Re: Some thoughts on effective access to "primary" vs "secondary" resources, consistency of descriptions, and bootstrapping the semantic web...


FYI, I am now a member of the SWBP Working Group and, as you will be aware,
also share your opinions on the importance of bootstrapping mechanisms for
the Semantic Web. In particular I agree that the issue of authority is one
that should be investigated from the point of best practice.

Obviously there is much debate to be had here - and I’m aware that raw
personal opinion is a much sharper, but far less effective, tool than
collaborative study - but personally I am not sure that even the authority
specified in a URI itself can be taken as a valid source of ‘boot’ or
‘self-description information.

My preference now follows the work of Jon Klienberg (Authoritative sources
in a hyperlinked environment.). Its been a while since I read Jon’s work
properly, but if I remember correctly he proposes an algorythmic scheme
based both upon patterns found internally within a URI (semantics,syntax,
structure etc), patterns found within the external URIs that reference, and
are referenced by, the URI and the patterns  formed by the references
themselves (i.e., the context in which the URI exists). This provides a
much richer picture of a URI than semantic self-referencing on its own, and
possibly provides a valid base on which also to establish composite IFP
schemes for automatically aggregating dynamic ontologies. Obviously,
however, such schemes involve much higher levels of complexity than is
currently common on the Semantic Web today. Nevertheless, for me, authority
is a holistic concept that involves varying degrees of trust – an over used
term if ever there was one. It cannot necessarily be represented purely via
formal semantics. The embodiement of stochastic based algorithms, either
within, or in layers above the Semantic Web may well be one route to
achieving authoritative credibility for use by automated mechanisms such as
semantic web agents. My current position is that standardisation on such
algorithms could, ultimately, be of more value to the Web’s future than
applying best practice rules solely at the semantic language level. We
shall see. Perhaps this is a valid subject for the SWBP WG?

Following on this line of thought, I consider your semantic request “tell
me about this thing”, to too generic, unfortunately, to be useful.
Additionally, relying on default semantic schemes to define default schemes
of consistency, for me, appears to degrade the deliberately open
descriptive mechanisms behind the Semantic Web. Perhaps a better idea might
be, “tell me how to find something about this think that I can trust with a
given degree of certainty. If you can’t provide me with such a specific
method, Ill default to my own preferred means which are….yada, yada”.

Please forgive me for rambling, but I too consider this an important area.
I look forward to the day when autonomic issues like this possibly become
mainstream agenda items on a number of standards based working groups.


Phil Tetlow
Senior Consultant
IBM Business Consulting Services
Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328

             Sent by:                                                   To 
             public-swbp-wg-re         <>             
             08/10/2004 11:44          Some thoughts on effective access   
                                       to "primary" vs "secondary"         
                                       resources, consistency of           
                                       descriptions, and bootstrapping the 
                                       semantic web...                     

I draw the SWBP WG's attention to some comments which I feel
are relevant to the WG's activities:



Received on Friday, 8 October 2004 13:34:10 UTC