loop, join the Joined Up Edinburgh mailing list.

Other people have blogged about this too.  Check out these by Leah Lockhart and Dave Meikle (more links welcome).

Week in review: mostly social computing

4th - 10th March

I played with the Tell Me Scotland SPARQL endpoint to put Scottish public notices on an OpenStreetMap:  It works intermittently, as the TMS endpoint is a 'proof of concept'.  Okay, that's not PhD related, but it's still interesting.

I went to the 5th OKFN Edinburgh meetup at Napier.  Look, evidence, I'm in the picture!

Dave Robertson asked me hard questions about how I'll turn my vague research interests and intentions to make something useful into a PhD with genuine contributions to knowledge and I floundered a bit, but he agreed to be my second supervisor nonetheless.  I hadn't properly thought about it in those terms, and I'm still figuring it out with like, words.  (As opposed to a gut feeling).  I'd always planned to plough ahead enthusiastically and hope for the best.  That's how I approach everything, actually.

I started reading Community-Based Annotation for the Semantic Web by Matthew Rowe (2007); I think it was a first-year PhD review, and I was primarily reference-harvesting.  More on that next week.

I attended a Social Informatics Cluster meeting, and heard about the Smart Society project; very much in its figuring out stages, but worth following as it appears to have many diverse goals, and various crowd-computation related outcomes might be relevant to what I'm doing.

I went to an ESALA lunchtime talk entitled 'Data Objects', by Ian Gwilt of Sheffield Hallam.  I have to admit, I was expecting something more technical and internet-of-things-y.  Actually data objects are primarily tangible visualisaitons; 3D printed, carved out of wood or sculpted from bronze.  The research was about how people reacted to and understood data differently when it was presented in different forms.  Interesting, and they got some very pretty artefacts out of it, but not directly relevant so I don't have room in my head to store it unfortunately.

I attended the new Social Computing interest group kick-off meeting, coordinated by Dave Murray-Rust.  Everyone introduced themselves, and we arranged a time slot for future meetings.  It looks like I'll be presenting there at some point in the probably not-so-distant future (it was decided that everyone should).  There were a very diverse bunch of people there, and 'social computing' hasn't been defined officially for the group yet.  Quite a few people are attending to essentially see what all the fuss is about.  I'm hopeful that there will be a hardcore technical leaning, because that's where most of the gaps in my knowledge are.  Well, I'm more gaps than knowledge about everything, but that's where I feel particularly vulnerable.

The Smart Data Hack #ilwhack

I spent a good deal of time during January and February helping to organise a couple of Open Data oriented events.  At least, that's the excuse I'm sticking to for not having done much of my PhD in that time.

The Smart Data Hack, also known as ILWhack (Innovative Learning Week* hack) came first, between the 18th and 22nd of February.

* Innovative Learning week at the University of Edinburgh is an annual week of off-timetable activities for students, designed to enhance their learning experience.  Arguably every week in higher education should be innovative and striving provide the best possible education...  And Innovative Learning implies the student should be making the special effort and I don't think many would be happy with the idea of paying so their tutors can have a week off, so maybe Innovative Teaching week would be more... better.  But that aside.

The hack was targeted at first and second year undergraduates in Informatics on the basis that third and fourth years would be busy with final projects.  This was by no means a restriction however, and we harboured hopes of enticing along design students and data buffs from other departments to mix up the skill set a bit as well.

I knocked up a website with two primary functions.

  1. Students could pre-register, add some info about themselves and start to form teams online.
  2. Anyone interested in getting involved who wasn't a student could figure out where they might fit in and get in touch.  This included people who could sponsor prizes, present real-world challenges to solve, offer data to be wrangled, or provide technical support to participants.
We anticipated about 50 students, and invited them to form teams of up to 5.

In parallel with gathering sponsorship, we came up with five prize categories of equal merit:
  • Best for travel
  • Best for health and wellbeing
  • Best for communities
  • Best visualisation or UI
  • (First year prize for) Best data mashup
We hoped to encourage students to make whatever they wanted, using whatever technologies they wanted, with use of open (or specially provided) data being favourably looked upon. 

Skyscanner were the first main sponsor on board, pledging prizes for two categories and some massive datasets that aren't usually public and access to internal APIs, as well as engineers to mentor.

We partnered with ALISS to encourage use of their local health and wellbeing data API; ALISS also sponsored in part a prize category.

The City of Edinburgh Council were on board with some never-before-seen downloadable datasets (still online!), a bunch of pre-approved API keys and refreshingly open minds and supportive attitudes.

CompSoc heroically sponsored an entire prize category and promoted the event to its members.

Open Innovation sponsored a prize category too, and the School of Informatics contributed towards prizes and catering.

Greener Leith proposed a challenge and sponsored a special Mosque Kitchen lunch for everyone after the mid-point presentations on Wednesday.

We were able to hold some terrific practical workshops, thanks to:
  • Tom Armitage and Stuart MacDonald, for handling geolocated resources.
  • Philip Roberts, for data visualisation with d3.js.
  • Oli Kingshott, for an introduction to version control, and HTML5 for beginners.
We also recruited mentors from UG4 and PhD students, as well as industry professionals, who were consistently present in the hacking space all week or available by Twitter, email and IRC.

We marketed the event in the couple of weeks prior (though we were organising up to the very last minute) through shout outs in lectures, posters around the Informatics department, emails to many university mailing lists and word of mouth.

As a result, we overshot our expected numbers, with well over 100 sign-ups by the start of the week.  This was good news and bad news at the time, as we had to scramble around to make sure we had enough sponsorship to feed everyone and whatnot.

By the end of the week, there were around 80 students still actively participating, across about 25 teams.  Pretty good!  Most of them were Informatics undergraduates as expected, but we had a handful of postgraduates and students from the ECA as well.

And the outcome?

Some amazing projects and really positive feedback from participants and supporters alike.

Naturally only a couple of days passed before somebody noticed that I hadn't sanitized input fields on the website for HTML and CSS input, so they made the projects page spin and play the Harlem Shake before I sorted that out, having been alerted at around midnight. /grumble.  Should have seen that coming, of course.

In the end we gave away £1500 in Amazon vouchers, five Nexus 7s and ten Kindle Fires.  Skyscanner even upped their sponsorship to three prizes because they were so spoilt for choice.

It was a really exciting and inspiring week for everyone involved.  Many of the students are taking their projects further (which is probably the most important outcome) and are in discussions with relevant parties to do so.

Will we do it again next year?  From the feedback gathered, the response has been a resounding yes!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Tigo tablet cover (crochet)

Lovingly crocheted over a couple of days.  No pattern, all approximated, with scraps of wool of the appropriate colours I just happened to have.

I started with a chain the length of the width (shortest side) of my Nexus 7, and single crocheted in each stitch down both sides, and carried on round; so I did the very bottom first and worked my way up in a flat rectangular spiral.  I dunno if that makes sense, but it immediately begins to take shape.

When I got to the right height, I carried on across the back, then just chained across the front, and continued as before, to make the opening.

Though it may look deliberate that the 'tail' sticks out a bit at each side, I actually made it too wide.  So I had to decide whether to carry on making it too big and pad it on the inside, or tuck the ends in and make it tighter with the green.  I chose the latter and it worked far better than I anticipated.

Most of it is just double crochet for no particular reason, but his fuzzy lil' chest is a pattern of alternating front-post triple crochet and back-post triple crochet (triple to compensate so it stays level with the 'normal' double crochet around the triangle, as front- and back-post double crochet are slightly shorter than regular double crochet).

His feet and wings are just chains; his eyes made just the way you'd make small circles, but skewed a bit to be ovals (I can't remember, I probably chained three, then [sc, hdc, hdc, tc, hdc, hdc, sc]x2, then sc in each stich around. Don't hold me to that though).  The black centres are literally just threaded through and through until they looked right, and the loose ends used to attach.  I shaped the beak by periodically crocheting two together.  I'm surprised it's as remotely symmetrical as it is, because I didn't count anything.

The resemblance is uncanny!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Scotland Public Notices experiments

Tell Me Scotland publish public notices for things like traffic, planning permissions... And they have a SPARQL endpoint!

I'm hacking around with the ultimate goal of creating an interface that allows people to generate a GeoRSS feed for a particular area.  Ally of GreenerLeith suggested this, so that they can use this to feed into their own apps.  A stage beyond that is to smoosh the whole lot into a Wordpress plugin, to make it accessible to anyone (who uses WP).

So far I've got the notices on an OpenStreetMap.  I haven't had a whole lot of time, but will make more soon.

I'm using the PHP library ARC2 to deal with the linked data.

NB. the TMS endpoint is, at the moment, flaky at best.  I think they're working on this.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Week in review: Reading and catching up

25th Feb - 3rd March

I spent most of this week in a remote village by the sea in the Scottish Highlands.

When I came back I read and made notes about the Semantic Web and social machines by TBL; and typed up some notes from a while ago about OntoMedia and the Semantic Web and communities by K. Faith Lawrence.

I also translated all of my written meeting notes into Evernote, which promptly glitched out and doubled the amount of typing I had to do.  (I considered switching back to Google Docs, but I need labels).  I sure love technology.

I refamiliarised myself with the structure OWL.  Awesome diagrams here.

I did some more thinking about how I need to work with amateur content creators to make an ontology that fits their workflow.  I should have finished the planning stage of this ages ago, but.. I blame the ILWhack.

I keep wondering about the best way to have a system of consistent URIs across a network where the information can move from server to server on the whim of a user.  During this wonderment I discovered that's login system is broken.  I joined the mailing list, and people complain about it and have it re-fixed fairly regularly, so I'll just wait..

Notes about the Semantic Web and social machines

J. Hendler, T. Berners-Lee, From the Semantic Web to social machines: A research challenge for AI on the World Wide Web, Artificial Intelligence (2009), doi:10.1016/j.artint.2009.11.010

Powerful human interactions enabled by futuristic high-speed infrastructure.
Empower Web of people via coupling of AI, social computing and new technologies.  "humanity in the loop".
Social machine: "...processes in which people do the creative work and the machine does the administration." (Weaving the Web, p172).
Struggling with social mechanisms to control predatory behaviour and threats to privacy.
-> Tech must be developed that allows user communities to construct / share / adapt social machines, so successful models evolve through trial, use and refinement.
Claims a new generation of Web Technologies needed to overcome barriers to this; cross-disciplinary approach needed.
  • creating tools
  • creating principles and guidelines
  • extending Web infrastructure re: information sharing and address privacy and user expectations of data use.

"...a revolutionarily more powerful platform for the individual, enabled by realizing that the individual is also a member of a community" (/ies)
"architecture of the future Web must be designed to allow the virtually unlimited interaction of the Web of people" (vs. documents now)

Giant Global Graph -
SW deployment:
  • [3] T. Berners-Lee, J. Hendler, O. Lassila, The semantic web, Scientific American (May 2001) 28–37.
  • [10] J. Hendler, Web 3.0 emerging, IEEE Computer 42 (1) (January 2009).
  • [11] I. Jacobs, N. Walsh (Eds.), Architecture of the World Wide Web, Volume One, 2004, W3C Recommendation 15 December 2004,

"disruptive potential" of SWt, "important paradigm shift"
"little work in understanding the impact of their new capability"
"the smaller we can make the individual steps of this transformation, the easier it will be to find humans who can be incentivized to perform those steps."
"need to develop mechanisms to enable [connections between people]"

Lack structure for formally computing qualities like:
  • trustworthiness
  • reliability
  • expectations about use of information
  • privacy
  • copyright
  • (etc)

"requires data structures... to treat social expectations and legal rules as first-class objects" ("declarative rule-based infrastructure that is appropriate for the Web").

"open and distributed nature of the Web requires that rule sets be linked together."Cross-context use, sometimes unanticipated.Inconsistency sure to arise.  No logics that control contradiction have been shown to scale well.
New approaches to problem of specifying contexts (need).
SMs must be able to apply different policies based on context.
Work in ontologies must extend to allow user communities to identify bias and share different interpretations.

Current security models / mechanisms insufficient.
[1] - formal models for privacy: L. Backstrom, C. Dwork, J. Kleinberg, Wherefore art thou r3579x?: Anonymized social networks, hidden patterns, and structural steganography, in: Proceedings of the 16th International World Wide Web Conference, Banff, 2007, pp. 181–190.
Provenance important in determining trustworthiness.
[20] information accountability, legal and public policy: D. Weitzner, H. Abelson, T. Berners-Lee, J. Feigenbaum, J. Hendler, G. Sussman, Information accountability, Communications of the ACM (June 2008).
policy-rule-based languages.Reasoners that can interpret policy and determine which uses of data are policy-compliant.-> How to tackle scaling?
[4] Lit review: T. Berners-Lee, W. Hall, J. Hendler, K. O’Hara, N. Shadbolt, D. Weitzner, A framework for web science, Foundations and Trends in Web Science 1 (1) (2006).

Notes on SW and Communities

Lawrence, K.F., schraefel, m.c.: Bringing communities to the semantic web and the semantic
web to communities. In: Proceedings of WWW2006. (2006)

Research into SW communities:

  • Communities of practice
  • Social networks, eg. FOAF

Compare with other definitions of communities outside of SW.
Concept: Internet Based Community Network, has properties of COP and SN.
Case study: Amateur Fiction Online.

Early community definitions, Howard Rheingold: "..webs of personal relationships in cyberspace."

1996 CSCW Conference defined prototypical attributes of communities (Whittacker):

  • Shared goal / interest / need
  • Repeated active participation, emotional ties and shared activities.
  • Shared resources and access policies
  • Information, support and services reciprocated between members ( overlap with ^ ?)
  • Shared context (culture, language)
  • Can be applied to virtual and offline communities.

-> More attributes = clearer example of community.


  • Social interaction
  • Shared purpose
  • Common set of expected behaviours
  • Computer system that facilitates and mediates communication

^^ Things in common.  Whittacker's is more inclusive/broad.

So for a SW SN:

  • Accessible via browser
  • Explicit links between users
  • System supports creation of these links
  • Links are visible and browseable

COP or SN may describe a community, not necessarily.  IBCN will do, and could be a COP or SN too.

Problem of Amateur Fic. is fluctuation of archive.  Personal sites go down etc.  How to find a story you remember a bit of?

IBCN is also combination of WBSN and virtual community.
Lack of incentive to use FOAF (eg. on LiveJournal etc) (Plus ignorance).
Doesn't offer anything they don't already have.
They don't use much metadata, just tons of human-readable stuff.

SW would allow:

  • "better integration of distributed systems"
  • "improved searching and filtering"
  • "more personalised services"
    •   experienced users
      • expand options
      •   new ways to interact
    •  new users
      •   ease introduction re: unwritten rules, expectations, terminologies

FOP extension to FOAF for anonymous identities.
('Fan Online Persona' - why not just 'Online Persona'?)
Consistency likely in community-based system because of advantages of reputation etc.  Identity cost.
Shared set of behaviour values, or risk losing rep.
Reputation gained by taking part.  (definitive part of community).
Additionally by creating works.

foaf:document and foaf:groups allow users to give details about their own creations and review work of others.

OntoMedia to describe content complements FOP.
Options in FOP gathered from study of metadata of works in mailing lists, websites and groups.
Recommender system -> notification system.

Allow SNS of writers to be studied at friend level and collaboration level.

Application to allow users to create FOP under development...

Notes about Annotating Multimedia with OntoMediaLawrence, K.F., schraefel, m.c.: Bringing communities to the semantic web and the semantic web to communities. In: Proceedings of WWW2006. (2006)

Michael O. Jewell, K. Faith Lawrence, Adam Prugel-Bennett, and m. c. schraefel (200?) Annotation of Multimedia Using OntoMedia

Check out a bit of discussion about this paper on Ontologies with a View.

OntoMedia for representing "diverse range of media".

Others for media:

  • CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (museums)
  • ABC Ontology (multimedia in libraries and digital archives)
  • Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (attribute and relationshops for task performed when consulting bibliographic records)
  • FictionFinder - FRBR to Online Computer Library Centre
  • WorldCat db - Metadata about characters and fictional places
    • Describe contents of films & comics etc for tracking things down to share you forgot?

None quite did what was needed.
So created to map to current models but specifically describe media content.
Hierarchical approach.

1. Overview
Entity / Event system
Entity: object, concept
Event: interaction between one or more entities
0 or more Entities are modified OR new Entity created
Entities not destroyed, but may have not-exists attribute

Decompose to sub-ontologies.

Mediate? Graphical interface.


  • Core
    • Expression (primarily elements and subclasses; Entity, Event)
    • Media (binding between media and Expression objects)
    • Space (extension of Signage Location Ontology, buildings, and regions of structures)
  • Extensions (more detailed subclasses to Core)
    • Being (people)
    • Trait (attributes of Entities)
  • Events (extends Core->Event)
    • Action
    • Gain
    • Loss
    • Travel
    • & properties thereof
  • Fiction
    • Character (on Being)
    • spoiler info. and accuracy
  • Media
    • More detailed than the one in Core; includes audio, image, photo, text and video subclasses
  • Misc - classes used by any or all of other classes, eg. colour, geometry

Specified in OWL
Developed in Protege and SWOOP.

2. Case Study
Scene from Total Recall annotated.  Represent script and characters, and characters from related book, and links between two forms.

Screenplay annotation - SiX - Screenplays in XML.
Wraps around existing content.
Transition (cuts, fades, blackouts), location, dialogue and direction (action taking place in the script)

SiX allows for DC, for creators, date, descr, title.
Custom XSL to conform marked up scripts to Oscar requirements for readability.

Script Item extends Media Item to link script representation to OntoMedia.
Use has-expression to tie to OntoMedia:Expression.

Describing places and access etc, like lift, like IF.
- For describing character continuity, eg 'can character really see x' etc.

Must describe events that don't occur.  Characters want to occur, etc.  Multiple timelines, dreams.

Declare events.
Create timeline and add occurances.
- events can be reused, and coincide.

3. Testing / querying
Imported into Sesame triplestore.
RDQL queries (subset of SPARQL, simpler, only ever has 1 graph pattern, doesn't use RDF data typing)

4. Conclusion
No examples of pictures - how to annotate comics?

Combining OM with other apps.
Stuff integrated into Mediate.