Friday, June 17, 2005

EPFL - Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) - Prof. Dario Floreano 

EPFL - Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) - Prof. Dario Floreano
"Welcome to the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems
The mission of the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems (LIS) is to understand and replicate the principles that allow living and artificial systems to self-organize, adapt, and remain operational in changing and unknown environments. We take a systemic approach that integrates hardware and software.

Our fields of activity include evolutionary robotics and electronics, bio-mimetic engineering, biology reverse engineering, and computational intelligence (evolutionary systems, neural networks, swarm intelligence)."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Ontology Development Best Practices 

Ontology Development Best Practices
Just as patterns were important for object-oriented development, we stress the importance of ontology modeling patterns. We have started this page to capture FAQ, Modeling Patterns, Tips and Traps. These are organized below in a set of topics:

If you are interested in the topics discussed here, you may want to visit our Semantic Technology Trainings page. We offer both, public and private (on-site) classes and workshops that cover these and related questions in depth.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Emergent Semantics 

Emergent Semantics

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

About StumbleUpon 

About StumbleUpon: "StumbleUpon is an intelligent browsing tool for sharing and discovering great websites. As you click Stumble!, you'll get high-quality pages matched to your personal preferences. These pages have been explicitly recommended (rated I like it) by friends and other SU members with similar interests. Rating these sites shares them with your friends and peers � you will automatically 'stumble upon' each others favorites sites.

StumbleUpon uses / ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like-minded stumblers () have liked. Unlike search engines or static directories, this allows for a true 'democracy of the web' � all SU members have a say ( or ) as to whether a page should be passed on."

Automatically building semantic taxonomies 

The Search Guy: "The Search Guy: Automatically building semantic taxonomies
One of the capabilities that our research search engine has (that is to say, this capability doesn't ship with Sun's products) is the ability to build a semantic taxonomy from all of the words in the indexed material. The taxonomy is built on a relationship of generality, where more general terms are said to subsume more specific terms. For example, the word canine is more general that the word dog.
We currently build such a taxonomy using two kinds of information. The first is a set of lexical axioms. These are simply facts that you need to know about the world. For example, the fact that a dog is a kind of canine is something that you simply need to know about the world. You can't deduce this relationship by simply looking at the words themselves. "

Monday, June 13, 2005

Emergent Semantics Principles and Issues 

Emergent Semantics Principles and Issues
"Shortly stated, information sharing, rather than information processing, is IT's primary goal in the 21st century. Not that it is a new concern. It has been there since data has been made processable by a computer. What is (relatively) new is the focus on semantics, which takes the issue far beyond the syntactic functionality provided by exchange standards or standard formatting `a la XML. The reason that makes semantics re-emerge so strongly is that now information has to be sharable in an open environment, where interacting agents do not necessarily share a common understanding of the world at hand, as used to be the case in traditional enterprise information systems."

The emphasis is mine

Google Search: Self-organisation Approach to Semantic Interoperability 

Google Search: Self-organisation Approach to Semantic Interoperability

Emergent Semantics in peer-to-peer networks 

13.4.3 Emergent Semantics in peer-to-peer networks
"The mechanisms being developed and studied in the ECAgent projects have the potential to solve an important problem in current distributed information technology, namely the exchange of information in peer-to-peer networks, more specifically the problem of semantic interoperability. Instead of imposing a universal pre-defined ontology over universally defined conceptual schemata, the techniques of emergent ontologies and languages potentially enable each agent to develop a repertoire of grounded categories and labels for these categories and negotiate their use and semantics with other agents. The communication system as well as its semantics is hence emergent and adaptive instead of predefined,
leading to a Self-organisation Approach to Semantic Interoperability (SASI)."
"There are two key problems in peer-to-peer information exchange. The first one is that the data and names used in the taxonomies of one peer (the client) are typically different from those used by another peer (the server) and so the client’s owner cannot know how to formulate the query nor can the server’s owner or the server itself know how to respond if the query is not formulated according to its taxonomy. This is a real problem for users of currently operational peer-to-peer systems. For example, in a music file sharing network, users must try to guess the titles of data and the meaning of names given to the folders and subfolders.

The second problem is that the conceptual schemata used for storing data and meta-data in each information system may be very different, particularly if the meta-data is itself open-ended. Even a simple incompatibility such as usage of different languages can be a problem. For example, the client may have a meta-datum ’country(Belgium)’ whereas the server may have ’pays(Belgique)’. Without semantic knowledge, information systems cannot know how the two meta-data map onto each other, and so a client cannot simply formulate a query for a server using his own meta-data.

Both problems are instances of the so called semantic interoperability problem."
"Alternatively, it is possible that each peer has its own local taxonomy, and its own conceptual schema but that these are translated into a global ontology and conceptual schema which is used for querying and information exchange and
thus exacts as an Interlingua between peers. The translations could be based on defining as much as possible the semantics of the names in the taxonomies. For example, if a user has a sub-folder in his music file system with songs by the Beatles, then the semantics of the implied category is translated in a query over meta-data: ’performed-by(TheBeatles)’. This query can then be used (possibly after translation by a mediator) into a query over the meta-data of a peer. This is the approach currently being explored by the Semantic Web initiative (Berners-Lee et al., 2001), w.r.t. web information systems, and, more generally, by ‘universal’ ontologies such as advocated by CYC or Wordnet (Lenat et al., 1995). It has lead to extensive efforts to develop common ontologies, support systems for defining these ontologies, ways for mapping local schemas into global schemas, and mechanisms to use ontologies in information retrieval, i.e. for mapping categories to data (Davies et al., 2002).

However a consensus is growing that this approach has several major drawbacks (Aberer et al., 2004; Steels, 1997a) as well:

1. The semantic web which relies on universal ontologies just pushes the problem of semantic interoperability to another level. It still requires standardisation based on universal ontologies. It is hard to imagine that a world-wide consensus is reachable and enforcable in every domain of human activity for which information systems are currently in use. Even in restricted domains this is hard because of an increasingly interconnected global world.

2. Human activity and the information systems built for them are open systems. They cannot be defined once and for all but must be adapted to new needs.

3. Peer-to-peer information systems are distributed systems. There is no central control point and so it is not possible to control them centrally.
4. Many information systems already exist and ways should be found to enable their participation in peer-to-peer networks.

An alternative approach to semantic interoperability is to extend information systems with components so that peers can develop and negotiate their own communication protocols in interaction with the data world and the world of human users. So the agents autonomously create an Interlingua which they can each locally interpret. Just as in human natural languages, the consensus will be for ever emergent, adaptive and local. This approach is one of the ways to achieve emergent semantics and is the one that we see as major application area for ECAgents.

The technical solutions that rely on techniques drawn from recent work on language games for robot-robot and robot-human communication (Steels, 1998b), (Steels, 2003a), as further developed in the ECAgents project, have to be expamaknded and changed to make them applicable to the current task. Earlier work in this area has been reported in (Steels, 1997a) and (Avesani and Agostini, 2003) but large-scale application has so far not yet been attempted.

In this approach, Semantic interoperability is seen as a coordination problem between the world, information systems, and human users. A particular kind of ‘semiotic dynamics’ is defined so that both the labels used in peer-to-peer communication and the categories the agents use to interpret these labels become aligned as a side-effect of peer-to-peer information exchange. The labels used in information exchange as well as the semantics of the labels is emergent and the conceptual schemata used for the meta-data in each peer are local and extensable. We note that the Interlingua emerging through agent interactions will never be static and may be locally specialised among a group of peers. The categories defining the ontology of each agent are defined purely in terms of local meta-data and so they are not uniform either."

The emphasis is mine

Emergent Collective Intelligence 

Emergent Collective Intelligence: "Collective intelligence is concerned with the design and analysis of systems that bring forth intelligence at the level of the collective additionally to the level of individuals. To perform a demanding task the agents and/or their interactions have to be complex. The relevance of a bottom-up approach -where features emerge- lies in the limitations of the top-down approach - where features are user designed and engineered. The total system complexity caused by highly non-linear interactions among system components, the agents themselves and between the agents and the (dynamically changing) environment, grows extremely fast with the complexity and number of the components themselves."

Machine Learning Project 

Machine Learning Project: "Weka Machine Learning Project
An exciting and potentially far-reaching development in computer science is the invention and application of methods of machine learning. These enable a computer program to automatically analyse a large body of data and decide what information is most relevant. This crystallised information can then be used to automatically make predictions or to help people make decisions faster and more accurately.
The overall goal of our project is to build a state-of-the-art facility for developing machine learning (ML) techniques and to apply them to real-world data mining problems."

Swarm-bots project 

Swarm-bots project: "Project summary
The main scientific objective of the Swarm-bots project is to study a novel approach to the design and implementation of self-organising and self-assembling artefacts. This novel approach finds its theoretical roots in recent studies in swarm intelligence, that is, in studies of the self-organising and self-assembling capabilities shown by social insects and other animal societies.

The main tangible objective of the project is the demonstration of the approach by means of the construction of at least one of such artefact. We intend to construct a swarm-bot. That is, an artefact composed of a number of simpler, insect-like, robots(s-bots), built out of relatively cheap components, capable of self-assembling and self-organising to adapt to its environment."

The Dream Project Home Page 

The Dream Project Home Page: "This project seeks to provide the technology and software infrastructure necessary to support the next generation of evolving infohabitants in a way that makes that infrastructure universal, open and scalable. The DREAM (Distributed Resource Evolutionary Algorithm Machine) framework allows the automatic distribution of evolutionary algorithm (EA) processing through a virtual machine built from large numbers of individual machines linked by standard Internet protocols. " | European Co-ordination Action for Agent-Based Computing | European Co-ordination Action for Agent-Based Computing: "AgentLink III is the premier Co-ordination Action for Agent Based Computing, funded by the European Commission's 6th Framework Program. Launched on 1st January, 2004, it provides support for the network of European researchers and developers with a common interest in agent technology through events aimed at industry outreach, and standardisation issues, as well as providing support for academic events and providing resources through the AgentLink Portal."

EXYSTENCE :: The Complex Systems Network of Excellence 

EXYSTENCE :: The Complex Systems Network of Excellence
"Project Summary
Objectives of the NoE are: 1)Improve the viability of complexity theory methods in scientific disciplines as well as in business and socio-economic applications fostering at the same time its development at basic level. The NoE aims to the widest circulation of ideas, establishing a creative environment that give rise to novel conceptual advances and to effective applications. 2)Disseminate knowledge, across the communities of: computer scientists, physicists, technologists, mathematicians, biologists on one side and business and administration, industry and government agencies on the other. Information will be made available through electronic communication channels. 3)Assess where the body of knowledge stands now, what has still to be done identifying the practicable ways forward and what are relevant fields of applications, in view of the gap, still large, between the conceptual and the operational levels between the different rooting complexity has in the natural sciences and in the socio-economic environment. In particular in the context of IST this NoE aims on the one hand to putting forward the strong links between complexity and information theory, on the other hand to fostering a better understanding of what implications developments in IT will have on the societal structure."

Embodied and Communicating Agents 

ECAgents project
"ECAgents: Embodied and Communicating Agents
ECAgents is a project sponsored by the Future and Emerging Technologies program of the European Community (IST-1940). The aim of the project is the development of a new generation of embodied agents that are able to interact directly (i.e., without human intervention) with the physical world and to communicate between them and with other agents (including humans). This will be achieved through the development of new design principles, algorithms, and mechanisms that can extend the functionality of existing technological artefacts (mobile phone, WI-FI devices, robots and robot-like artefacts, etc.) and can lead to the development of new artefacts.

The project will develop concepts, tools, and models for analysing collections of both natural and artificial agents, and algorithms, definitions of dynamical systems, and performance analysis tools for designing artefacts that consist of evolving populations of interacting and communicating embodied agents."

New Ties Portal - New and Emergent World models Through Individual, Evolutionary, and Social Learning 

New Ties Portal - New and Emergent World models Through Individual, Evolutionary, and Social Learning

Spontaneous evolution of linguistic structure 

Spontaneous evolution of linguistic structure: An itereated learning model of the emergence of regularity and irregularity

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Computational Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling 

From Factors to Actors:
Computational Sociology and Agent-Based Modeling

"Consider a flock of geese flying in tight formation. Collectively, they form the image of a giant delta-shaped bird that moves as purposively as if it were a single organism. Yet the flock has no “group mind” nor is there a “leader bird” choreographing the formation (Resnick 1994).
Rather, each bird reacts to the movement of its immediate neighbors who in turn react to it. The result is the graceful dance-like movement of the flock whose hypnotic rhythm is clearly patterned yet also highly non-linear.

If we tried to model the global elegance of the flock, the task would be immensely difficult because of the extreme complexity in its movement. Yet the task turns out to be remarkably easy if instead we model the dynamics of local interaction. This was demonstrated by Craig Reynolds (1987) when he modeled the movement of a population of artificial “boids” based on three simple rules:
· Separation: Don't get too close to any object, including other boids.
· Alignment: Try to match the speed and direction of nearby boids.
· Cohesion: Head for the perceived center of mass of the boids in your immediate

Reynold’s computational method is called “agent-based modeling.”"

Computational sociology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Computational sociology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Computational sociology is a recently developed branch of sociology that uses computation to analyze social phenomena. The basic premise of computational sociology is to take advantage of computer simulation in the construction of social theories. It involves the understanding of social agents, the interaction among these agents, and the effect of these interactions on the social aggregate. Although the subject matter and methodologies in social science differ from those in natural science or computer science, several of the approaches used in contemporary social simulation originated from fields such as physics and artificial intelligence."

Monte Carlo method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Monte Carlo method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Monte Carlo methods are algorithms for solving various kinds of computational problems by using random numbers (or more often pseudo-random numbers), as opposed to deterministic algorithms."

Mind colonies - TeleIndia Knowledge Base 

Mind colonies - TeleIndia Knowledge Base

Free downloads encyclopedia - Softpedia 

Free downloads encyclopedia - Softpedia

‘If Josef kills Leon, is Leon dead?’ 

‘If Josef kills Leon, is Leon dead?’
"Little introspection is required to determine that he must be:
‘Josef kills Leon’ entails the death of the unfortunate Leon. A traditional account of this fact would be given by decomposing the meaning of ‘kill’ as in (1).
(1) ‘kill’ = CAUSE TO DIE
As pointed out by Fodor (1975), the lexical decomposition theory of word meaning faces serious problems. One of the most obvious is the clear absence of definitions for most monomorphemic words. This has been demonstrated by Wittgenstein, in his famous discussion of the word ‘game’, and by the general failure of analytic philosophy. In the case of ‘kill’, for example, while every case of killing is a case of causing to die, not every case of causing to die is a case of killing.2 Fodor proposed that, rather than being definitions, word meanings were atomic, as in (2).
(2) ‘kill’ = KILL
In order to account for the meaning relations between certain words, Fodor proposed ‘meaning postulates’ linking atomic concepts, as in (3)–(4):
(4) x KILL y → y DIE - Home - Home: "Introduction
Welcome to, dedicated to opening access to the refereed research literature online through author/institution self-archiving."

Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting - v.2.0 

Open Archives Initiative - Protocol for Metadata Harvesting - v.2.0: "Introduction
The Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (referred to as the OAI-PMH in the remainder of this document) provides an application-independent interoperability framework based on metadata harvesting. There are two classes of participants in the OAI-PMH framework:
Data Providers administer systems that support the OAI-PMH as a means of exposing metadata; and
Service Providers use metadata harvested via the OAI-PMH as a basis for building value-added services. "

Cogprints - Welcome to Cogprints 

Cogprints - Welcome to Cogprints: "Welcome to CogPrints, an electronic archive for self-archive papers in any area of Psychology, neuroscience, and Linguistics, and many areas of Computer Science (e.g., artificial intelligence, robotics, vison, learning, speech, neural networks), Philosophy (e.g., mind, language, knowledge, science, logic), Biology (e.g., ethology, behavioral ecology, sociobiology, behaviour genetics, evolutionary theory), Medicine (e.g., Psychiatry, Neurology, human genetics, Imaging), Anthropology (e.g., primatology, cognitive ethnology, archeology, paleontology), as well as any other portions of the physical, social and mathematical sciences that are pertinent to the study of cognition."

Cogprints - EPrints submitted by Vogt, Dr. Paul 

Cogprints - EPrints submitted by Vogt, Dr. Paul

virtual humans: companies and products 

virtual humans: companies and products - Commercial packages

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