Ontolog Forum

SemanticWiki mini-series: program planning session - Thu 18-Sep-2008

  • this session will be devoted to the establishment, discussion, program planning, coordination and scheduling of events and activities for the emerging SemanticWiki mini-series. We are hoping that individuals deeply interested in this topic, including candidate speakers and panelists, will be able to join us at this planning session to help forge a program that will be useful and meaningful to the community.

Conference Call Details

  • Date: Thursday, Sep. 18, 2008
  • Start Time: 10:30 AM PDT / 1:30 PM EDT / 7:30pm CEST / 17:30 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: ~1.5 hours
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  • Expecting:
    • Navjyoti Singh
    • GQ Zhang (CWRU)
    • Mark Greaves (have conflict, but will try calling in, at least partially)
    • Kurt Cagle (O'Reilly Media)
    • Mark Musen (have conflict, but will try calling in, at least partially)
    • SvenVanPoucke
    • ... to register for participation, please add your name (plus your affiliation, if you aren't already a member of the community) above, or e-mail <> so that we can reserve enough resources to support everyone's participation. ...


In a recent community planning session, it was identified that the development and application of semantic wikis has been growing at such a fast pace in the last 2~3 years. Those at the meeting agreed that it would be very useful to create an opportunity to allow those in the ontology community who are doing relevant work to come together, discuss their work, exchange ideas and explore possible collaboration.

Li Ding (RPI Tetherless World Constellatiion), Sebastian Schaffert (Salzburg Research, Austria), Harold Solbrig (Mayo Clinic), Max Voelkel (AIFB-Karlsruhe) and Peter P. Yim (Ontolog, CIM3) have graciously agreed to co-champion a mini-series with the above focus. They put some initial thoughts together, and started to reach out to others in the community to help forge a program that could be meaningful and useful to the broader ontology community.

This is the planning meeting that we hope individuals deeply interested in the subject of semantic wikis (researchers, developers, program administrators), including, of course, candidate speakers and panelists, can all come together virtually, to explore and put together this Semantic Wiki mini-series program.

See: SemanticWiki ... the developing home page for this mini-series project

Agenda & Proceedings

SemanticWiki mini-series: program planning

  • Session Format: this is a virtual session conducted over an augmented conference call
    • 0. Opening (5 minutes)
    • 1. we'll go around with a self-introduction of participants (15~20 minutes)
    • 2. Overview: SemanticWiki mini-series: background, objectives, and what we want to achieve at this meeting (10 min.)
    • 3. Open discussion: (all)
    • 3.1 What do we want to get out of this mini-series?
      • those in attendance are requested to make an entry, onto the chatboard with their top 3 items on their wish-list (from this mini-series)
    • 3.2 Who are the individuals and institutions doing relevant work that we want to hear/learn from?
      • those in attendance are requested to make an entry, onto the chatboard, with their: name, topic/title, url-of-their-work
      • who else should we invite - (all) to propose: name, email, topic/title, url-of-their-work
    • 3.3 Program and Deliverables - scoping and clustering, program span and number of sessions, scheduling the sessions, ...
    • 3.4 (possibly) Adopt a scope, span, and a set of objectives for this mini-series
    • 4. Support infrastructure and administrivia; announcements
    • 5. Conclusion / Follow-up (5 minutes)


Discussions and Q & A

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  • thanks to the folks, one can now use a jabber/xmpp client (e.g. gtalk) to join this chatroom. Just add the room as a buddy - (in our case here) ... Handy for mobile devices!

Transcript of the real time chat session

The transcript has been edited to improve on readability and relevance. Participants are encouraged to review,

and edit their own statements to clarify their messages, where appropriate. =ppy

Peter P. Yim: Welcome to the SemanticWiki mini-series: program planning session - Thu 18-Sep-2008

  • this session will be devoted to the establishment, discussion, program planning, coordination and

scheduling of events and activities for the emerging SemanticWiki mini-series. We are hoping that

individuals deeply interested in this topic, including candidate speakers and panelists, will be

able to join us at this planning session to help forge a program that will be useful and meaningful

to the community.

Matthias Samwald: is the VNC session running already? i can't access it.

Peter P. Yim: Matthias ... if you are behind firewalls, you'll probably have difficulities with the VNC service,

just download the slides and ruin it on your desktop, please

[ed. - In reference to SebastianSchaffert's remark, during the slide presentation, that the

traditional "openness" associated with wiki's is no longer a mandate, as there are

many private instances of wikis running, as people do set them up behind firewalls

in institutional settings. Other remarks that immediately follow may also be in response

to things being said on the presentation. =ppy]

Christoph Lange: concerning openness, I'd still say a wiki is more "open" than other systems,

because usually most people who _do_ have access, are treated equally

Peter P. Yim: I concur (regarding this point about "openness") ... thanks, Christoph

DeborahMcGuinness: i like the point that the community got going over beer

Sebastian Schaffert: I am from Bavaria, so beer is of high importance (and supports creativity )

Christoph Lange:

Sebastian Schaffert: regarding openness: what I am referring to is that in enterprise settings

you often have to find a compromise; most companies are still hierarchically

organised and they want some control over whom can access and modify what

Sebastian Schaffert: but this is not really in conflict with wikis

Sebastian Schaffert: and they can be used as a vehicle to open up classical hierarchies

Sebastian Schaffert: good book by Clay Shirky on that issue, BTW

Christoph Lange: good point!

Denny Vrandecic: you can use forms with semantic mediawiki as well

Denny Vrandecic: you could consider tabulator as the ultimative semantic wiki...

Harold Solbrig: Tabulator?

Denny Vrandecic:

Harold Solbrig: thnx

Denny Vrandecic: it is a rdf browser, but the newer version allows you also to edit the data

Denny Vrandecic: it mushes data from several resources

Denny Vrandecic: resources -> sources

Denny Vrandecic: and displays them together

Christoph Lange: Denny: Does it feel like editing a document, or rather like a table/form/spreadsheet?

Denny Vrandecic: table / form

Denny Vrandecic: i like the skyscrapter metaphor

Sebastian Schaffert: the window "Knowledge Management" is missing

Sebastian Schaffert: it's probably one of the most important application areas for wikis in general

Sebastian Schaffert: and thus also semantic wikis

Denny Vrandecic: km is not really an application... isnt every semwiki an application of km?

Sebastian Schaffert: no

Sebastian Schaffert: well

Denny Vrandecic: ?

Sebastian Schaffert: I was thinking of "Enterprise Knowledge Management"

Denny Vrandecic: ah, web 2.0 brough km to the people

Sebastian Schaffert: and also there are SemWikis who purely focus on RDF

Sebastian Schaffert: in this line of argumentation, km was always done by people

Peter Dolog: i would be interested how far your are with the meshups

Peter Dolog: do you have some papers on it?

Denny Vrandecic: no, sometimes it was just for suits now it is for the people

Christoph Lange: Sebastian: well, but RDF is about knowledge _representation_, so in _theory_ it's

not a big step to knowledge management

Sebastian Schaffert: please, no philosophical discussions

Christoph Lange: Sebastian: Thanks! I must admit that my "mathematical knowledge management" has

a wider view on the term

Denny Vrandecic: hey, wikipedia is not a proper resource for the scientific discourse

Sebastian Schaffert: denny: I object

Denny Vrandecic:

Sebastian Schaffert: I accept every student using wikipedia properly

Sebastian Schaffert: I know, KM is rather inconsistent in itself, because knowledge is in peoples' head and

not manageable by technology ... anyways, back to the programme ...

Jack Park: Did anybody suggest earlier that this group "eat its own dogfood" by putting up a semantic wiki to use?

Denny Vrandecic: i suggest

Jack Park: that could work

Harold Solbrig: My understanding is that Peter plans to "semanticize" at least some of the ontolog we pages.

DeborahMcGuinness: we could also think of a birds of a feather impromptu meeting at iswc in karlsruhe

Denny Vrandecic: sounds good

Sebastian Schaffert: yes, would give an incentive to come to Karlsruhe after my workshop got rejected

Denny Vrandecic: could be a lunch-bof, or just some time in the evening

Mike Bennett: Missing windows: There is also what I would call requirements management (of meanigns for data terms)

as a tool in development and systems integration. This fits in with model driven architecture but

without the assumption that everything has to be transformed automatically as some of the MDA folks

like to think. So basically good systems developemnt where meaning is managed at a semantics level

rather than in databases and things. Managed by business not techies.

DeborahMcGuinness: surprising it got rejected... i was just scanning the workshops to see if there was one on this topic

Peter P. Yim: ALL: please enter 3 items on your wish-list for this mini-series

Denny Vrandecic: usability_vs_expressivity

DeborahMcGuinness: community building

Othel Rolle: e-science

Jack Park: (1) uncover more implementations

(2) HCI:navigation of large, high-dimensional knowledge spaces

(3) more KR issues

Matthias Samwald: e-science (especially pharma research & biomedicine)

Peter Dolog: 3 items on my wish list to hear:

(1) semantic wikis and mashups (how far you are),

(2) recommendation and personalization in semantic wikis,

(3) knowledge representation (expresivity vs. simplicity)

Sebastian Schaffert: (1) application areas of semantic wikis;

(2) how can semantic wikis support users in their tasks (in contrast to other kinds of technology);

(3) how can semantic wikis be integrated with other applications

Mike Bennett: Wish:

(1) Business subject matter experts able to enter, review and validate

meaningful information without having to learn any new words;

(2) what dialect of OWL supported;

(3) What was mentioned about ontology curation is of interest.

Harold Solbrig: (1) integration of semantic resources (Protege / OOR / MW / ...) ;

(2) use cases and application ;

(3) unresolved issues

Othel Rolle: social networking

Denny Vrandecic: (1) usability_vs_expressivity,

(2) content_quality,

(3) integrating_external_data

Sebastian Schaffert: regarding these questions, I'd also like to point you to one of

the first KiWi deliverables (KiWi Vision)

Sebastian Schaffert: I think we have already collected many ideas and insights there

Christoph Lange: 1. connect knowledge engineering and social interaction,

2. utilizing complex document formats in wikis,

3. closed world vs. open world

DeborahMcGuinness: 1. semantic wikis for escience - particular earth and space science

2. semantic wikis as a social collaborative environment for semantically-enabled applications

Peter P. Yim: (1) explore opportunities for collaboration;

(2) do a semantic wiki & OOR session

(3) showcase the state-of-the-art

Matthias Samwald: usability_vs_expressivity

Ken Baclawski: (1) experiences with distributed collaboration

(2) application to education

(3) integration with other tools (e.g., blogs)

Ted Bashor: Wish: (1) develop set of use cases

(2) ontology management/integration challenges

(3) linking wiki content to other apps

Rob Frost: (1) server-side infrastructure to support semantic wikis

(2) survey of semantic wikis for vertical domains (e.g. HCLS)

(3) semantic wikis for "non-experts"

Peter P. Yim: enter offers to be panelists please:

Denny Vrandecic: denny, semantic mediawiki (core system),

Sebastian Schaffert: sebastian, KiWi project and/or IkeWiki,

official webpage at currently redesigned but should be ready next week

Harold Solbrig: Harold Solbrig - "BiomedGT - SMW based ontology federation and curation"

Christoph Lange: Christoph, SWiM (currently used at , general info at ),

SWiM at OpenMath is a kind-of lightweight math. ontology engineering use case;

will also be concerned w/ argumentative structures in discussions

Harold Solbrig: Harold Solbrig (Guoquain Jiang) - "ICD-10 Collaborative Revision Platform for the WHO" (password protected, but will be removed shortly)

DeborahMcGuinness: our main group page includes links to many of the wiki-based applications

as well as links to our foundational work -

DoraiThodla: Dorai Thodla: SemanticWiki Applications - Teaching, Learning, Knowledge Sharing

Peter P. Yim: * input from Mark Musen: I think the emphasis on "semantic wiki's" forces the discussion

into a small corner. The real matter at hand is the use of Web 2.0 techniques in support

of ontology engineering. Semantic wiki's are a subset of Web 2.0 approaches.

... At Stanford, we believe that wiki's are much too limiting for scalable ontology development,

particularly when using OWL. Web Protege casts many of the features of desktop Protege in a

Web 2.0 framework, and that is where we are focussing our attention.

Christoph Lange: I disagree! A semantic wiki is a whole semantic web in a sandbox

Sebastian Schaffert: yes

Sebastian Schaffert: but the restriction to ontology engineering is even more narrow

Denny Vrandecic: +1 to Christoph Lange

DeborahMcGuinness: +1 to Mark Musen's point

Sebastian Schaffert: christoph: that was one of our arguments from the beginning

Sebastian Schaffert: there are two different sides to semantic wikis: semantics for wikis and wikis for semantics

Denny Vrandecic: it depends what Mark Musen means with Ontology Engineering

Harold Solbrig: The challenge is limiting the scope - Semantic Wiki -> Semantic WIki Philosophy -> Web 2.0++ .

The whole area is interesting, but we have to limit the scope

Sebastian Schaffert: still, it indicates the goal to create an ontology

Sebastian Schaffert: but Semantic Wikis might serve other goals

Harold Solbrig: I think a second goal is to annotate wiki content with an ontology

Sebastian Schaffert: and most non-Semantic-Web-users really don't care about semantics,

but they care about better software

Peter P. Yim: ALL: please propose other panelists below:

Peter P. Yim: * input from Mark Greaves: This is an area that I am extremely interested in --

as you know, Vulcan is one of the major funders of Semantic Wiki technology worldwide,

and we have some very nice software. ... At any rate, please keep me in mind as

one of the presenters, and we can follow up by email.

Harold Solbrig: We've used Halo in combination w/ Semantic Forms, but at one point,

they thought they were philosophically opposed. I think this has since been resolved.

Denny Vrandecic: Yaron Koren, Semantic Forms and other extensions,

Harold Solbrig: I'd like to see Yaron present on where they are going with Semantic Forms. Yaron?

Denny Vrandecic: (since he didn't suggest himself )

Li Ding: yaron is online

Sebastian Schaffert: Josef Holy, Sun Microsystems, application of Semantic Wikis in software knowledge management

Yaron Koren: Hi, guys. I don't know if I can make it to this conference...

Denny Vrandecic: it's a virtual conference

Yaron Koren: Oh...

Denny Vrandecic: not a real meeting

Yaron Koren: I missed that part.

Harold Solbrig: I'd like to get a good feeling for what Vulcan is doing and the problems they are trying to solve.

Yaron Koren: Let me also suggest Markus Krotzsch, then, of Semantic MediaWiki fame.

Harold Solbrig: Absolutely on Markus.

Christoph Lange: How about Max Voelkel and his topic sem. wikis for _personal_ knowledge mgmt?

Sebastian Schaffert: blogs are essentially like wikis, just sorted by time that's why I am using the term "wiki philosophy"

Christoph Lange: ... this chat doesn't seem to support UTF-8 ...

Peter Dolog: integration with other tools is a must in the enterprise context as we also realized in the KIWI project

Denny Vrandecic: i'd like to hear also from users

Sebastian Schaffert: denny: that's why I suggest Josef Holy

Peter P. Yim: if anyone has others to propose, please send the input to anyone of the co-champions or post below within the next 7-days

Peter Dolog: therefore, the mashups seems to be an interesting technology

Li Ding: as for blog, Jie bao has implemented a simple blog at

Christoph Lange: Sebastian: but i think blogs are used differently, from one blogger to a wide audience

that may only comment (or run their own blog and link, trackback, etc.)

Sebastian Schaffert: christoph: same technology, same philosophy, but different use

Christoph Lange: sebastian: but because of the different use i'd call the philosophy different too -- but, well, no philosophical discussions

Li Ding: privacy and access control in semantic wiki is the key to make things like blog flying in Semantic wiki

Denny Vrandecic: what about someone from wikia? they are giving semantic wikis to about 800,000 potential users...

Sebastian Schaffert: ah, and also dbpedia

Denny Vrandecic: oh wow, that is a topic -- access control in semantic wikis. that is a huge problem for us

DoraiThodla: Is there a list of Semantic wiki or something similar to WikiMatrix for SemWikis?

Christoph Lange: +1 Denny

Yaron Koren: There are various lists of SMW-using wikis...

Christoph Lange: Dorai: there was once some kind of metadata ontology on, but it's not been used for a long time

DeborahMcGuinness: +many for access control

Denny Vrandecic:

DoraiThodla: Thanks

Denny Vrandecic: it is community-maintained though...

Sebastian Schaffert: more than 5 seconds of preparation for a closing note would be a good thing

Denny Vrandecic: sebastian: you're too demanding, it's a wikiwiki world

Li Ding: that means we should write it together

Sebastian Schaffert: so please accept my apologies for having a wiki-style closing note

Denny Vrandecic: how can i edit it?

Sebastian Schaffert: thanks for hosting!

Denny Vrandecic: thanks!

Li Ding: thanks

DoraiThodla: Thanks Peter and bye every one.

Yaron Koren: Does that mean this chat has to end?

Peter Dolog: thanks to all for interesting session

Christoph Lange: thanks, bye!

Peter Dolog: bye

Denny Vrandecic: great moderation, we finished on time

Peter P. Yim: Thanks everyone!

Mike Bennett: Thanks, bye everyone.

Ken Baclawski: Thanks, bye all!

Sebastian Schaffert: was very nice to see that the community gets bigger and I hope to gain many insights here

Sebastian Schaffert: thanks again to all, bye

Yaron Koren: By the way, when is this virtual conference?

Denny Vrandecic: undecided yet

Yaron Koren: Ah.

Denny Vrandecic: it will probably be a mini-series

Yaron Koren: I see.

Denny Vrandecic: with a number of sessions, each with a small number of speakers

Mike Bennett: Similar to the series we are doing on emerging ontology showcases.

Sebastian Schaffert: nice concept - one needs to get accustomed to it but it works quite well

Sebastian Schaffert: meaning that this has actually been one of the more productive telcos in my life

Mike Bennett: Probably easier if you have three screens though.

Sebastian Schaffert: right

Denny Vrandecic: it fits well in one if you use an IM to connect to the chat instead of the browser

Sebastian Schaffert: but apple expos does the trick

Yaron Koren: Sorry, will all of these mini-conferences be about ontology engineering?

Denny Vrandecic: i dont hope so

Denny Vrandecic: the topics will be gathered now based on the topics we listed before

Yaron Koren: Oh, I see.

Sebastian Schaffert: BTW: There was a question by harold on versioning of metadata

- if you are also doing reasoning this is very much related

to the topic of reason maintenance

Sebastian Schaffert: currently not much addressed on the Semantic Web,

but some work in the logic programming area

Sebastian Schaffert: Jakub is investigating this

Yaron Koren: There's some reasoning in SMW already, though there could be more.

Yaron Koren: Type-checking, for instance.

Jakub Kotowski: actually, people already begun aplying reason maintenance and

belief revision techniques for triple store update operations

Sebastian Schaffert: yes, but the problem is when doing versioning of metadata

it could mean significant performance problems

Sebastian Schaffert: there is quite some reasoning in IkeWiki from the very beginning

Sebastian Schaffert: @Jakub: didn't know that, I probably should read your deliverable ...

Jakub Kotowski: @Sebastian: take a look at the "Relation to RDF and OWL" part

Sebastian Schaffert: I will as soon as I find a bit more time

Peter P. Yim: Folks ... Telephone playback is now available.

Audio archives (mp3) will probably be ready tomorrow.


Sebastian Schaffert: bye, have a nice day/night/...

Jakub Kotowski: bye

Yaron Koren: BTW, the Ontoprise people are working on access control for SMW (SemanticMediaWiki)

- if everyone is interested in that, it would be worth talking to them about it.

Yaron Koren: Or having them talk about it.

Peter P. Yim: ... I'll sign off now. ... thanks again, everyone. Great session!

Additional proposed panelists/topic: ... (posted after the 2008.09.18 session)

PeterYim/2008.09.24: Peter P. Yim, Ken Baclawski et al., Purple MediaWiki Extention (PMWX),

PeterYim/2008.09.24: Peter P. Yim et al., Migrating the OntologWiki content to Purple Semantic Media Wiki, (prefer to do this towards the end of the mini-series)

Peter P. Yim: Adam Cheyer also suggested earlier (2008.09.17): Thomas Tunsch - "National Museums in Berlin: The Semantic Web and Wikis" (ref. his previous talk) - anyone familiar with him or his work?

Follow-up and Adjourn

  • For those who cannot join us, or who have further questions or remarks on the topic, please post them to the "swikig" listserv so that everyone in the community can benefit from the discourse.
  • watch out for announcement of the upcoming events for this mini-series. They will be made on both the [swikig] list and the [ontolog-invitation] list
  • the first (kick-off) event will likely be some time in mid-October (2008); and will probably be on a survey of the Semantic Wiki landscape.
  • this planning session was adjourned 11:57 am PDT


proceedings captured on this wiki by Peter P. Yim / 2008.09.18-11:57am PDT

Attendees are requested to review the notes above, help clean it up, and make amendments and edits to better

reflect the proceedings of the session as they see fit (particularly where they are personally involved). =ppy

Audio Recording of this Session

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  • Conference Date and Time: 18-Sep-2008 10:38am~11:57am PDT
  • Duration of Recording: 1 Hour 06 Minutes
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