Full Seminar Details

Michele Pasin

KMi, The Open University

 Michele Pasin
An investigation of the use of semantic web technologies to support learning
This event took place on Wednesday 16 March 2005 at 12:30

A search engine like google can help us find a list of resources, connected merely by a string similarity, and, as we know, many times it fails in answering our initial research question. Of course this happens because a computer can hardly understand the sense of our words, but treats them only syntactically, namely, taking into account their external shape and not their meaning.

If the normal web we browse daily can be seen as a huge repository of this kind of "meaningless" information, the project of the semantic web consists of a meta layer built on top, in order to describe it and make it more meaningful. While researchers from all over the world are trying to find the most effective ways for annotating the "old" web, new perspectives are emerging in the area of computer based learning.

In fact, in a scenario where resources are annotated and could be found on the web, instead of a normal search engine we could have an intelligent knowledge browser that, given a goal, follows some pre-existing knowledge patterns, gathering a set of resources that fulfill the goal. For example, I could ask this software agent to help me understanding a specific concept in physics, and receive back a series of knowledge elements that, properly digested, will bring me to the understanding of that concept.

This talk will introduce the theoretical and practical implications of such a knowledge browser, and the first ontological engineering of a domain, philosophy, where the browser will be instanced.

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