Re: [unrev-II] Upcoming Agenda Items

From: John J. Deneen (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 11:23:09 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "Re: [unrev-II] Upcoming Agenda Items"

    In essence, it proposals using an OHS for "bootstrapping structuration of
    the web" since a knowledge-web (aka DKR) would travel along with the e-mail
    content itself. As it passed through its DKR server, the new DKR piece would
    be integrated with the existing DKR.

    Overall, Mr. Pangaro views of knowledge as a collective construction
    striving to achieve coherence, rather than a mapping of external objects
    that typically results in a "spaghetti-like" meshes of interconnected data,
    so that the user quickly gets lost in hyperspace. In other words, it allows
    an associative hypertext network to "self-organize" into a simpler, more
    meaningful, and more easily usable multidimensional network (aka ZigZag by
    Ted Nelson). "The ZigZag space may be thought of as a multidimensional
    generalization of rows and columns, without any shape or structure imposed."

    .... "The term "self-organization" is appropriate to the degree that there
    is no external programmer or designer deciding which node to link to which
    other node: better linking patterns emerge spontaneously. The existing links
    "bootstrap" new links into existence, which in turn change the existing link
    patterns. The information used to create new links is not internal to the
    network, though: it derives from the collective actions of the different
    users. In that sense one might say that the network "learns" from the way it
    is used." ...

    ... "The algorithms for such a learning web are very simple. Every potential
    link is assigned a certain "strength". For a given node a, only the links
    with the highest strength are actualized, i.e. are visible to the user.
    Within the
    node, these links are ordered by strength, so that the user will encounter
    the strongest link first. There are
    three separate learning rules for adapting the strengths.

    1) Each time an existing link, say a -> b, is chosen by the user, its
    strength is increased. Thus, the strength of a
    link becomes a reflection of the frequency with which it is used by
    hypertext navigators. This rather obvious
    rule can only consolidate links that are already available within the node.
    In that sense, it functions as a selector
    of strong connections. However, it cannot actualize new links, since these
    are not accessible to the user.
    Therefore we need complementary rules that generate novelty or variation.

    2) A user might follow an indirect connection between two nodes, say a -> b,
    b -> c. In that case the potential
    link a -> c increases its strength. This is a weak form of transitivity. It
    opens up an unlimited realm of new links.
    Indeed, one or several increases in strength of a -> c may be sufficient to
    make the potential link actual. The
    user can now directly select a -> c, and from there perhaps c -> d. This
    increases the strength of the potential
    link a -> d, which may in turn become actual, and so on. Eventually, an
    indefinitely extended path may thus be
    replaced by a single link a -> z. Of course, this assumes that a sufficient
    number of users effectively follow that
    path. Otherwise it will not be able to overcome the competition from paths
    chosen by other users, which will also
    increase their strengths. The underlying principle is that the paths that
    are most popular, i.e. followed most
    often, will eventually be replaced by direct links, thus minimizing the
    average number of links a user must follow
    in order to reach his or her preferred destination.

    3) A similar rule can be used to implement a weak form of symmetry. When a
    user chooses a link a -> b, implying
    that there exists some association between the nodes a and b, we may assume
    that this also implies some
    association between b and a. Therefore, the reverse link b -> a gets a
    strength increase. This symmetry rule on
    its own is much more limited than transitivity, since it can only actualize
    a single new link for each existing link." ....

    Therefore, by abandoning the correspondence epistemology and its reliance on
    fixed primitives, bootstrapping approaches open the way to a truly flexible,
    adaptive and creative knowledge system.

    Eric Armstrong wrote:

    > "John J. Deneen" wrote:
    > >
    > > 1) Ideas for Use Case Scenarios
    > > Groupware and Corporate Repositories: A Proposal for Leveraging
    > > Intellectual
    > > Capital
    > >
    > >
    > Can you digest what this has to say about use cases that is
    > useful for our purposes?
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