Re: [unrev-II] Nexist and Education Feedback

From: John J. Deneen (
Date: Wed Jul 18 2001 - 00:27:06 PDT

  • Next message: Jack Park: "[unrev-II] Dialog Mapping and email"

    Jack, are you aware of NASA's strategic plan and its education group
    objective to "Stimulate broad interest in and understanding of Earth
    system science, research technologies, and applications, and will
    encourage young scholars to consider careers in science and technology"?

    If not, then I highly recommend downloading it. < >
    (3.7 Mb) because on pg. 12 I'm sure you'll find its Strategic Priorities
    (2002 - 2010), on pg. 25 examples of expected education accomplishments
    in 5 years, and on pg. 38 information synthesis and acess to knowledge
    in 10 years very interesting.

       * Implement an open and distributed information system architecture
         that will include Principal Investigator processing in the mix of
         science data processing providers, and tie together diverse
         creators and users of higher level information products.
       * Develop an Earth Science Extension Network to exchange information
         products at the State and local level, and facilitate jointly
         sponsored applications research to enable broad societal benefit
         from Earth science knowledge.
       * Collaborate with operational mission agencies and commercial
         concerns to demonstrate remote sensing capabilities they want to
         incorporate in their decision support systems.
       * Develop and test models and data assimilation processes to bring
         diverse observations and research to bear on the fundamental Earth
         science questions.
       * Support the conduct of scientific assessments of consequences of
         climate change and global and regional impacts on:

          Food and fiber production
          Fresh water and other natural resources
          Human health and spread of infectious diseases
          Planning and development of roads, cities, and other

    Also, note on pg. 13: The Sensor Web technology is key for succeeding in
    Goal 1: Observe, understand, and model the Earth system to learn how it
    is changing, and the consequences for life on Earth.

    Since a Sensor Web provides a different type of measurement tool than
    that associated with remote measurements made by orbital platforms. By
    definition, remote measurements obtained from orbit require a high
    degree of knowledge of the physics of the measurement to infer value
    from the data collected (interpreting ocean currents or a vegetation
    index, for example). In
    contrast, a Sensor Web can provide direct, proximity measurements over a
    large spatial scale whose value is much more immediate. Moreover, unlike
    remote measurements made by orbital or airborne platforms, a Sensor Web
    provides a continued, virtual presence in an area. This is particularly
    important when investigating phenomena of a transient nature where there
    is no
    guarantee that an orbiting instrument will be in position to record the
    event. Finally, Sensor Webs can provide crucial ground truth and
    calibration data for remote measurements. (see pg. 4 < >)

    The Sensor Web has been running continuously since May 18th, 2000 < >. It is
    expected that the Sensor Web will become a ubiquitous instrument in the
    future, particular in applications that require an
    intelligent, virtual presence.

    The penultimate goal of a Sensor Web is to extract knowledge from the
    data collected and adapt and react accordingly. Although
    the computation hardware in a pod can be quite sophisticated, it is the
    sharing of information among the pods that gives the Sensor Web a
    macrointelligence. Intelligence in the human brain is created because of
    a complex, inhomogeneous network of neurons and not because of
    individual intelligence from each neuron. Similarly, the Sensor Web is
    an instrument where greater functionality is derived from a
    parallel-type architecture as sensor measurements (including pod
    location) are passed, and collectively interpreted, from pod to pod.
    This global sharing of information will lead to pod synergism (the whole
    of their activity being greater than the sum of their parts) by
    permitting intelligent resource (power, bandwidth, consumables)
    management by the web, and allowing for self-modifying behavior based on
    environmental factors and internal web diagnostics.

    Sensor Webs are often confused with projects that fall under names such
    as “distributed sensors” or “sensor networks”. The most unique feature
    of the Sensor Web is that information gathered by one pod is shared and
    used by other pods (i.e., Collective IQ). Distributed sensors networks
    merely gather data and communicate it to an uplink point.

    Any pods dropped at random into this depicted web will, with a higher
    probability, tend to be associated with a single mother pod and
    particular sub-web. Consequently, a scale-free hierarchy emerges which
    is quite robust with respect to random pod dropout. Interestingly, there
    are indications that nervous systems may be modeled on similar ideas,
    again invoking a strong analogy between the Sensor Web and the brain.

    Relative to NASA strategic plan, are you interested in contacting the PI
    for the following Ontology-Based Information Extraction proposal?

    1660 S. Amphlett Blvd., Suite 350
    San Mateo, CA 94402
    Phone: (206) 545-1478
    PI: Ronald Braun
    Topic#: DARPA 00-012
    < >

    Title: Ontology-Based Information Extraction from Free-Form Text

    We propose an innovative combination of machine learning techniques
    coupled with a novel end-to-end system architecture built around a
    shared domain ontology to permit ontology-based information extraction
    (IE) from free text. Our Ontology-Based IE (OBIE) system will
    significantly increase end-to-end recall for the IE task while
    maintaining or improving precision. OBIE will accomplish this by
    enabling interaction between different levels of the IE processing
    pipeline simultaneously through a shared ontology. IE components will be
    developed to demonstrate increases in recall permitted by the inclusion
    of hierarchical knowledge in their learning algorithms. Active learning
    and bootstrapping algorithms will be extended to automatically learn the
    ontology of a new domain, to assist in training the IE components, and
    to reduce the burden of annotation on the end-user. Performance metrics
    in a variety of system configurations will allow a characterization of
    performance gains enabled by the proposed architecture. Phase I research
    and development of a proof-of-concept limited prototype will demonstrate
    the feasibility and utility of OBIE's ontology-based IE capability and
    will lay the groundwork for its Phase II implementation.

    Kindest regards,

    -- John
    I cc'd Renwick Breck who has developed architectual plans for building
    an Earth Science facility based on NASA's strategic plan and education
    objectives in Oakland City Center (someday?). He has many years of
    wonderful accomplishments in developing and applying "NotePad
    International" collaborative technology which was eventually licensed to
    NASA. Perhaps we can get together to discuss more about his lastest

    Jack Park wrote:

    > Rod,
    > I am not sure where to go with this, but I will say the following: at
    >, there is a zipped Word doc
    > that
    > shows screenshots with a bit of verbiage about running an IBIS
    > discussion
    > with Nexist. Howard Liu and I are preparing Nexist to go into a high
    > school classroom in September, specifically to allow students to
    > conduct
    > moderated discussions, say, about global warming, and so forth. Our
    > goal:
    > exercise Nexist in a real-world situation for the first time. What we
    > plan
    > to learn: whatever we can. Jeff Conklin's upcoming Dialog Mapping
    > workshop, I think, will help in my planning for the school room
    > exercise.
    > Will that enhance education? Well, I think so, as discussed in my
    > paper
    > Bringing Knowledge Technologies to the Classroom, a pdf of which is
    > also at
    > the Nexist site.
    > Today, I also put the very latest version of Nexist itself at the same
    > site, and a second download of the required jar files. Now,
    > everything you
    > need to play with Nexist is readily available. Your only issue will
    > be to
    > have a late model Java (I built it on jdk1.3) installed, and adjust
    > the
    > classpath notations in the batch files to suit (sorry, I can't say
    > anything
    > about Mac or Unix, but I think Grant put some scripts for Linux up at
    > Cheers
    > Jack
    > At 11:52 AM 6/20/2001 -0700, you wrote:
    > >Jack,
    > >
    > >Please see my letter with feedback you requested, and asking about
    > feedback on
    > >improving education.....
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >Thanks.
    > >
    > >Rod
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >Jack Park wrote:
    > > >
    > > > I have placed my latest Nexist 0.2 classes and source on the web.
    > Visit
    > > > to download them.
    > > >
    > > > This turns out to be an interim solution until I coax secure cvs
    > to run
    > > > properly on Win ME (is that possible?).
    > > >
    > > > Changes include numerous bug fixes and enhancements to
    > functionality (some
    > > > just completed, others added). Now, it is possible to generate a
    > "drill
    > > > down" topic map in which you create a topic in one topic map, and
    > use
    > > > occurrences of that topic to reference other topic maps.
    > > >
    > > > I shall be very interested to see what others make of that idea.
    > > >
    > > > Cheers
    > > > Jack
    > > >
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