ICCS 2001 Workshop
PORT's Workshop on the Semantic Web

PORT's Semantic Web workshop will examine and demonstrate what currently developing Conceptual Structures technologies might contribute to Tim Berners-Lee's view of collaboration as "intercreativity" in the future Web http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Weaving/Overview.html http://www.w3.org/History.html.

The PORT (Peirce On-line Resource Testbeds) collaboratory project [see ICCS '97 Proceedings] has been postponed since 1997, due to copyright complications, but we now see the Semantic Web as an infrastructure in which PORT might launch a research program for ICS tools development, in the mode of continuous improvement. The goal of PORT's collaboratory-testbed method of researching, testing, improving, marketing, and servicing on the Web is to increase the efficiency of customizing tools and conserving resources. As John Sowa urges: "Instead of producing multiple monolithic systems, which have a great deal of duplication of effort, we should consider breaking them into smaller, independent 'tools' that can be mixed, matched, and shared more easily." In the Semantic Web, KR tool development can engage PORT participants more closely in determining how automation technology might assist them in on-line resource data preparation, discourse, and inquiry.

The Web Consortium's current methodology, LEAD (Live Early Adoption and Demonstration), has the pragmatic nature we envision for the collaboratory testbeds of PORT operation, and the Consortium's plan for Semantic Web evolution requires effective collaboration among computers to augment human collaboration for intercreativity. With some mapping between RDF and CGs [see http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues and Corby, Dieng, and Hebert's "A Conceptual Graph Model for W3C Resource Description Framework," in ICCS Proceedings, 2000; http://www-sop.inria.fr/acacia/personnel/corby/corese.html] the progress of International Conceptual Structures technology might be effectively studied and accelerated in the context and operation of PORT's collaboratory testbeds, somewhat the way the LEAD bootstrapping method informally works for W3C. Testbeds must support the process of all participants coming to understand norms and practices of the collaborating group. Technology users must have parity with developers in exploring the utility of various technical approaches and practices by which the collaborating community might take advantage of emerging technologies. This intricately complex mode of development is an example of the new "social machine," which Berners-Lee identifies as the purpose of the Semantic Web.

The ICCS Semantic Web workshop will use the example of a collaborating textual editing community, in the context of PORT, to discuss and demonstrate a range of Conceptual Structures tools that could apply to the collaborative work of imaging, transcribing, indexing, and cataloguing in testbed operations. Tools to be tested could include most of those presented at ICCS conferences to date:

ontology-based search and retrieval, knowledge acquisition, interlingua (for both natural language translation and system integration), database, document, knowledge-base, and discourse management, authoring support and narrative analysis, communication services support and interoperability.

The PORT collabortory must develop a facility to respond to the leading semiotic question, "Who needs What technology for What purpose?" In the workshop we hope to institute three basic functions for that facility:

1. A registry for tools that categorizes their similarities and differences in purpose and design.

2. An on-line facility for reporting tool trials and tracking successive trial results.

3. A dynamic visualization showing possible functional relationships of tools in evolution.

Although this workshop is intended for PORT members, any developer who wants to test or experiment with an ICS tool in a working context, and any researcher who wants to try using and assisting in the development of tools to work better in that context may join us.

Participants who have tools to test should submit a short paper (as prescribed by the ICCS CFP). The paper should introduce the tool in terms of how it might contribute to the PORT resource development context. Anyone who wants to participate as a researcher-user of any tools may submit a paper, which would be very welcome, but may simply notify the committee of their willingness to participate in testing and submit a follow-up paper or summarizing comments. All papers will be reviewed by all participants, and those selected will be published on the Web as part of the workshop project.

As part of the Workshop's virtual operating context for demonstration and testing, we will be setting up an on-line, remote access facility to make participation possible by those unable to attend the conference, along with those who come to Stanford. All participation will be documented and used to experiment with ICS tools in PORT's further development.

We need to have some idea who might participate, especially those who might bring tools to test, by the end of March.

Members of the workshop committee (at the moment) are:

Aldo de Moor
Jens-Erik Mai
Howard Liu
Jack Park
Uta Priss
Arno Puder
Bill Tepfenhart
Mary Keeler

Anyone interested should contact Mary Keeler (mkeeler@u.washington.edu) to discuss how we might set up their tool or engage their research expertise in testing.