Archive for the ‘Peirce’ Category

It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition by Ben Van Calster. (Van Calster, B. (2012), It takes time: A remarkable example of delayed recognition. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci.. doi: 10.1002/asi.22732)


The way in which scientific publications are picked up by the research community can vary. Some articles become instantly cited, whereas others go unnoticed for some time before they are discovered or rediscovered. Papers with delayed recognition have also been labeled “sleeping beauties.” I briefly discuss an extreme case of a sleeping beauty. Peirce’s short note in Science in 1884 shows a remarkable increase in citations since around 2000. The note received less than 1 citation per year in the decades prior to 2000, 3.5 citations per year in the 2000s, and 10.4 in the 2010s. This increase was seen in several domains, most notably meteorology, medical prediction research, and economics. The paper outlines formulas to evaluate a binary prediction system for a binary outcome. This citation increase in various domains may be attributed to a widespread, growing research focus on mathematical prediction systems and the evaluation thereof. Several recently suggested evaluation measures essentially reinvented or extended Peirce’s 120-year-old ideas.

I would call your attention to the last line of the abstract:

Several recently suggested evaluation measures essentially reinvented or extended Peirce’s 120-year-old ideas.

I take that to mean with better curation of ideas, perhaps we would invent different ideas?

The paper ends:

To conclude, the simple ideas presented in Peirce’s note have been reinvented and rediscovered several decades or even more than a century later. It is fascinating that we arrive at ideas presented more than a century ago, and that Peirce’s ideas on the evaluation of predictions have come to the surface regularly across time and discipline. A saying, attributed to Ivan Pavlov, goes: “If you want new ideas, read old books.”

What old books are you going to read this weekend?

PS: Just curious. What search terms would you use, other than the author’s name and article title, to insure that you could find this article again? What about information across the various fields cited in the article to find related information?

The Graphical Logic of C. S. Peirce

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

The Graphical Logic of C. S. Peirce by J. Jay Zeman.

Zeman’s 1964 dissertation on C.S. Peirce.

Other materials collected by Zeman on Peirce at: Peirce Contents.

You will hear Peirce’s name bandied about a good bit in discussions of semiotics, semantics, logic, etc.

Zeman wrote before Peirce became “popular.”

Coca-Cola, Toucans and Charles Sanders Peirce

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Coca-Cola, Toucans and Charles Sanders Peirce by Mike Bergman.

I have gone back and forth about this one, even though I have to agree with:

Global is Neither Indiscriminate Nor Unambiguous

Names, references, identity and meaning are not absolutes. They are not philosophically, and they are not in human language. To expect machine communications to hold to different standards and laws than human communications is naive. To effect machine communications our challenge is not to devise new rules, but to observe and apply the best rules and practices that human communications instruct.

There has been an unstated hope at the heart of the semantic Web enterprise that simply expressing statements in the right way (syntax) and in the right form (RDF) is sufficient to facilitate machine communications. But this hope, too, is naive and silly. Just as we do not accept all human utterances as truth, neither will we accept all machine transmissions as reliable. Some of the information will be posted in error; some will be wrong or ill-fitting to our world view; some will be malicious or intended to deceive. Spam and occasionally lousy search results on the Web tell us that Web documents are subject to these sources of unsuitability, why is not the same true of data?

Thus, global data access via the semantic Web is not — and can never be — indiscriminate nor unambiguous. We need to understand and come to trust sources and provenance; we need interpretation and context to decide appropriateness and validity; and we need testing and validation to ensure messages as received are indeed correct. Humans need to do these things in their normal courses of interaction and communication; our machine systems will need to do the same.

These confirmations and decisions as to whether the information we receive is actionable or not will come about via still more information. Some of this information may come about via shared conventions. But most will come about because we choose to provide more context and interpretation for the core messages we hope to communicate.

It is well-written and so pleasant to read. See what you think about the process by which Mike reaches his conclusions.