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More use cases - Berners-Lee, Hendler

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 21:30:55 -0500
Message-Id: <p04330105b82b49bce2fb@[]>
To: www-webont-wg@w3.org

Although not addressed at ontologies per se, Tim Berners-Lee has 
started writing  about how the semantic web could be used soon (as 
opposed to vision).  His short white paper at [1] is something 
everyone should read and consider as one of our use cases.  I'm 
working on extending his white paper to a new one, will circulate to 
this group when it is ready.

[1] http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Business


Here is my use case:

For many general users of the web, creating content is very hard. 
They can learn to master the tools (word, powerpoint, frontpage, 
Claris home page, etc.), but they can't seem to figure out what to 
say.  They want to create nice looking pages,but cannot handle the 
issue of both expressing content and linking to appropriate 
resources.  I think web ontologies can help them tremendously (and 
they will also, in turn, be producing a lot of markup for us!)

Here's how I think it could work -- a crawler goes around finding 
ontologies and collecting them into a virtual ontology library (see 
the ontology library at www.daml.org as an example).  A simple tool 
can be used to retrieve classes based on string matches (again, 
there's already an example).  Thus, a user could be prompted with 
some hints:

Do you want to:
   Write about a hobby.
   Write about a person
   Write about your occupation

Clicking one of these would ask for a keyword
  "Enter the job you do" ____________

and enters a keyword (say "Professor")  - what comes back would be 
something like:
Class Names Containing "professor"

    1. AssistantProfessor
    2. AssistantProfessor
    3. AssistantProfessor
    4. AssistantProfessor
    5. AssociateProfessor
    6. AssociateProfessor
    7. AssociateProfessor
    8. AssociateProfessor
    9. FullProfessor
   10. FullProfessor
   11. FullProfessor
   12. FullProfessor
   13. Professor
   14. Professor
   15. Professor
   16. Professor
   17. Professor
   18. VisitingProfessor
   19. VisitingProfessor
   20. VisitingProfessor

(this is real result from DAML library, I'd like something nicer looking)

Clicking these will show a set of properties as a form to be filled 
in ,  Since we will know the types of these properties, we can use 
appropriate menus/forms to make it easy (if another class, the person 
can have a choice between entering a string or getting the form for 
that class to fill in)

This then goes back to the "Do you want to:" until the person is satisfied.

Upon completion, a set of formatting rules creates a nice looking 
version of the content, and saves it to some web server.

Note that the user is happy to have a web page which looks good, and 
the SW is happy because it has machine readable content about the 
objects (Since the forms were geerated frm the ontology in the first 

NOTE:  There are some real challenges here to our langauge use -- 
first, the person is likely to like some properties from one 
ontology's definition of something and one from another -- i.e. If I 
look at the 4 FullProfessor things above, I find a set of different 
properties - I would want a combined form, or an easy way for someone 
to choose multiple ones.  Second, there needs to be an "other" field 
where someone can (without realizing it) add a property -- so when I 
find none of the professors have "working group" as a property, I add 
it - and maybe have some simple way to restrict it, maybe not. 
However, my page now could contain the fact that

jimhpage:Fullprofessor a wol:class,
   rdfs:subclass cmuatlas:FullProfessor.

jimhpage:workinggroup a wol:property,
  rdfs:range cmuatlas:FullProfessor.

which in turn goes into the database, so the next person to ask for a 
professor will see a new property on fullprofessors - a "WorkingGroup"

Professor James Hendler				  hendler@cs.umd.edu
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
AV Williams Building, Univ of Maryland		  College Park, MD 20742
Received on Wednesday, 28 November 2001 21:31:04 UTC

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