Report from Day 3 at ISWC

By   /  October 26, 2011  /  No Comments

Juan Sequeda photo[Editor’s Note: This week, Juan Sequeda is reporting in from the International Semantic Web Conference in Bonn, Germany. See his other reports here:
Day 1Day 2 |  Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 ]

Day 3 was the first full conference day. The past two days were dedicated only to tutorials and workshops on more specific topics. This year, ISWC turns 10 years old and they showed a tag cloud of the abstracts submitted in 2001 versus the tag cloud of the abstracts submitted this year. Not surprising, the word “data” appears much larger, the word “ontology” has maintained its size, the word “web” has almost disappeared while the word “query” appears now and barely appeared 10 years ago.

(tag cloud image after the jump)

Tag Cloud showing ten years of terms at ISWC

The day started with a keynote by Alex “Sandy” Pentland on “Building A Nervous System for Society: The ‘New Deal on Data’ and how to make Health, Financial, Logistics, and Transportation Systems Work.” Pentland talked about how social influence is like an immune system and how human behavior affects it. For example, 80% of diseases are caused by behavior. Similarly, predictive sales can be achieved by analyzing the social network, even without accessing personal data. Pentland stated that information should be explicitly treated as an asset. He concluded that information about people leads to power and money and that this information is creating a data-driven world, while driving a revolution in governance, management and business. He finished his keynote by introducing ID Cubed, an institution to design, code, test and scale a new data ecosystem of innovative data-driven enterprises.

The rest of the day consisted of a series of different tracks. The conference tracks today were on Alternative Approaches and Performance Issues for RDF Query, Knowledge Representation Reasoners and Policies and Trust. The In-Use track explored the benefits and challenges of applying semantic technology in real-life applications and contexts, such as industry, science, society, and government. Today there were sessions on Architecture and Ontologies and Linked Data. The Industry Track hosted businesses that presented products and services that leverage Semantic Web technologies. The day ended with Minute Madness, where every author of a Poster or Demo gave a 1 minute teaser about their work. Afterwards, all the attendees of the conference were able to visit poster and demo booths to play around with semantic web applications and learn about the fascinating research that people in the field are working on.


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