Re: [unrev-II] Use Cases and Ontologies

From: Jack Park (
Date: Fri Dec 22 2000 - 09:24:01 PST

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    From: John J. Deneen <>

    > Jack, your applied QP theory about 'envisionment' with process rules
    > etc., has an interesting correlation with a paper about "Collective Mental
    > (CMM) with weighted links algorithms from our friends at the Principia
    > Cybernetica Project:
    > "Collective Intelligence and its Implementation on the Web: algorithms to
    > develop a collective mental map", Computational and Mathematical Theory of
    > Organizations
    > <>
    > "Collective intelligence is defined as the ability of a group to solve
    > problems than its individual members. It is argued that the obstacles
    created by
    > individual cognitive limits and the difficulty of coordination can be
    > by using a collective mental map (CMM). A CMM is defined as an external
    > with shared read/write access, that represents problem states, actions and
    > preferences for actions. It can be formalized as a weighted, directed
    graph. The
    > creation of a network of pheromone trails by ant colonies points us to
    > basic mechanisms of CMM development: averaging of individual preferences,
    > amplification of weak links by positive feedback, and integration of
    > subnetworks through division of labor. Similar mechanisms can be used to
    > transform the World-Wide Web into a CMM, by supplementing it with weighted
    > links. Two types of algorithms are explored: 1) the co-occurrence of links
    > web pages or user selections can be used to compute a matrix of link
    > thus generalizing the technique of "collaborative filtering"; 2) learning
    > rules extract information from a user's sequential path through the web in
    > to change link strengths and create new links. The resulting weighted web
    can be
    > used to facilitate problem-solving by suggesting related links to the
    user, or,
    > more powerfully, by supporting a software agent that discovers relevant
    > documents through spreading activation."
    > <refers to>

    This is a marvelous paper! Thanks much for pointing it out. Here is what I
    get from it.

    It seems to me that we construct Concept Maps (CMs) at an individual level.
    This fits in with constructivist epistemology (Piaget, etc), and CMs are
    directly linkable to an ontology. It also seems to me that, when you
    construct Topic Maps (TMs) which are really CMs with an underlying XML
    representation, you bring knowledge sharing and merging to the table. At
    that point, you have moved along an imaginary continuum from *individual
    behaviors* in a direction towards *collaborative behaviors*. Just imagine
    applying constructivist epistemology to collective organisms rather than
    individual organisms. Heyligen's paper clearly suggests an approach to
    implementation of such an activity.

    In the context of this thread, the collective behavior captured in weighted
    links strongly suggests a means by which a concensus or collaborative
    ontology can emerge. The main gotcha, however, is compute power needed to
    pull this off. The paper points out that computational resources will grow
    rapidly as the region of spreading activation is expanded.

    I would intuit that we have a double-edged sword here. On the one hand,
    expanding the range of concept activation in a weighted graph will cost
    compute cycles, but, on the other hand, it may open activations that suggest
    analogies or relations not otherwise articulated in the dialog. It is
    considered one of the 'platinum rings' of computer science to find ways to
    enhance the efficiency of such computations. Indeed, it may be that
    cycle-sharing through P2P may enable some wildly exciting projects.

    At the individual end of the continuum, there are the Concept Mapping
    projects, as for example, Kathleen Fisher's paper at Toward the other end,
    there are the collective projects such as PCP, as represented in the paper
    you cite. My hunch is this:
        OHS will likely (read: more easily) start by developing use cases that
    lie towards the individual behaviors end
        OHS will certainly evolve use cases and technology that lie towards the
    collective end.

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