Annotation Paper Submitted to HPCS 2007 Event

I’ve blogged and presented recently (locally and at an international scientific event) on the topic of annotation and knowledge representation.

Working with co-authors Jerusha Lederman, Jim Freemantle and Keith Aldridge, a written version of the recent AGU presentation has been prepared and submitted to the HPCS 2007 event. The abstract is as follows:

Semantically Enabling the Global Geodynamics Project:
Incorporating Feature-Based Annotations via XML Pointer Language (XPointer)

Earth Science Markup Language (ESML) is efficient and effective in representing scientific data in an XML-based formalism. However, features of the data being represented are not accounted for in ESML. Such features might derive from events, identifications, or some other source. In order to account for features in an ESML context, they are considered from the perspective of annotation. Although it is possible to extend ESML to incorporate feature-based annotations internally, there are complicating factors identified that apply to ESML and most XML dialects. Rather than pursue the ESML-extension approach, an external representation for feature-based annotations via XML Pointer Language (XPointer) is developed. In previous work, it has been shown that it is possible to extract relationships from ESML-based representations, and capture the results in the Resource Description Format (RDF). Application of this same requirement to XPointer-based annotations of ESML representations results in a revised semantic framework for the Global Geodynamics Project (GGP).

Once the paper is accepted, I’ll make a pre-submission version available online.

Because the AGU session I participated in has also issued a call for papers, I’ll be extending the HPCS 2007 submission in various interesting ways.

And finally, thoughts are starting to gel on how annotations may be worked into the emerging notions I’ve been having on knowledge-based heuristics.

Stay tuned.

Knowledge-Based Heuristics: Further Research is Required

Recently, I’ve blogged about:

In both cases, there’s a case to be made for combining heuristic with knowledge-based approaches.

Although I did find “heuristics” and “knowledge” juxtaposed in Googling for “knowledge-based heuristics”, I believe the tightly coupled examples I’ve described above have some degree of novelty.

Further research is required 🙂

A Bayesian-Ontological Approach for Fighting Spam

When it comes to fighting spam, Bayesian and ontological approaches are not mutually exclusive.

They could be used together in a highly complimentary fashion.

For example you could use Bayesian approaches, as they are implemented today, to build a spam ontology. In other words, the Bayesian approach would be extended through the addition of knowledge-representation methods for fighting spam.

This is almost the opposite of the Wikipedia-based approach I blogged about recently.

In the Wikipedia-based approach, the ontology consists of ham-based knowledge.

In the alternative I’ve presented here, the ontology consists of spam-based knowledge.

Both approaches are technically viable. However, it’d be interesting to see which one actually works better in practice.

Either way, automated approaches for constructing ontologies, as I’ve outlined elsewhere, are likely to be of significant applicability here.

Another point is also clear: Either way, this will be a computationally intensive activity!

An Ontological Approach for Fighting Spam

Over the years, I’ve been impressed by Bayesian methods for fighting spam.

And although Bayesian methods improve by learning, they are ultimately statistically based.

In what I believe to be a first, Technion Faculty of Computer Science researchers have revealed their plans to develop an ontologically based solution for fighting spam. Also of interest is the fact that their raw data will come from Wikipedia.

These researchers could use the approach I’ve outlined elsewhere to build their ontologies.

Ultimately, it’ll be interesting to see how well this knowledge-based approach compares with Bayesian and other approaches in common usage today.

In-situ Investment in India: A Key to Cisco’s Globalization Strategy

globeandmail.com reports:

… chief globalization officer at Cisco Systems Inc., [Wim] Elfrink is taking his wife, two daughters and the family dog from suburban Silicon Valley to Bangalore, India.

Why?

I just tell people that I want to be where the innovation is.

Elfrink and Cisco’s decision seems have support:

International business experts say Cisco’s executive migration is a shrewd move that should give high-ranking employees critical insight into one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

This announcement is interesting on a number of levels:

  • It’s a gutsy move by a senior executive at one of The Valley’s most-prominent companies. And it follows on the heels of US concerns about outsourcing, and specifically to India.
  • It bears testimony to India’s rapid arrival on the technology scene in a very substantial way.
  • And though I’m no economist, it also underscores a shift in innovation from The Valley to Asia.

Even though Cisco isn’t the first to make moves like this, it will be interesting to see how this develops.

Disruptive Innovations: The Company

In blogging about DICtabrain, I used the phrase “disruptive innovation”. Then, in Googling this phrase I ran across Disruptive Innovations, the company.

Their tagline is: “We build today the tools you are going to use tomorrow”. Apparently, they will deliver on this promise through the combination of “Innovation + Open Source + Standards + Chutzpah”.

One of their products is the Nvu (pronounced N-View) editor. This editor has Mozilla roots and is being used by some of the highest-profile digerati (TBL, GK). True to their promise, Nvu remain Open Source.

In August of last year, Disruptive Innovations joined the W3C.

Disruptive Innovations looks like an interesting company to watch.

DICtabrain: “Voice Powered Ideas”

In a recent post, I blogged:

… Jott goes a lot farther than my low-tech solution:

  • You call their toll-free number
  • You leave a message – your reminder, to-do, idea, etc.
  • Jott transcribes your message, and delivers the corresponding text to your phone and email

“Obscenely simple … incredibly clever” (Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech). I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.

I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones -(

Fortunately, there’s great news for us Canucks as DICtabrain is developing a similar solution 🙂

Although I expect to have more to blog about soon, it’s worth noting that DICtabrain:

  • Makes an explicit connection to blogging
  • Is looking for alpha-trial participants
  • Has their own blog

Some may be nonplussed by services like DICtabrain’s or Jott’s.

As DICtabrain’s James Woods blogs:

Some people will never understand the benefits of voice powered writing while others seem to be waiting for it with baited breath.

I think the reason for this disconnect is the creative process itself.

Some people need to internalize their creative process by working things through inside their heads.

Others need to externalize it. And its for the externalizers that frameworks like GTD and solutions like DICtabrain’s make complete and total sense. In DICtabrain’s words: “Good ideas are only valuable if they can be remember[ed] and then actioned.

With Jott and DICtabrain appearing on the scene with similar solutions within the past 3-4 months, it’s clear that there’s something interesting happening.

Perhaps Jott and DICtabrain have glommed onto a disruptive innovation.

What are they disrupting?

How about the dictaphone + analog/digital voice recorders + voicemail + technology for action management methods.

Collectively!

That’s an impressive disruption, and one of the reasons why companies like DICtabrain and Jott are likely to draw attention from the likes of:

  • Traditional dictaphone companies – ??
  • Consumer electronics companies – Apple, Sony, etc.
  • Telcos/Networking companies – Cisco, Nortel, Skype, etc.
  • Software companies – Google, Microsoft, Nuance, etc.
  • And others

With unified messaging a key deliverable of enterprise-class traditional PBX and VoIP solutions, injecting the DICtabrain or Jott solution into the mix could be quite interesting. For example when you have robust IP connectivity, you have the networked equivalent of Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking in Skype + (DICtabrain or Jott) … and potentially more!

To re-quote Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech: “Obscenely simple … incredibly clever”.

Let me close (again) with a small dose of realism:

I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me.