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INSEMTIVES – Incentives for Semantics

insemtivesDuration: 2009-2012

Sponsorship: Europäische Union

Contact person: Dr. Markus Rohde

A critical mass of semantically annotated Web pages or multimedia repositories, as well as business-relevant, widely-accepted ontologies would provide a feasible basis for the development of real-world semantic applications, for the adoption of this technology at industrial level, and, why not, for the realization of the Semantic Web vision.

It is therefore understandable that the question of how to create semantic content effectively and efficiently has been investigated in several areas related to semantic technologies, ranging from ontology engineering, ontology learning and ontology population, to the semantic annotation of text, media and Web services resources. The result is a maturing inventory of techniques and tools which primarily aim at a complete (or at least partial) automation of the semantic content generation and management tasks, as a means to lower costs and improve productivity. Whilst the quality of such (fully) automated approaches has constantly improved, it is still far from outweighing the manual effort savings achieved, especially when it comes to the creation of meta-data for non-textual sources or the development of a widely accepted ontology, tasks which are human-driven through their very nature.

The declared aim of this project is to bridge the gap between human and computational intelligence in current semantic content authoring R&D landscape and to produce methodologies, methods and tools optimally exploiting and combining the two to enable the massive creation and feasible management of semantic contents in an economically based manner, and consequently, to provide the missing building block towards the world wide uptake of semantic technologies. Besides automated ways of semantic content creation, the participation of users who actively contribute to the semantic annotation is the main purpose of the proposed R&D project. For the attraction and motivation of users to engage and cooperate in this process, concepts of community have proven to be a critical success factor.

Expected Results

We will develop process methodologies for the creation of semantic data for different types of Web sources jointly exploiting human intelligence, community effects and automatic machine processing. In order to facilitate a broader user participation in tasks that aim at the massive generation of semantic data, we will design incentive models that allow the specification of guidelines for building semantic applications with a large user base. These findings will allow us to develop of a tool suite for authoring semantic content: ontologies, semantic annotations for textual, multimedia and Web services.

The tools will be incentives-driven in the sense that their primary design goal will be to attract and sustain the involvement of users and that they will exploit carefully selected incentive mechanisms at individual and community level ranging from service differentiation to remuneration in a broader sense. For the development of the projected tools, PD methods, e.g., an evolutionary and cyclic software engineering process, consequent user participation and appropriate usability evaluation will be applied to improve the user- and needs-oriented design of the application. The tools will be further developed, extended and evaluated in several use cases targeted at the annotation of enterprize content, the classification and annotation of multimedia assets, and the creation of semantic descriptions of Web services, respectively.

Role of Information Systems and New Media at the University of Siegen

The research group Information Systems and New Media at the University of Siegen will focus on participatory design and community support measures. Participation of users in an active community builds the basis for large-scale engagement in semantic content creation. To foster this basic involvement of end users, appropriate methods for participatory design and usability of community tools will be deployed. The expertise of the research group with respect to community informatics and user-centered computing will provide the theoretical grounding for the incentives framework developed in WP1 and the software engineering processes in the case studies.

More information on www.insemtives.eu