Today, I gave a presentation “Optimizing Social Software Design with Conceptual Graphs” at LIRMM, Le Laboratoire d’Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier:
Collaborative communities are complex and rapidly evolving socio-technical systems. The design of these systems includes the communal specification of communication and information requirements, as well as the selection, configuration, and linking of the software tools that best satisfy these requirements. Supporting the effective and efficient community-driven design of such complex and dynamic systems is not trivial.
To represent and reason about the system design specifications we use conceptual graph theory. We do so because the knowledge representation language of choice must be rich enough to allow for the efficient expression of complex definitions. Also, since design specifications derive from complex real world domains and community members themselves are actively involved in specification processes, a close mapping of knowledge definitions to natural language expressions and vice versa is useful. Finally, the representation language must be sufficiently formal and constrained for powerful knowledge operations to be constructed. Conceptual graph theory has all of these properties.
We explore how conceptual graphs can be used to:
1. model the core elements of such socio-technical systems and their design processes.
2. specify communication and information requirements and match these with social software functionalities.
We illustrate these design processes with examples from a realistic scenario on building a knowledge-driven topic community on climate change.
FIRST FACE-TO-FACE FORUM ON ‘ESSENCE’ ONLINE EXPERIMENT
May 5-6, 2009
KMi, The Open University
Milton Keynes, UK
The ESSENCE challenge
ESSENCE is the first public event organised by Global Sensemaking (GSm), a network formed in 2008 to develop human-centred computing tools to help tackle wicked problems such as Climate Change.
The overall idea behind the project is that digital discussion and deliberation technologies have the potential to provide a structured medium for building collective intelligence from diverse stakeholders, who often disagree.
Within this context the ESSENCE online experiment has been conceived with the overall goal to improve how climate science and policy deliberation is conducted, in local networks, national organizations, and inter-governmentally.
In particular, ESSENCE has been designed to develop a comprehensive, distilled, visual map of the issues, evidence, arguments and options facing the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), and being tackled by many other networks, which will be available for all to explore and enrich across the web.
Within the ESSENCE project we study and develop technologies for online discussion and deliberation, with the overall goal in mind to help to build online environments for:
• scientists to explore and discover common grounds and agendas in a very complex and extensive domain as environmental science is;
• policymakers to identify problematic issues to be faced in order to reinforce public policies and make them more accepted or even agreed;
• the Public to widen or build understanding on climate change issues and consensus about new climate change policies.
The workshop seeks to develop a roadmap for ESSENCE to COP15. We will also discuss strategies for further research lines and challenge to address for the ESSENCE team/GSm community.
Simon Buckingham Shum (KMi, Open University)
Anna De Liddo, (KMi, Open University)
Aldo De Moor (CommunitySense)
David Price (Debategraph)
The full program can be found here.