Jana Herwig

Information Extraction in KiWi

The KiWi meeting is drawing to an end. Marek Schmidt and Pavel Smrz from Brno University of Technology have just given a really exciting presentation of their results in the area of information extraction – and it seems I have developed a case of tendonitis (a.k.a. “mouse hand”) and for the sake of my health will stop blogging for today. Instead of the usual comprehensive coverage, this photo must suffice as a proof of the magic Marek and Pavel’s system is already able to do – please marvel the complex tags that are the product of their information extraction (IE) module. The roles of IE as an enabling technology within KiWi will be in: automatic recognition of (new) terms, entity recognition, text classification and relation extraction.

Information extraction

KiWi team! In particular Klara Weiand who is about to start her presentation on Tags and Queries, please accept my apology! Thank you, good bye, and have a save trip home!

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Jana Herwig

KiWi as a Social Wiki Platform for Software Development, Open Ontology Management

KiWi – Knowledge in a Wiki, Day 2 – Josef Holy from Sun Microsystems Prague led the first part of today’s use case presentation. With the KiWi semantic wiki system (or: wiki on steroids, as Josef Holy put it), they want to be able to increase the productivity of knowledge workers. Sun Microsystems have extensive experience with online and community collaboration and they want Kiwi to become a social wiki platform that is deployable in various contexts, i.e. that ties in with other platforms such as Netbeans or Zembly.

One of Sun’s further assumptions is that users will migrate to KiWi neither immediately nor completely – and that’s an insight anyone developing yet another social platform should take to their heart. What was true in Field of Dreams – “If you build it, they will come” – does not quite apply here. The network effect works in favour of existing communities, and instead of striving to replace an existing platform, one might be better off with mashable contents and services.

The particular benefit of a semantic wiki is that it allows moving from unstructured to structured information (relatively) easily. For KiWi @ Sun (and in favour of mashed information), this means that what is relevant will be structured, both by people and by machines – a process that is going to extend beyond company boundaries. People will bring in structure by creating links from KiWi documents to external systems as well as by writing new facts (which the KiWi system will represent as triples) about external information. What is not relevant, won’t be structured – and will be forgotten. After all, it’s forgetting that makes you remember the important stuff.

Sun Microsystems use Case

One note about the users of KiWi at Sun: Since this use case focuses on knowledge management for software development, it can be taken for granted that users will have an above-average level of web savvyness. Primary users will be software designers (i.e. the people who design for the users of the final product) and developers – learn more about the different roles in a software development project at Sun here.

Consequently, the User Interface (UI) concept Josef introduced also comprises a social networking unit – things such as a ‘My Contacts’, ‘My Pages’ list, but most importantly an activity feed, which will help users to collaborate, participate, discover activities that others are currently working, develop a mental ‘social map’ of the community. Such an activity stream (similar to Facebook’s News Stream) would contain items such as:

  • Szaby wrote a blog post
  • Josef rated document XUI specs: five stars
  • Peter created document ToDoList KiWi-UI
  • Stephanie is now a contact of Marek
  • Klara shared a document with Sebastian

Considering the target group, it is also planned that the UI will be extensible through widgets that users are able to write themselves.

*coffee break*
KiWi Team Meeting Vienna
Above: The KiWi-Team, hailing (officially) from Austria, the Czech republic, Denmark and Germany

After the break, Andreas Blumauer (Semantic Web Company, Vienna) followed up with a talk entitled “Open Ontology Management & Linked Data” which explored the uses of the Web of Data for the Sun usecase.

His argument was that content and topic-centred, open communities should have mechanisms at their disposal for relating content and activities to particular parts of a shared concept model, e.g. of an ontology. In particular in projects like NetBeans, where contents and related processes evolve over time, different NetBeans groups utilizing the KIWI system should be allowed to maintain and share their own concept models. The combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches would, for instance, come as the combination of free tagging (where people often use different labels to refer to the same, or the same label to refer to different things) and concept tagging.

Free and Controlled Tags

Free concepts can be turned into controlled ones, too, by being inserted into an existing controlled vocabulary, as either a narrower or related concept of any existing controlled concept. Open Ontology Management done this way is a Learning system: Through the combination of a Free Extraction Model (FEM) and a Controlled Extraction Model (CEM), text extraction improves over time.

Andreas also revealed a first glimpse of a project currently in stealth mode, code name ‘PoolParty’, which is an Open Ontology Management System that can be used to enrich local knowledge with data from the web. PoolParty consumes Linked Data and provides Linked Data; in the context of the current use case, it will be able to communicate with the KiWi System. Please contact Andreas if you would like to be notified about the further development of PoolParty.

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Jana Herwig

Knowledge Management for Project Management: from unstructured to structured information

KiWi – Knowledge in a Wiki session, pt. 2: This afternoon, we turned to the Logica use case, which is dedicated to the development and optimization of KiWi as a knowledge management tool specifically tailored to the needs of project management.

Regarding the use case requirements: As Daniel Grolin, a process expert and business architect at Logica (formerly WM Data), pointed out, what is most required at the moment is an application for designing processes, i.e. for designing the ways that people do things. This can be a painful process, in particular if one group of people (consisting of process designers) thinks about the ways that another group of people (e.g. the project managers) are going to do certain things – a collaborative approach should be able to

1) alleviate this challenge
2) generate commitment among the involved parties.

The primary users will be on the one hand the process engineers, and on the other hand the project managers who are the recipients and users of these processes.

In his presentation, Daniel Grolin chose one of four scenarios in which KiWi would ideally be employed: the risk analysis process – which is a vital process for Logica, as the outcomes of this analysis influence the decision whether or not a project will be accepted. From an architectural point of view, KiWi is going to mediate between the process guidance column – which consists of process and workflow features – and the final work product, i.e the result of a process, in this case the report of the risk analysis.

In practice this means that if, for instance, a user has selected the risk analysis process, the Kiwi core system and enabling technologies will provide concepts related to risk analysis, supporting the user in the tagging process. Wiki technology is already being used in the industry, said Daniel, but what is lacking at the moment is the integration of structure, and this is also where he sees the potential of KiWi as a knowledge management tool, and as a means to move easily from unstructured to structured information (by the way, if you are interested in using wikis in the enterprise, I also recommend this article: Wikis for Knowledge Engineering, and in Global Businesses).

Karsten Jahn

Karsten Jahn (Aalborg University) then gave us a preview of a possible user interface (i.e. not of the screen design, but the functionalities) which seeks to address one particular problem: Many companies use many different, sophisticated tools which operate fine on their own, but are not integrated (i.e. there is no communication or exchange of data between them). With KiWi, the aim is to develop a tool that is going to be able to cover all features and processes currently being taken care of by individual tools, to allow for an optimum of data integration.

To conclude, Rolf Sint (Salzburg Research) showed us screens of the current configuration of KiWi for Logica’s needs – the example below is related to the risk analysis process outlined by Daniel Grolin above.

Logica Kiwi Wiki

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Jana Herwig

Content Versatility in the KiWi Core System

It’s been five months since the last Joint Work Package (WP) meeting in the KiWi – Knowledge in a Wiki – project. This morning, we gathered in Vienna for the next round – focus this time around will be on the core system (architecture developed by the WP3 team, handing over and paving the way for WP 4 team) and the use cases (Logica, Sun Microsystems) where it is of particular importance that everyone involved in the project understands the requirements of the use cases.

In the first presentation today, Sebastian Schaffert from Salzburg Research gave us a tour of two different configurations of the KiWi system. The KiWi core system is oriented towards content versatility, meaning that content items can be displayed and used in various contexts and configurations. As a service to the user, KiWi uses Javascript-based WYSIWYG Editor TinyMCE enhanced with a few home-grown plug-ins which, for instance, make it easier to set links to other wiki pages. Memorizing wiki shorthand is sometimes a challenge, so this feature helps getting things done.

Using a different skin and interface, KiWi can take various forms and shapes – even shapes where you might not spot the wiki in it at first glance. TagIT is such an example of an adaptation of the KiWi core system: a geotagging platform targeting youth in Salzburg who can locate, tag and comment on places that matter to them.

Vice versa, KiWi in its wiki incarnation displays a little map, provided a content item is enhanced with geoinformation; technically, the map on the wiki page is an interpretation of a georelated tag (learn more about complex, structured tags proposed by the KiWi Enabling Technologies Work Package in this article: Usage Data Model Day in the KiWi Project).

Take a look at the screenshots below:


It is the same article that is being displayed, in the first example using the classic KiWi interface, in the second example using the TagIT interface with the article appearing as an info page.

TagIt Screenshot

This afternoon, we expect to see another configuration of the system, in a presentation about how the system is specifically tailored to the needs of Logica’s “Knowledge Management for Project Management” usecase.

N.B. The system is not yet publicly available, if you have questions, please contact Sebastian Schaffert.

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