Human knowledge work mainly consists of the reception, interpretation and structuring of information, the explicit articulation of thoughts in suitable representations (like texts and pictures), and the sharing, exchange and discussion of such resources with other people. The way people proceed in this is heavily influenced by the tools they use: The personal workspace – and the personal computer in particular – support and reflect the individual ways of information processing, thought articulation, and knowledge sharing across social and organizational networks.
NEPOMUK intends to realize and deploy a comprehensive solution – methods, data structures, and a set of tools – for extending the personal computer into a collaborative environment, which improves the state of art in online collaboration and personal data management and augments the intellect of people by providing and organizing information created by single or group efforts.
Social Semantic Desktop
This solution is called the Social Semantic Desktop. This enhanced personal workspace (the Desktop) will be Semantic since it will give information a well defined meaning, making it processable by the computer. It will be Social since it will support the interconnection and exchange with other desktops and their users.
To build the Semantic Desktop, NEPOMUK’s objectives are to develop the methods, data structures and services necessary
- to annotate and link arbitrary information on the local desktop, across different media types, file formats, and applications. Semantic web data structures and techniques will be applied and adapted to achieve this goal.
- to articulate and visualize the user’s ideas and transform them into semantic information. We will extend easy-to-use wiki technology and integrate it with annotation mechanisms.
- to integrate content creation and processing with the users’ way of structuring their work. Key approach will be the integration of agile process modelling concepts with the information generation and structuring.
To cope with the interconnection and exchange with other desk- tops and their users, NEPOMUK’s objectives are to develop
- tools for social relation building and knowledge exchange which support knowledge sharing within social communities. These tools will provide semantically rich recommendations, which allow members of a community to not only exchange documents and other isolated information chunks, but all relevant information about their context and the participating community as well.
- techniques for distributed search and storage of information, based on scalable extensions of the distributed hash table technology and p-grid infrastructures, which allow efficient search over distributed information resources and provide a shared knowledge pool within a community.
The idea of the Social Semantic Desktop will reach its full potential only if it is adopted and applied by a large and active community of people. The build-up of this community is a central objective of the project which will be pursued right from the beginning. In detail, our objectives towards sufficient community uptake are
- to realize the Social Semantic Desktop as an open framework architecture with clearly defined interfaces which are published and possibly submitted for standardization; this will allow external adopters to integrate their proprietary desktop tools into the comprehensive framework and offers ways for commercial support and extension activities;
- to reach early dissemination of project results and to interact with the open-source developer community; this will allow for the gathering and inclusion of feedback and development contributions form interested third parties; and finally
- to prove the benefits of the Social Semantic Desktop in representative application areas which will stipulate the interest of possible industrial users and service providers in uptaking the project results.
Main visible results are:
- the architecture and implemented middleware of the Social Semantic Desktop, published as open-source software and where relevant submitted to semantic web standardization processes
- an active scientific and user community that adopts the results of NEPOMUK and continues to extend them to their needs,
- a set of reference solutions in use at SAP, PRC, or Institut Pasteur, and a body of documented experience and methodological know-how gained in their application domains.