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December 10, 2003


Dr Paul Prueitt

We are interested in a collaboration.

Dr Paul Prueitt
Founding Committee

We do not have funding right now, but have some good contacts. The question is about whether the architecture we have specified solves certain problems that have been with AI

See RoadMap (Microsoft Word doc)



My respect! Very interesting site - a good resource for everybody!

Marguerite Ardito

You are zeroing in on the problem when you say:
“…there is really no easy way to make use of extensions, and secondly, they do not provide semantically defined metatags. Anyone is free to extend such formats with whatever custom metatags they want to put in, but currently there is no way to instantly make those metatags useful in applications that were not written specifically to recognize them, nor is there a way to semantically define the meaning of those tags so that software can understand how to interpret them without human intervention.”

Ontologies may provide part of the answer, but only part and anyway how do you make ontologies interoperable and automatable by an undetermined application? You might want to take a look at what OMG is doing with MOF (Meta Object Facility). You may find concepts there that can be adapted to the MetaWeb.
As you hint, what’s data and what’s metadata depends on the point of view. In MOF Level 1 Metadata is a model of real world data (Level 0). (I’m using metadata in the sense of information that defines and controls the meaning and structure of data – not descriptive metadata which is really just another kind of data.) Just as metadata makes data “smart”, there needs to be a mechanism to make metadata smart – i.e. to model the metadata – to define and control its meaning and structure so it can be automated. This is where the Level 2 Meta Model comes in – a way to define the language of the metadata.
Finally you need a way to model the meta model (Level 3 or Meta Meta Model) so that your models and meta models can be interchanged with people and applications using a different modeling approach (e.g. relational database).

This (or a similar – maybe with additional dimensions) 4 level meta-structure concept (combined with additional ideas from XML registries) might be partial keys to realizing the full potential for interoperability across metaweb, databases, applications (services) and unstructured content. (stealth radar will detect big blue whales in this vicinity.)


It seems to me that the greatest benefit of a a standard "metaweb" ontology is simply the fact that it is a standard, that everyone is speaking the same langauge.

I think that the ontological infrastructure that wins will be the one that can bootstrap itself. By this I mean an ontology that contains data pertenent to consensus building, such as: opinions on a specific topic, polls, reviews of standards, etc. For this to work a distributed reputation system I think would be mandatory, and not just a good idea.


PS. It just occurred to me that your ontology may not RDF/OWL-based. It also occurred to me that there are existing ontologies that cover the areas you mention: documents [Dublin Core], events [iCal], projects, tasks [http://purl.org/stuff/project#] , people, groups [FOAF].
How then does it differ from these?

PPS. I've just had my agents noseying around, and spoken to a few bots and it doesn't look like our paths have crossed before. So I'd better formally say "hi!", I've been working around the same area for the past few years.


Great stuff!

Any examples of the kind of terms in "The Infoworker Ontology"?

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