Archive for the ‘Knowledge Management’ Category

A Call for Collaboration: Data Mining in Cross-Border Investigations

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

A Call for Collaboration: Data Mining in Cross-Border Investigations by Jonathan Stray and Drew Sullivan.

From the post:

Over the past few years we have seen the huge potential of data and document mining in investigative journalism. Tech savvy networks of journalists such as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have teamed together for astounding cross-border investigations, such as OCCRP’s work on money laundering or ICIJ’s offshore leak projects. OCCRP has even incubated its own tools, such as VIS, Investigative Dashboard and Overview.

But we need to do better. There is enormous duplication and missed opportunity in investigative journalism software. Many small grants for technology development have led to many new tools, but very few have become widely used. For example, there are now over 70 tools just for social network analysis. There are other tools for other types of analysis, document handling, data cleaning, and on and on. Most of these are open source, and in various states of completeness, usability, and adoption. Developer teams lack critical capacities such as usability testing, agile processes, and business development for sustainability. Many of these tools are beautiful solutions in search of a problem.

The fragmentation of software development for investigative journalism has consequences: Most newsrooms still lack capacity for very basic knowledge management tasks, such as digitally filing new documents where they can be searched and found later. Tools do not work or do not inter-operate. Ultimately the reporting work is slower, or more expensive, or doesn’t get done. Meanwhile, the commercial software world has so far ignored investigative journalism because it is a small, specialized user-base. Tools like Nuix and Palantir are expensive, not networked, and not extensible for the inevitable story-specific needs.

But investigative journalists have learned how to work in cross-border networks, and investigative journalism developers can too. The experience gained from collaborative data-driven journalism has led OCCRP and other interested organizations to focus on the following issues:

The issues:

  • Usability
  • Delivery
  • Networked Investigation
  • Sustainability
  • Interoperability and extensibility

The next step is reported to be:

The next step for us is a small meeting: the very first conference on Knowledge Management in Investigative Journalism. This event will bring together key developers and journalists to refine the problem definition and plan a way forward. OCCRP and the Influence Mappers project have already pledged support. Stay tuned…

Jonathan Stray jonathanstray@gmail.comand and Drew Sullivan, want to know if you are interested too?

See the original post, email Jonathan and Drew if you are interested. It sounds like a very good idea to me.

PS: You already know one of the technologies that I think is important for knowledge management: topic maps!

Hands-On Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Hands-On Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing, Abdul Samad Kazi, Liza Wohlfart, Patricia Wolf, editors.

From the preface:

The content management team of KnowledgeBoard launched its first book entitled “Real-Life Knowledge Management: Lessons from the Field” in April, 2006. This book was a collection of eighteen industrial case studies from twelve different countries. What differentiated this book from others lay in the fact that most of the case studies were a recording of the vast experiences of knowledge workers: the real people on the field. The book was and continues to remain a success and is used in numerous large and small organisations to solve real-life problems today based on learnings from and adaptation of the case studies to the operational norms of these organisations. It is furthermore used as valuable teaching, training and reference material, at different universities and training centres.

During a Contactivity event in 2006, participants of the event mentioned the need for a set of practical methods and techniques for effective knowledge co-creation and sharing. The initial idea was to prepare a list of existing methods and techniques in the form of a short article. During this process, we noted that while existing methods were reasonably well-documented, there existed several undocumented methods and techniques that were developed and used for
specific organisational contexts by knowledge workers. Through further requests from different KnowledgeBoard community members for a new book on practical methods and techniques for knowledge creation and sharing, the content management team of KnowledgeBoard launched a call for KnowledgeBoard’s second book. “Hands-On Knowledge Co-Creation and Sharing: Practical Methods and Techniques”, the book you now hold in your hands, or browse on your screen is the result.

This book presents thirty different hands-on methods and techniques for knowledge co-creation and sharing within collaborative settings. It showcases a wide range of moderation, facilitation, collaboration, and interaction mechanisms through the use of different face-to-face and online methods and techniques. Each presented method/technique is augmented with real-life cases on its use; provides directions on what needs to be done before, during, and after the use of each method/technique to achieve tangible and measurable results; provides a set of tips and tricks on the use and adaptation of the method/technique for different contexts and settings; and provides a list of potholes to avoid when using the method/technique.

The prime audience of this book is industry practitioners, event moderators, facilitators, consultants, researchers, and academia with an interest in the use and development of effective techniques and mechanisms to foster knowledge co-creation and sharing. This book is expected to equip them with a set of usable practical methods and techniques for knowledge co-creation and sharing.

You will have to select, adapt and modify these techniques to suit your particular situation but it does offer a wide range of approaches.

I am not as confident of the people sharing knowledge as the editors and their authors.

My experience with non-profit organizations could be called a cult of orality. There is little or no written documentation, be it requirements for projects, procedures for backups, installation details on applications, database schemas, etc.

Questions both large and small are answered only with oral and incomplete answers.

If answers to questions were in writing, it would be possible to hold people accountable for their answers.

Not to mention the job security that comes from being the only person who knows how applications are configured.

One reason for a lack of knowledge sharing is the lack of benefit for the person sharing the knowledge.

I would think continued employment would be benefit enough but that is a management choice.

Knowledge Management for the Federal Government

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Knowledge Management for the Federal Government (FCW – Federal Computer Week)

From the post:

Given the fast pace of today’s missions, it’s more important than ever to be able to find critical information easily when you need it. Explore the challenges of information sharing and how Google is helping increase knowledge management capabilities across the federal government.

Interesting enough title for me to download the PDF file.

Which reads (in part):

Executive Summary

Given the fast pace of today’s government missions, it’s more important than ever for employees to be able to find critical information easily when they need it. Today, huge amounts of data are stored in hard-to-access, decentralized systems with different legacy architectures, search engines and security restrictions. Searching across of all these systems is time-consuming. In fact, a study conducted by MeriTalk, DLT Solutions and Google found that 87% of federal employees spend about one and a half hours each day searching internal databases for information. With mission success on the line, overcoming these inefficiencies is a top priority.

This white paper summarizes the challenges of information sharing and explains the advantages that the Google Search Appliance (GSA) can offer to increase knowledge management capabilities across the federal government. It also shares real-life examples of how government agencies are using the GSA to break down information silos and provide users access to exactly the information they need, at the moment they need to know it.

The Google Search Appliance:

  • Bridges new and legacy architectures to deliver a one-stop shop for searches across all systems
  • Ensures the most complete and up-to-date information is available anywhere, any time, on any web-enabled device – regardless of location, bandwidth, access device or platform
  • Moves at the speed of the mission with intuitive, personalized and dynamic search technology
  • Assures complete mission knowledge with 24/7 automatic scaling, crawling and tagging that continuously reveals hidden data associations and missing pieces
  • Breaks down barriers to stove-piped systems and legacy data
  • Enriches gaps in metadata to make searches on legacy data as fast and effective as with new data
  • Is proven, simple to install and easy to use

Well….., except that the “white paper” (2 pages) never says how it will integrate across silos.

Searching across silos is a form of “integration,” an example of which is searching with Google for “Virgin Mary” (sans the quotes):

A large search result with much variety.

Imagine the results if you were searching based on a Westernized mis-spelling of an Arabic name.

I tried to find more details on the Google Search Appliance but came out at DLT Solutions.

Didn’t find any details about the Google Search Appliance that would support the claims in the white paper.

Maybe you will have better luck.

STScI’s Engineering and Technology Colloquia

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

STScI’s Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series Webcasts by Bruce Berriman.

From the post:

Last week, I wrote a post about Michelle Borkin’s presentation on Astronomical Medicine and Beyond, part of the Space Telescope Science Institute’s (STScI) Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series. STScI archives and posts on-line all the presentations in this series. The talks go back to 2008 (with one earlier one dating to 2001), are generally given monthly or quarterly, and represent a rich source of information on many aspects of engineering and technology. The archive includes, where available, abstracts, Power Point Slides, videos for download, and for the more recent presentations, webcasts.

Definitely a astronomy/space flavor but also includes:

Scientific Data Visualization by Adam Bly (, Seed Media Group).

Knowledge Retention & Transfer: What You Need to Know by Jay Liebowitz (UMUC).

Fast Parallel Processing Using GPUs for Accelerating Image Processing by Tom Reed (Nvidia Corporation).

Every field is struggling with the same data/knowledge issues, often using different terminologies or examples.

We can all struggle separately or we can learn from others.

Which approach do you use?

FBI’s Sentinel Project: 5 Lessons Learned[?]

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

FBI’s Sentinel Project: 5 Lessons Learned [?] by John Foley.

John writes of lessons learned from the Sentinel Project, which replaces the $170 million disaster, Virtual Case File system.

Lessons you need to avoid applying to your information management projects, whether you use topic maps or no.

2. Agile development gets things done. The next big shift in strategy was Fulgham’s decision in September 2010 to wrest control of the project from prime contractor Lockheed Martin and use agile development to accelerate software deliverables. The thinking was that a hands-on, incremental approach would be faster because functionality would be developed, and adjustments made, in two-week “sprints.” The FBI missed its target date for finishing that work–September 2011–but it credits the agile methodology with ultimately getting the job done.

Missing a start date by ten (10) months does not count as a success for most projects. Moreover, note how they define “success:”

this week’s announcement that Sentinel, as of July 1, became available to all FBI employees is a major achievement.

Available to all FBI employees? I would think using it by all FBI employees would be the measure of success. Yes?

Can you think a success measure other than use by employees?

3. Commercial software plays an important role. Sentinel is based in part on commercial software, a fact that’s often overlooked because of all the custom coding and systems integration involved. Under the hood are EMC’s Documentum document management software, Oracle databases, IBM’s WebSphere middleware, Microsoft’s SharePoint, and Entrust’s PKI technology. Critics who say that Sentinel would have gone more smoothly if only it had been based on off-the-shelf software seem unaware that, in fact, it is.

Commercial software? Sounds like a software Frankenstein to me. I wonder if they simply bought software based on the political clout of the vendors and then wired it together? What it sounds like. Do you have access to the system documentation? That could prove to be an interesting read.

I can imagine legacy systems wired together with these components but if you are building a clean system, why the cut-n-paste from different vendors?

4. Agile development is cheaper, too. Sentinel came in under its $451 million budget. The caveat is that the FBI’s original cost estimate for Sentinel was $425 million, but that was before Fulgham and Johnson took over, and they stayed within the budget they were given. The Inspector General might quibble with how the FBI accounts for the total project cost, having pointed out in the past that its tally didn’t reflect the agency’s staff costs. But the FBI wasn’t forced to go to Congress with its hand out. Agile development wasn’t only faster, but also cheaper.

Right, let’s simply lie to the prospective client about the true cost of development for a project. Their staff, who already have full time duties, can just tough it out and give us the review/feedback that we need to build a working system. Right.

This is true for IT projects in general but topic map projects in particular. Clients will have to resource the project properly from the beginning, not just with your time but the time of its staff and subject matter experts.

A good topic map, read a useful topic map, is going to reflect contributions from the client’s staff. You need to make the case to decision makers that the staff contributions are just as important as their present day to day tasks.

BTW, if agile development oh so useful, people would be using it. Like C, Java, C++.

Do you see marketing pieces for C, Java, C++?

Successful approaches/languages are used, not advertised.

Conferences on Intelligent Computer Mathematics (CICM 2012)

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Conferences on Intelligent Computer Mathematics (CICM 2012) (talks listing)

From the “general information” page:

As computers and communications technology advance, greater opportunities arise for intelligent mathematical computation. While computer algebra, automated deduction, mathematical publishing and novel user interfaces individually have long and successful histories, we are now seeing increasing opportunities for synergy among these areas.

The conference is organized by Serge Autexier (DFKI) and Michael Kohlhase (JUB), takes place at Jacobs University in Bremen and consists of five tracks

The overall programme is organized by the General Program Chair Johan Jeuring.

Which I located by following the conference reference in: An XML-Format for Conjectures in Geometry (Work-in-Progress)

A real treasure trove of research on searching, semantics, integration, focused on computers and mathematics.

Expect to see citations to work reported here and in other CICM proceedings.

Knowledge Economics II

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

My notes about Steve Newcomb’s economic asset approach to knowledge/information integration were taking me too far afield from the conference proper.

As an economic asset, take information liberated from alphabet soup agency (ASP) #1 to be integrated with your information. Your information could be from unnamed sources, public records, your records, etc. Reliable integration requires semantic knowledge of ASP #1’s records or trial-n-error processing. Unless, of course, you have a mapping enabling reliable integration of ASP #1 information with your own.

How much is that “mapping” worth to you? Is it reusable? Or should I say, “retargetable?”

You can, as people are want to do, hire a data mining firm to go over thousands of documents (like State Department cables, which revealed the trivia nature of State Department secrets) and get a one off result. But what happens the next time? Do you do the same thing over again? And how does that fit into your prior results?

That’s really the question isn’t it? Not how do you process the current batch of information (although that can be important) but how does that integrate into your prior data? So that your current reporters will not have to duplicate all the searching your earlier reporters did to find the same information.

Perhaps they will uncover relationships that were not apparent from only one batch of leaked information. Perhaps they will purchase from the airlines their travel data to be integrated with reported sightings from their own sources. Or telephone records from carriers not based in the United States.

But data integration opportunities are not just for governments and the press.

Your organization has lots of information. Information on customers. Information on suppliers. Information on your competition. Information on what patients were taking what drugs with what results? (Would you give that information to drug companies or sell it to drug companies? I know my answer. How about yours?)

What will you answer when a shareholder asks: What is our KROI? Knowledge Return on Investment?

You have knowledge to sell. How are you going to package it up to attract buyers? (inquiries welcome)

Knowledge Economics (Grand Wailea Maui, HI 2013)

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

KE HICSS 2013 : Knowledge Economics: HICSS-46 (2013)

When Jan 7, 2013 – Jan 10, 2013
Where Grand Wailea Maui, HI
Submission Deadline Jun 15, 2012
Notification Due Aug 15, 2012
Final Version Due Sep 15, 2012

A conference running to catch up with Steve Newcomb’s advocacy of knowledge integration mappings as economic assets. (See Knowledge Economics II)

Additional details about the Minitrack may be found at:

Join our “Knowledge Economics” LinkedIn group:

Knowledge Management is continuously gaining importance in research and practice, since economically growth economies are more reliant on the contribution of knowledge intensive businesses. Various methodologies to identify, capture, model and simulate knowledge transfers have been elaborated within the business scope. These methodologies comprise both the technical, as well as the organizational aspect of knowledge, being transferred in organizations.

This minitrack aims to provide insight on the knowledge economics and emphasizes a holistic view on the economic implications of knowledge, including the value and economics of repositories and the overall value of knowledge. Further on, implications of the knowledge society and knowledge based policy are covered within the scope of this minitrack.

Possible contributions regarding the economics of knowledge management and transfer may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Value and economics of repositories
  • Implications of the knowledge society
  • Policy generation and implementation in the knowledge society
  • Knowledge based theory
  • Knowledge based society
  • Economics of knowledge co-creation and Business Process Management (BPM)
  • Costs associated with knowledge management and knowledge transfer
  • Tangible and intangible (business) value of knowledge management systems
  • Methods for measuring the costs and benefits of projects involving knowledge management systems
  • Measuring, managing and promoting intellectual capital
  • Economics of inner and cross-organizational knowledge transfer
  • Business models involving knowledge management and knowledge transfer
  • The role of human, intellectual and social capital in knowledge management and knowledge transfer
  • Economics of knowledge transfer across developed and emerging economies
  • Value creation through education based knowledge transfer
  • Benefits and costs of considering knowledge in the analysis of business processes
  • Economics of sustainable knowledge management – potentials, barriers and critical success factors
  • Motivations and financial expectations of cross-border knowledge transfer
  • Contribution of knowledge management systems to firm performance and competiveness
  • Economics of talent management
  • Financial effects of the Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) position, knowledge managers, and other knowledge management related resources
  • Financial rewards systems related to knowledge management and knowledge transfer
  • Frameworks, models and theories related to the economics of knowledge management and transfer

Both conceptual and empirical papers with a sound research background are welcomed. All submissions must include a separate contribution section, explaining how the work contributes to a better understanding of knowledge management and economics.

International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing

Regular Paper Submission: April 17, 2012
Authors Notification (regular papers): June 12, 2012
Final Regular Paper Submission and Registration: July 4, 2012

From the call for papers:

Knowledge Management (KM) is a discipline concerned with the analysis and technical support of practices used in an organization to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable the adoption and leveraging of good practices embedded in collaborative settings and, in particular, in organizational processes. Effective knowledge management is an increasingly important source of competitive advantage, and a key to the success of contemporary organizations, bolstering the collective expertise of its employees and partners.

Information Sharing (IS) is a term used for a long time in the information technology (IT) lexicon, related to data exchange, communication protocols and technological infrastructures. Although standardization is indeed an essential element for sharing information, IS effectiveness requires going beyond the syntactic nature of IT and delve into the human functions involved in the semantic, pragmatic and social levels of organizational semiotics.

The two areas are intertwined as information sharing is the foundation for knowledge management.

Part of IC3K 2012 – International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management.

Although all three conferences at IC3K 2012 will be of interest to topic mappers, the line:

Although standardization is indeed an essential element for sharing information, IS effectiveness requires going beyond the syntactic nature of IT and delve into the human functions involved in the semantic, pragmatic and social levels of organizational semiotics.

did catch my attention.

I am not sure that I would treat syntactic standardization as a prerequisite for sharing information. If anything, syntactic diversity increases more quickly than semantic diversity, as every project to address the latter starts by claiming a need to address the former.

Let’s start with extant syntaxes, whether COBOL, relational tables, topic maps, RDF, etc., and specify semantics that we wish to map between them. To see if there is any ROI. If not, stop there and select other data sets. If yes, then specify only so much in the way of syntax/semantics as results in ROI.

Don’t have to plan on integrating all the data from all federal agencies. Just don’t do anything inconsistent with that as a long term goal. Like failing to document why you arrived at particular mappings. (You will forget by tomorrow or the next day.)

International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development

Regular Paper Submission: April 17, 2012
Authors Notification (regular papers): June 12, 2012
Final Regular Paper Submission and Registration: July 4, 2012

From the call for papers:

Knowledge Engineering (KE) refers to all technical, scientific and social as-pects involved in building, maintaining and using knowledge-based systems. KE is a multidisciplinary field, bringing in concepts and methods from several computer science domains such as artificial intelligence, databases, expert systems, decision support systems and geographic information systems.

Ontology Development (OD) aims at building reusable semantic structures that can be informal vocabularies, catalogs, glossaries as well as more complex finite formal structures representing the entities within a domain and the relationships between those entities. Ontologies, have been gaining interest and acceptance in computational audiences: formal ontologies are a form of software, thus software development methodologies can be adapted to serve ontology development. A wide range of applications is emerging, especially given the current web emphasis, including library science, ontology-enhanced search, e-commerce and business process design.

Part of IC3K 2012 – International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management.

Interconnection of Communities of Practice: A Web Platform for Knowledge Management

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Interconnection of Communities of Practice: A Web Platform for Knowledge Management by Elise Garrot-Lavoué (LIESP).


Our works aim at developing a Web platform to connect various Communities of Practice (CoPs) and to capitalise on all their knowledge. This platform addresses CoPs interested in a same general activity, for example tutoring. For that purpose, we propose a general model of Interconnection of Communities of Practice (ICP), based on the concept of Constellation of Practice (CCP) developed by Wenger (1998). The model of ICP was implemented and has been used to develop the TE-Cap 2 platform which has, as its field of application, educational tutoring activities. In particular, we propose an indexation and search tool for the ICP knowledge base. The TE-Cap 2 platform has been used in real conditions. We present the main results of this descriptive investigation to validate this work.

I started reading this article because of the similarity of “Communities of Practice (CoPs)” to Jack Park’s “tribes,” which Jack uses to describe different semantic communities. Then I ran across:

The most important difficulty to overcome is to arouse interactions between persons except any frame imposed by an organisation. For that purpose, it is necessary to bring them to become aware that they have shared practices and to provide the available means to get in touch with people from different CoPs.
(emphasis added)

Admittedly the highlighted sentence would win no prizes for construction but I think its intent is clear. I would restate it as:

The most important difficulty is enabling interactions between persons across the structures of their Communities of Practice (CoPs).

Communities of Practice (CoPs) can be and often are based in organizations, such as employers, I think it is important to not limit the idea of such communities to formal organizational structures, which some CoPs may transcend. The project uses “Interconnection of Communities of Practice (ICP)” to describe communication that transcends institutional barriers.

The other modification I made was to make it clear that it is enabling of interactions is the goal. Creating a framework of interactions isn’t the goal. Unless the interactions emerge from the members of the CoPs, then all we have is a set of interactions imposed on the CoPs and their members.

I need to look at more Communities of Practice (CoPs) literature because I wonder if ontologies are seen as the product of a community, as opposed to be the basis for a community itself?

I have done some quick searches on “Communities of Practice (CoPs)” and as with all things connected to topic maps, there is a vast sea of literature. 😉

18th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW 2012)

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

18th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW 2012)

Important Submission Dates:

  • Abstract Submission: April 18th, 2012
  • Full Paper Submission: April 25th, 2012
  • Notification:June 6th, 2012
  • Camera-Ready: June 30th, 2012
  • Tutorial & Workshop Proposal: May 16th, 2012
  • Demo Submission: July 2nd, 2012
  • Demo Notification: July 23rd, 2012
  • Demo Camera-Ready Version: August 4th, 2012
  • Poster Submission: August 13th, 2012
  • Poster Notification: September 3rd, 2012

Somewhere further up on the page they said:

Galway, Ireland at the Aula Maxima located in the National University of Ireland Galway Quadrangle from October 8-12, 2012.

I don’t know. With a name like Aula Maxima I was expecting something a bit more impressive. Still, it’s Ireland and so a lot to be said for the location, impressive buildings or no.

From the call for papers:

The 18th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management is concerned with all aspects of eliciting, acquiring, modeling and managing knowledge, and its role in the construction of knowledge-intensive systems and services for the semantic web, knowledge management, e-business, natural language processing, intelligent information integration, etc.

The special focus of the 18th edition of EKAW will be on “Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management that matters”. We are explicitly calling for papers that have a potentially high impact on a specific community or application domain (e.g. pharmacy and life sciences), as well as for papers which report on the development or evaluation of publicly available data sets relevant for a large number of applications. Moreover, we welcome contributions dealing with problems specific to modeling and maintenance of real-world data or knowledge, such as scalability and robustness of knowledge-based applications, or privacy and provenance issues related to organizational knowledge management.

In addition to the main research track, EKAW 2012 will feature a tutorial and workshop program, as well as a poster and demo track. Moreover, there will be a Doctoral Consortium giving new PhD students a possibility to present their research proposals, and to get feedback on methodological and practical aspects of their planned dissertation.

The proceedings of the conference will be published by Springer Verlag in the LNCS series. The LNCS volume will contain the contributed research papers as well as descriptions of the demos presented at the conference. Papers published at any of the workshops will be published in dedicated workshop proceedings.

EKAW 2012 welcomes papers dealing with theoretical, methodological, experimental, and application-oriented aspects of knowledge engineering and knowledge management. In particular, but not exclusively, we solicit papers about methods, tools and methodologies relevant with regard to the following topics:

Context and Semantics for Knowledge Management – … Personal Productivity [and Job Security]

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Context and Semantics for Knowledge Management – Technologies for Personal Productivity by Warren, Paul; Davies, John; Simperl, Elena (Eds.). 1st Edition., 2011, X, 392 p. 120 illus., 4 in color. Hardcover, ISBN 978-3-642-19509-9

I quite agree with the statement: “the fact that much corporate knowledge only resides in employees’ heads seriously hampers reuse.” True but it is also a source of job security. In organizations both large and small, in the U.S. and in other countries as well.

I don’t think any serious person believes the Pentagon (US) needs to have more than 6,000 HR systems. But, job security presents different requirements from say productivity, accomplishment of mission (aside from the mission of remaining employed), in this case, national defense, etc.

How one overcomes job security is going to vary from system to system. Be aware it is a non-technical issue and technology is not the answer to it. It is a management issue that management would like to treat as a technology problem. Treating personnel issues as problems that can be solved with technology nearly universally fails.

From the announcement:

Knowledge and information are among the biggest assets of enterprises and organizations. However, efficiently managing, maintaining, accessing, and reusing this intangible treasure is difficult. Information overload makes it difficult to focus on the information that really matters; the fact that much corporate knowledge only resides in employees’ heads seriously hampers reuse.

The work described in this book is motivated by the need to increase the productivity of knowledge work. Based on results from the EU-funded ACTIVE project and complemented by recent related results from other researchers, the application of three approaches is presented: the synergy of Web 2.0 and semantic technology; context-based information delivery; and the use of technology to support informal user processes. The contributions are organized in five parts. Part I comprises a general introduction and a description of the opportunities and challenges faced by organizations in exploiting Web 2.0 capabilities. Part II looks at the technologies, and also some methodologies, developed in ACTIVE. Part III describes how these technologies have been evaluated in three case studies within the project. Part IV starts with a chapter describing the principal market trends for knowledge management solutions, and then includes a number of chapters describing work complementary to ACTIVE. Finally, Part V draws conclusions and indicates further areas for research.

Overall, this book mainly aims at researchers in academia and industry looking for a state-of-the-art overview of the use of semantic and Web 2.0 technologies for knowledge management and personal productivity. Practitioners in industry will also benefit, in particular from the case studies which highlight cutting-edge applications in these fields.

SIGKDD 2011 Conference

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

A pair of posts from Ryan Rosario on the SIGKDD 2011 Conference.

Day 1 (Graph Mining and David Blei/Topic Models)

Tough sledding on Probabilistic Topic Models but definitely worth the effort to follow.

Days 2/3/4 Summary

Useful summaries and pointers to many additional resources.

If you attended SIGKDD 2011, do you have pointers to other reviews of the conference or other resources?

I added a category for SIGKDD.

OrganiK Knowledge Management System

Monday, July 4th, 2011

OrganiK Knowledge Management System (wiki)

OrganiK Knowledge Management System (homepage)

I encountered the OrganiK project while searching for something else (naturally). 😉

From the homepage:

Objectives of the Project

The aim of the OrganiK project is to research and develop an innovative knowledge management system that enables the semantic fusion of enterprise social software applications. The system accumulates information that can be exchanged among one or several collaborating companies. This enables an effective management of organisational knowledge and can be adapted to functional requirements of smaller and knowledge-intensive companies.

More info..

Main distinguishing features

The set of OrganiK KM Client Interfaces comprises of a Wiki, a Blog, a Social Bookmarking and a Search Component that together constitute a Collaborative Workspace for SME knowledge workers. Each of the components consists of a Web-based client interface and a corresponding server engine.
The components that comprise the Business Logic Layer of the OrganiK KM Server are:

  • the Recommender System,
  • the Semantic Text Analyser,
  • the Collaborative Filtering Engine
  • the Full-text Indexer

More info…

Interesting project but the latest news item dates from 2008. Not encouraging.

I checked the source code and the most recent update was August, 2010. Much more encouraging.

Have written for more recent news.

Data Management Slam Dunk – SPAM Warning

Monday, December 27th, 2010

The Data Management Slam Dunk: A Unified Integration Platform is a spam message that landed in my inbox today.

I have heard good things about Talend software but gibberish like:

There will never be a silver bullet for marshalling the increasing volumes of data, but at least there is one irrefutable truth: a unified data management platform can solve most of the problems that information managers encounter. In fact, by creating a centralized repository for data definitions, lineage, transformations and movements, companies can avoid many troubles before they occur.

makes me wonder if any of it is true?

Did you notice that the irrefutable fact is a sort of magic incantation?

If everything is dumped in one place, troubles just melt away.

It isn’t that simple.

The “presentation” never gives a clue as to how anyone would achieve these benefits in practice. It just keeps repeating the benefits and oh, that Talend is the way to get them.

Not quite as annoying as one of those belly-buster infomercials but almost.

I have been planning on reviewing the Talend software from a topic map perspective.

Suggestions of issues, concerns or particularly elegant parts that I should be aware of are most welcome.

ICCS’11: Conceptual Structures for Discovering Knowledge

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

ICCS’11: Conceptual Structures for Discovering Knowledge 25th – 29th July, University of Derby, United Kingdom

From the announcement:

The 19th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2011) is the latest in a series of annual conferences that have been held in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America since 1993. The focus of these conferences has been the representation and analysis of conceptual knowledge for research and business applications. ICCS brings together researchers in information technology, arts, humanities and social science to explore novel ways that can conceptual structures can be employed in information systems.

ICCS 2011’s theme is “Conceptual Structures for Discovering Knowledge”. More and more data is being captured in electronic format (particularly through the Web) and it is emerging that this data is reaching such a critical mass that it is becoming the most recorded form of the world around us. It now represents our business, economic, arts, social, and scientific endeavours to such an extent that we require smart applications that can discover the hitherto hidden knowledge that this mass of data is busily capturing. By bringing together the way computers work with the way humans think, conceptual structures align the productivity of computer processing with the ingenuity of individuals and organisations in a meaningful digital future.

Important Dates:

  • Friday 14 January 2011 – a one page abstract submitted via conference website ( NB: Abstracts should clearly state the purpose, results and conclusions of the work to be described in the final paper.
  • Friday 21 January 2011 – full paper in PDF format submitted via the conference website (

BTW, the dates are correct, one week gap between abstracts and full papers. I checked with the conference organizers. They use the abstracts to plan allocation of papers to reviewers.

7. “We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down.”

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Seven of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

We always know more than we can say, and we will always say more than we can write down. This is probably the most important. The process of taking things from our heads, to our mouths (speaking it) to our hands (writing it down) involves loss of content and context. It is always less than it could have been as it is increasingly codified.

Authoring a topic map always involves loss of content and context.

The same loss of content and context has bedeviled the AI community for the last 50 years.

No one can control the loss content and context or even identify it ahead of time.

Testing topic maps on users will help bring them closer to user expectations.

6. “The way we know things is not the way we report we know things.”

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Six of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

The way we know things is not the way we report we know things. There is an increasing body of research data which indicates that in the practice of knowledge people use heuristics, past pattern matching and extrapolation to make decisions, coupled with complex blending of ideas and experiences that takes place in nanoseconds. Asked to describe how they made a decision after the event they will tend to provide a more structured process oriented approach which does not match reality. This has major consequences for knowledge management practice.

It wasn’t planned but appropriate this should follow Harry Halpin’s Sense and Reference on the Web.


  1. Find three examples of decision making that differs from the actual process.
  2. Of the examples reported in class, would any of them impact your design of a topic map? (3-5 pages, no citations)
  3. Of the same examples, would any of them impact your design of a topic map interface? (3-5 pages, no citations)
  4. Do you consider a topic map and its interface to be different? If so, how? If not, why not? (3-5 pages, no citations)

5. “Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success.”

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Five of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

Tolerated failure imprints learning better than success. When my young son burnt his finger on a match he learnt more about the dangers of fire than any amount of parental instruction could provide. All human cultures have developed forms that allow stories of failure to spread without attribution of blame. Avoidance of failure has greater evolutionary advantage than imitation of success. It follows that attempting to impose best practice systems is flying in the face of over a hundred thousand years of evolution that says it is a bad thing.

Perhaps with fingers and matches, but I am not sure “failure imprints learning better than success” in knowledge management.

The perennial failure (as opposed to the perennial philosophy), the effort to create a “perfect” language, now using URIs, continues unabated.

The continuing failure to effectively share intelligence is another lesson slow in being learned.

Not that “best practices” would help in either case.

Should failure of “perfect” languages and sharing be principles of knowledge management?

4. “Everything is fragmented.”

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Four of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

Everything is fragmented. We evolved to handle unstructured fragmented fine granularity information objects, not highly structured documents. People will spend hours on the internet, or in casual conversation without any incentive or pressure. However creating and using structured documents requires considerably more effort and time. Our brains evolved to handle fragmented patterns not information.

I would rather say that complex structures exist just beyond the objects we handle in day to day conversation.

The structures are there, if and when we choose to look.

The problem Snowden has identified is that most systems can’t have structures “appear” when they “look” for them.

Either the objects fit into some structure or they don’t from the perspective of most systems.

Making those structures, that normally appear only when we look, explicit, is the issue.

Explicit or not, none of our objects have meaning in isolation from those structures.

To make it interesting, we all bring slightly different underlying structures to those objects.

(Making assumed or transparent structures explicit is hard. Witness the experience of markup.)

19th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The front matter for 19th ACM international conference on Information and knowledge management is a great argument for ACM membership + Digital Library.

There are 126 papers, any one of which would make for a pleasant afternoon.

I will be mining these for those particularly relevant to topic maps but your suggestions would be appreciated.

  1. What conferences do you follow?
  2. What journals do you follow?
  3. What blogs/websites do you follow?

Visit the ACM main site or its membership page ACM Membership

3. “In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge.”

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Three of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

In the context of real need few people will withhold their knowledge. A genuine request for help is not often refused unless there is literally no time or a previous history of distrust. On the other hand ask people to codify all that they know in advance of a contextual enquiry and it will be refused (in practice its impossible anyway). Linking and connecting people is more important than storing their artifacts.

I guess the US intelligence community has a “previous history of distrust” and that is why some 9 years after 9/11 effective intelligence sharing remains a fantasy.

People withhold their knowledge for all sorts of reasons. Job security comes to mind. Closely related is self-importance. Followed closely by revelation of incompetence. General insecurity, and a host of others.

Technical issues did not create the need for semantic integration. Technical solutions will not, by themselves, result in semantic integration.

2. “We only know what we know when we need to know it.”

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle Two of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

We only know what we know when we need to know it. Human knowledge is deeply contextual and requires stimulus for recall. Unlike computers we do not have a list-all function. Small verbal or nonverbal clues can provide those ah-ha moments when a memory or series of memories are suddenly recalled, in context to enable us to act. When we sleep on things we are engaged in a complex organic form of knowledge recall and creation; in contrast a computer would need to be rebooted.

An important principle both for authoring and creating useful topic maps.

A topic map for repairing a jet engine could well begin by filming the repair multiple times from different angles.

Then have a mechanic describe the process they followed without reference to the video.

The differences are things that need to be explored and captured for the map.

Likewise, a map should not stick too closely to the “bare” facts needed for the map.

People using the map will need context in order to make the best use of its information.

What seems trivial or irrelevant, may be the clue that triggers an appropriate response. Test with users!


PS: Don’t forget that the context in which a topic map is *used* is also part of its context.

An Evaluation of TS13298 in the Scope of MoReq2

Monday, October 25th, 2010

An Evaluation of TS13298 in the Scope of MoReq2. Authors: Gülten Al?r, Thomas Sødring and ?rem Soydal Keywords: TS13298, MoReq2, electronic records management standards.


TS13298 is the first Turkish standard developed for electronic records management. It was published in 2007 and is particularly important when developing e-government services. MoReq2, which was published in 2008 as an initiative of the European Union countries, is an international “de facto” standard within the field of electronic records management. This paper compares and evaluates the content and presentation of the TS13298 and MoReq2 standards, and similarities and differences between the two standards are described. Moreover, the question of how MoReq2 can be used as a reference when updating TS13298 is also dealt with. The method of hermeneutics is used for the evaluation, and the texts of TS13298 and MoReq2 were compared and reviewed. These texts were evaluated in terms of terminology, access control and security, retention and disposition, capture and declaring, search, retrieval, presentation and metadata scheme. We discovered that TS13298 and MoReq2 have some “requirements” in common. However, the MoReq2 requirements, particularly in terms of control and security, retention and disposition, capture and declaration, search and presentation, are both vaster and more detailed than those of TS13298. As a conclusion it is emphasized that it would be convenient to update TS13298 by considering these requirements. Moreover, it would be useful to update and improve TS13298 by evaluating MoReq2 in terms of terminology and metadata scheme.

This article could form the basis for a topic map of these standards to facilitate convergence of these standards.

It also illustrates how a title search on “electronic records” would miss an article of interest.

1. “Knowledge can only be volunteered it cannot be conscripted.”

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Knowledge Management Principle One of Seven (Rendering Knowledge by David Snowden)

Knowledge can only be volunteered it cannot be conscripted. You can’t make someone share their knowledge, because you can never measure if they have. You can measure information transfer or process compliance, but you can’t determine if a senior partner has truly passed on all their experience or knowledge of a case.

To create successful topic maps, there must be incentives for sharing the information that forms the topic map.

Sharing of information should be rewarded, frequently and publicly, short and long term.

Example of failure to create incentives for sharing information: U.S. Intelligence Community.

If your organization, business, enterprise, government, government-in-waiting deserves better than that.

Create incentives for sharing information and start building topic maps today!

Linking Enterprise Data

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Linking Enterprise Data, ed. by David Wood. The full text is available in HTML.

Table of Contents:

  • Part I Why Link Enterprise Data?
    • Semantic Web and the Linked Data Enterprise, Dean Allemang
    • The Role of Community-Driven Data Curation for Enterprises, Edward Curry, Andre Freitas, and Sean O’Riain
  • Part II Approval and Support of Linked Data Projects
    • Preparing for a Linked Data Enterprise, Bernadette Hyland
    • Selling and Building Linked Data: Drive Value and Gain Momentum, Kristen Harris
  • Part III Techniques for Linking Enterprise Data
    • Enhancing Enterprise 2.0 Ecosystems Using Semantic Web and Linked Data Technologies: The SemSLATES Approach, Alexandre Passant, Philippe Laublet, John G. Breslin and Stefan Decker
    • Linking XBRL Financial Data, Roberto García and Rosa Gil
    • Scalable Reasoning Techniques for Semantic Enterprise Data, Reza B’Far
    • Reliable and Persistent Identification of Linked Data Elements, David Wood

Comments to follow.