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Interview of TBL - The Questions/ Thank you - update and why not..Reflect and your oppinion will be published in SIGSEMIS Bulletin

From: Miltiadis Lytras <mdl@eltrun.gr>
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:03:22 +0300
Message-ID: <D518AD0B3F00324FB9D39202C4B7E65611A404@cosmos.eltrun.gr>
To: "Miltiadis Lytras" <mdl@eltrun.gr>, <semantic-web@w3c.org>, <semanticweb@yahoogroups.com>

Dear all
I would like to thank all of you for your great support in helping me putting together some nice interview questions fro Sir TBL. I have fwd our SIGSEMIS interview request to Janet@W3C and we are waiting for the reflection of Sir TBL.

In the next SIGSEMIS Bulletin, that will be published in the next 10 days I will provide a detailed list of contributors (if you contributed and dont like to make visible your name to this report just let me know). 

I would be happy to receive reflections and answers to the questions that I am copying below. If anybody of you is interested can send me a world file with some questions anwered because YOUR oppinion is also CRITICAL.This participation on the bebate will be hosted in the SIGSEMIS bulletin, and of course any one of you can prepare a short position document on any aspect of scepticism that is diffused in all questions. We will provide a special column on the Theme: "DEBATING on SW key issues".

For this reason i am copying here the two sets of questions (the one developed by you and the other by me). In case of acceptnace we will integrate the two sets in a meaningful way.

Thank you for your continuous support in AIS SIGSEMIS (http://www.sigsemis.org)



1.	William Woods wrote "Over time, many people have responded to the need for increased rigor in knowledge representation by turning to FOL as a semantic criterion. This distresses me, since it is already clear that FOL is insufficient to deal with many semantic problems,....".  Lotfi Zadeh has similarly talked about the limitations of crisp logic. And Tom Gruber and Amit Sheth have been talking about "informal, semi-formal, formal ontologies", and "implicit, formal and powerful semantics," (e.g., a paper in IJSWIS 1(1) titled "Semantics for the SW: the implicit, the formal and the powerful").  Challenges have been seen not only when modeling NLP problems but also when modeling Life Sciences.  However it seems, you are very bullish on DL and want to build at least initial SW on a DL based infrastructure. Is that so? If yes, why? If not, how do you anticipate that KR issues might progress?

2.	There is a long standing vision that has  focused on named relationships (e.g, Venevar Bush: "The process of tying two items together is the important thing.", William Woods: "What's in a link", or Amit Sheth" "Relationships at the heart of semantics").   DL provides reasoning based on sumbsmptive reasoning, but some see that to be highly limited in value and impact as it could not help much with exploiting named relationships, such as those in mining/discovery application that involve computing paths and "connecting the dots".  Could you please share your views on computing with a focus on relationships and contexts?

3.	What he thinks of Web 2.0. (www.web2con.com) - (The browser Flock, the email Zimbra, Ajax, etc)? 

4.	Has the Semantic Web lost an enormous opportunity of being part of the so-called Web 2.0 technologies?

5.	I would like to hear Sir Tim Berners-Lee comment on is the layered architecture/model of the Semantic Web 5 years after its introduction by him at the XML 2000 conference. Does the model/architecture change given the Current technologies, and how? 

6.	The WWW has been comparatively much more successful than Artificial Intelligence.  I see AI researchers are becoming very active in the Semantic Web.  Does that mean the Semantic Web will not be a success (compared to the standards of the WWW)?  Or, to put a positive spin on it, can the Semantic Web finally make AI a success?

7.	In Sir Berners-Lee's opinion, when will commercial tools help the development of semantic web-based implementation?  I.e., when will tools like DreamWeaver or FileMaker Pro support semantic web capabilities? 

8.	Over what time period do you expect the Semantic Web to enter mainstream technology and become as widely used as the existing web?

9.	To what extent will intelligent agents play a role in harnessing the Semantic Web and how would you define an agent within this context?

10.	What is the web after the Semantic Web? 

11.	It seems to be generally agreed that getting knowledge into machines in the Form of ontologies is a good thing.  On the other hand, one prominent person in this field recently presented a slide showing a disconnect between ontologies and ROI. (Return on Investment).Can you [Tim] please point out some areas where ontologies have provided ROI, or are expected to do so? Would validating that instance data from several sources conforms to a schema specified in OWL perhaps be one such area?

12.	The W3C is starting a Working Group on rule languages for the Semantic Web. What kinds of "rule languages" seem necessary on the SW and why? Are you considering reactive rules or trigger-like rules, i.e. of the kind if event then action, or deduction rules, i.e. rules of the kind if data then new-data? Are policies, e.g. for web service negotiations, a "rule issue" or an issue on its own for the W3C? What is new on the SW as far as rule languages are concerned? Will the W3C rule WG develop new rule languages? new rule processors? Is monotonic vs. non-monotonic negation a SW issue? An issue for rule languages on the SW?

13.	What are the key challenges for next generation Web search? How will multimedia search on the Web be addressed in the future? 

14.	Basically Albert-Loszlo Barabasi in Notre Dame Uni argued that WWW follows scale-free network model, which means that Zipf's law applies. My question is would Semantic Web follow the same law?

15.	A question I would like to see answered is related to TRUST - a lot has been done in terms of developing the SW infrastructure, better tools, languages and techniques but trust seems to be a bottleneck. Could you ask him to elaborate on this topic - present (federations, Verisign and the like, is it enough? ) and Future (do we need new technology? will we ever get there?)

16.	I think it's definitely worth touching on Tim's view of the role of the W3C. Is early central standardization relevant to web-centric technologies? One can certainly argue (and I do) that HTML and HTTP succeeded precisely because most of their evolution was conducted in  a distributed ad-hoc manner. Beyond Tim's original seed, the W3C contributed primarily after the fact, and its formal definitions are  still quite far removed from the realities of web distribution and applications. When the W3C has tried to blaze genuinely new ground, such as with XSchema and SOAP, developers and users tend to prefer simpler ad-hoc solutions. SOAP is being largely ignored in favour of  plain HTTP and XML; will the semantic web be built with W3C  standards, or with ad-hoc solutions emerging from user/developer communities?

17.	"Massively Multiplayer Online Games are among the richest online environments wrt to interactivity and communication between users, how do you think the relationship between the future web and such games will be?"

18.	What bothers me is that the assistance to newcomers in RDF/OWL is poorly organized, or rather not organized at all. Yes, we have our forum, but when I ask for solutions to problems the answers usually do not come from anyone of, say, the top-50 experts. There are a few occasional exceptions (Hendler, Manola, Hayes, Horrocks, Ayers, DeRoo) but that is about it (I may have forgotten one or two). Sometime, somewhere I have read a statement on the W3C site about the need to help implementers with their implementation (can't find it back), but in this case it may be a bit better organized. If SW really is required to take off, we better assist the one million-or-so new implementers. Not to be mistaken: I don't want to be a spoiled kid, because what has been accomplished so far is impressive, and free to use. I am grateful for that. My suggestion is to get this organized so that when someone really needs help, he/she gets it from an authoritive person (I'd rather have no response that a faulty one!). Perhaps they can render their services according a roster or so. I have "lived" for years on the forum for XML Schema, and found that one person (Henry Thompson) seemed to feel responsible for the provision of solutions in case nobody reacted..
19.	Why W3C is promoting technology which is 30 years behind the leading edge from a simplicity point of view and "square wheel" unreasonable.

20.	How come we're not getting there faster?" 

21.	What's his opinion on the Two Tower / One Tower-Rules quarrel going on? 2. Does he feel like the SemWeb is going in the direction he envisaged? 

22.	How did his vision change over time?

23.	"We know that you believe that the semantic web vision will extend to machine-to-machine services, to enable automatic discovery, composition, invocation, and monitoring of families of web services to support end-user requests.  What do you see as the sequence of major innovations and standardization activities that will bring this vision into reality, and how long do you think it will take?"

24.	Do you think that dimensions such as (version of resources, country or region of resources, level of trust of resources) which are used in (Learning metadata) will be key elements in the semantic web? Do you think that researches in learning communities are complementary to the SW road map, and resources will finally be like Learning objects? Do you think that the semantic web is moving to a big Geographic Information System in which boundaries will appears again?

25.	I would like to ask Sir. Timothy Berners Lee about his opinion on extending modelling of Semantic Web by ordering by relevance, preference, more or less semantically linked resources. This feature is present in Information Retrieval, search engines and also in multicriterial decision (just to mention a few). In his first vision of Semantic Web in the Scientific American paper it is present, but I am missing this in modelling standards recommended and/or developed by W3C.

26.	I'd be curious to know what he is doing at the moment (management? research? public relationship?) or/and what sort of issue he is in the process of tackling. What he regards as the current and short terms challenges in his capacity as a W3C chairman. So, that is a question centered on his activity. Now, more specifically and less about him, maybe, I would be curious to know whether he has any insight on current and short term researchable issues in the context of the semantic web. 

27.	Some Questions that are rarely asked of the W3C technical community:28.	 Why is the Internet still so English language dependent and centric? One of the greatest advantages of W3C/semantic web technology is to provide the detailed context to make multiple language platforms translations more accurate. For example; the technology exists today to apply English queries to Chinese data domains; and the reverse. 

29.	 Where is the future technical and market leadership to drive this multi language environment? Given the rapid growth of non-native English users and sources; particularly in Chinese, will the Internet split into language centric factions.   For example; Chinese and English users now interact largely within only their own separate language data domains.

30.	 Do defacto standards like Google; with the inherent limitations in content and context understanding, drive the Internet into separate language factions?

31.	 Given the lack of Google and W3C focus on development of a multi-language architecture; does this mean that we are all doomed to live within our own single language domains.

32.	What do you think of the capabilities, and the future, of the MKR language?

AND my SIGSEMIS point of view:

1.	Miltiadis: Dear Sir, I am delighted that you agreed to this interview. In a recent interview with Thomas Davenport he told me something quite interesting. "The only way we can make our field more useful is to start doing-and rewarding work that can be read and applied by businesspeople". How happy you are with the Business Impact of the SW till now?

2.	Miltiadis: You are leading W3C. What you regard as the current and short terms challenges in your capacity as a W3C Director.

3.	Miltiadis: In AIS SIG on Semantic Web and Information Systems we do believe in multidisciplinary contributions. How do you see the synergies of the SW with various scientific fields? Do you feel that a lot has to be done in the references of SW to established disciplines?

4.	Miltiadis: In the last couple years we try to boost awareness for SW in various communities. A common finding is while people are really thirsty to know more about SW they finally give it up since they consider SW as a solid technological issue. Do you think we are missing something in the SW cake?

5.	Miltiadis: Lately many people reveal the need to promote more human centric characteristics to the SW. For example Ambjorn Naeve from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden emphasizes on the need to apply a Context Modelling layer to SW pyramid, since people's needs relate to real world contexts- he provided the term Human Semantic Web to this. Have you update your SW definition since its first introduction to the Scientific America Article? 

6.	Miltiadis: The evolution of your web is really amazing. Currently some people discuss for Web 2.0 or put more critical milestones like the one of Ambient Web. If we look behind the interesting name-making for triggering people what are the key ingredients of SW in real world terms?

7.	Miltiadis: In our interview with Eric Miller, your W3C Semantic Web Activity Leader, a lot of emphasis was based on the priority for Collaborative life. What is your vision for the collaboration in the context of the SW?

8.	Miltiadis: Several times I am contacting people from research institutes worldwide. A general conclusion is that they all share a very optimistic vision for the role of new technologies but they face many problems. What are the major problems that you see in the promotion of the Digital World? 

9.	Miltiadis: Our colleagues in SIGSEMIS from all over the world provide the next five questions. In your opinion when will commercial tools help the development of semantic web-based implementation?  I.e., when will tools like DreamWeaver or FileMaker Pro support semantic web capabilities?

10.	Miltiadis: A lot of research is relating to Semantic Social Networking or Semantic Social Intelligence.  Do you anticipate Social Intelligence as a key part of your vision for the SW? 

11.	Miltiadis: If we judge from a content perspective the current web then many "deficits" will be evident. What about multimedia content management or content from virtual collaboration suites in SW era??

12.	Miltiadis: What would you say to companies who after years of handwork have finally gotten their systems integrated, and are reluctant to invest any further in integration technology even if it is better?

13.	Miltiadis: I am aware that you will have in Babson College, where Tom Davenport is leading the Research, a talk on SW. How do you see the collaboration of CS and IS people towards the creation and promotion of fresh ideas on the role of the SW to our society?

14.	Miltiadis: Recently I interviewed Prof. Amit Sheth, from LSDIS of the University of Georgia, and CTO of Semagix. He is enthusiastic for the role of Semantics. With the emergence of mobile and Wireless networks how important you think is the research on semantics of less traditional contexts. E.g. the Semantics of M-business? 

15.	Miltiadis: We have many inquiries to ask you for the potential application of SW to specific industries. E.g. defence, social security, government etc. Which sectors do you anticipate as more mature to harvest the SW benefits? 

16.	Miltiadis: If we look at the world map, then I feel that we (as computer science/information systems people) must be sad for the gap between developed world and the countries that fall behind. At the other extreme of course technologies provide a new opportunity for self-sustained development. What is your vision for a social sensitive SW - or how leading edge approaches like SW could promote critical social objectives?

17.	Miltiadis: Semantic Web and university curricula. How do you see the integration of Semantic Web within Computer Science and Information Systems academic programs ?And further more how do you judge the training opportunities for people in SW technologies? Is there a gap there?

18.	Miltiadis: Many people worldwide perceive that Google will be the first industry player that will commercialise SW technologies? Is this due to the culture of Google to invest in the knowledge of people or a matter that SW requires economies of Scale?

19.	Miltiadis: In SIGSEMIS we are working on the development of SWISE (SW enabled Information Systems) Research and Competence Centre - a multidisciplinary distributed centre with open access and participants from various disciplines.  How do you see informal groups and communities of practice worldwide to contribute to your vision for the SW?

20.	Miltiadis: Any thoughts you would care to share on the formation of the Special Interest Group on Semantic Web and Information Systems on AIS?


So SIR TBL accept our kind ivitation:)

Janet thank you for all
Kindest Regards

Received on Friday, 21 October 2005 10:03:59 UTC

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