From the Web of Data to a World of Action

Alan Dix1,2 , Giorgos Lepouras3, Akrivi Katifori4, Costas Vassilakis4, Tiziana Catarci5, Antonella Poggi5, Yannis Ioannidis4, Miguel Mora6, Ilias Daradimos3,4, Nazihah Md.Akim1, Shah Rukh Humayoun5, Fabio Terella7

1 Computing Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
2 Talis, Birmingham, UK
3 Dept. of Computer Science and Technology, University of Peloponnese, Tripolis, Hellas (Greece)
4 Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, University of Athens, Athens, Hellas (Greece)
5 Dipartimento di Informatica e Sistemistica, Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy
6 Escuela Politécnica Superior,Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
7 EXALTECH S.r.l., Rome, Italy

Published in Journal of Web Semantics, Special Issue on User Interaction in Semantic Web research. Vol. 8, Iss. 4, Nov. 2010, pp. 394-408. doi:10.1016/j.websem.2010.04.007

Download draft paper (PDF, 872K)


This paper takes as its premise that the web is a place of action, not just information, and that the purpose of global data is to serve human needs.  The paper presents several component technologies, which together work towards a vision where many small micro-applications can be threaded together using automated assistance to enable a unified and rich interaction.  These technologies include data detector technology to enable any text to become a start point of semantic interaction; annotations for web-based services so that they can link data to potential actions; spreading activation over personal ontologies, to allow modelling of context; algorithms for automatically inferring 'typing' of web-form input data based on previous user inputs; and early work on inferring task structures from action traces.  Some of these have already been integrated within an experimental web-based (extended) bookmarking tool, Snip!t, and a prototype desktop application On Time, and the paper discusses how the components could be more fully, yet more openly, linked in terms of both architecture and interaction.  As well as contributing to the goal of an action and activity-focused web, the work also exposes a number of broader issues, theoretical, practical, social and economic, for the Semantic Web.

keywords: task support, spreading activation,intelligent user interfaces


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Alan Dix 27/4/2010