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What Is Social Knowledge Collection?

Social content collection sites allow regular netizens to create communities of interest and share information at unprecedented scale. As a point of reference, MediaWiki (the wiki that powers Wikipedia) has millions of installations that allow non-programmers to contribute content. Because the content has very little structure, the information cannot be easily aggregated to answer simple questions.

This project investigates provenance-aware social knowledge collection as a novel framework that will:

  • Allow end users with no programming background to contribute structured knowledge, so that knowledge sharing can be easy, frequent, and fluid in a community of interest
  • Allow the structure of the content to be defined by the contributors themselves, and allow it to emerge as part of the self-organization that arises from community content development rather than from pre-defined schemas or ontologies
  • Accept diverging views and evidence, in order to support the acquisition of conflicting or contradictory facts that occur naturally when different results are obtained in practice
  • Allow users to annotate the sources of any information, so users can make trust judgments on what views to adopt
  • Automatically aggregate related information, in order to support reasonably interesting factual queries
  • Self-analyze the contents and their usage, so they can guide contributors to focus on knowledge gaps that are of immediate interest to the community

Existing approaches such as semantic wikis and collaborative ontology editors demonstrate the potential for social knowledge collection. (Gil 2013) gives an overview of current approaches to social knowledge collection. However, they do not allow contributors to express alternative facts, add evidence, or annotate the provenance of information. In addition, they lack the ability to detect knowledge gaps or assess reliability and quality of the content, and proactively direct contributors to improve the content where it is most needed. Provenance-aware social knowledge collection frameworks will investigate and address these shortcomings.

Research

We are currently investigating several major topics:

  1. Analysis of existing platforms for social knowledge collection, including semantic wikis, ontology editors, and other collaborative web editors for knowledge bases
  2. Analysis of social knowledge collection communities that create knowledge repositories, to understand their behaviors, incentives, and the kinds of content that they create
  3. Incorporating provenance in social knowledge collection as a mechanism to track contributions and incentives
  4. Allowing contributors to enter alternative viewpoints with provenance and enable users to make quality and trust judgements
  5. Proactively guiding contributors to invest effort where it is most needed, filling knowledge gaps that the system has detected

Follow-On Projects: Social Knowledge Collection in Science

In related projects, we are investigating the use of semantic platforms for social knowledge collection in science. Our projects include:

  • Organic Data Science allows scientists to formulate and resolve science tasks through an open framework that facilitates ad-hoc participation and entice collaborators based on attractive science goals. Read more.
  • Organic Data Curation allows scientists to collaborate to create useful metadata to describe and aggregate datasets.

Recent Presentations

Internship Opportunities

We are always interested in student interns that can participate in the project over the summer months. Please contact us if you are interested.

Previous summer internships included:

Publications

  • “Challenges in Modeling Geospatial Provenance." Daniel Garijo and Yolanda Gil and Andreas Harth. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Provenance and Annotation Workshop (IPAW), Cologne, Germany, 2014. Available as a preprint.
  • "User Requirements for Geospatial Provenance." Daniel Garijo, Yolanda Gil, and Andreas Harth, A. Provenance Analytics, co-located with the Fifth International Provenance and Annotation Workshop (IPAW), 2014. Available as a preprint.
  • "Geospatial Data Integration with Linked Data and Provenance Tracking." Andreas Harth and Yolanda Gil. W3C/OGC Workshop on Linking Geospatial Data, 2014. Available as a preprint.
  • “Knowledge Capture in the Wild: A Perspective from Semantic Wiki Communities.” Gil, Y., and Ratnakar, V. Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Knowledge Capture (K-CAP), Banff, Canada, June 2013. Available as a preprint.
  • “The Democratization of Semantic Properties: An Analysis of Semantic Wikis.” Gil, Y.; Knight, A.; Zhang, K.; Zhang, L.; Ratnakar, V.; and Sethi, R. In Seventh IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing (ICSC), Irvine, CA, 2013. Available as a preprint.
  • “An Initial Analysis of Semantic Wikis.” Gil, Y.; Knight, A.; Zhang, K.; Zhang, L.; and Sethi, R. In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), Santa Monica, CA, 2013. Available as a preprint.
  • “Organic Data Sharing: A Novel Approach to Scientific Data Sharing.” Gil, Y.; Ratnakar, V.; and Hanson, P. In Second International Workshop on Linked Science: Tackling Big Data (LISC), held in conjunction with the International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), Boston, MA, 2012. Available as a preprint.

Related Prior Work

This project builds on our prior work on knowledge collection from volunteer contributors and on provenance tracking on the Web.

Knowledge Collection from Volunteer Contributors

References for the Learner project to collect common sense knowledge:

  • "Improving the design of intelligent acquisition interfaces for collecting world knowledge from web contributors." Chklovski, T.; and Gil, Y. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Knowledge Capture (K-CAP), page 35-42, Banff, Alberta, Canada, 2005. Available as a preprint.
  • "An Analysis of Knowledge Collected from Volunteer Contributors." Chklovski, T.; and Gil, Y. In Proceedings of the Twentieth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), page 564-571, Pittsburgh, PA, 2005. Available as a preprint.
  • "User interfaces with semi-formal representations: a study of designing argumentation structures." Chklovski, T.; Ratnakar, V.; and Gil, Y. In Proceedings of the ACM International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), page 130-136, San Diego, CA, 2005. Available as a preprint.

References for Shortipedia to collect factual encyclopedic data (now Wikidata):

  • "Shortipedia: Aggregating and Curating Semantic Web Data." Vrandecic, D.; Ratnakar, V.; Krotzsch, M.; and Gil, Y. Journal of Web Semantics, 9(3). 2011. Available as a preprint.

References for social knowledge collection in science:

  • "The Cognitive Atlas: Towards a knowledge foundation for cognitive neuroscience." Poldrack, R. A.; Kittur, A.; Kalar, D.; Miller, E.; Seppa, C.; Gil, Y.; Parker, D. S.; Sabb, F. W.; and Bilder, R. M. Frontiers in Neuroinformatics, 5(17). 2011.
  • "A short study on the success of the Gene Ontology." Bada, M.; Stevens, R.; Goble, C. A.; Gil, Y.; Ashburner, M.; Blake, J. A.; Cherry, J. M.; Harris, M. A.; and Lewis, S. Journal of Web Semantics, 1(2):235-240. 2004. Available as a preprint.

References for the Trellis collaborative web argumentation project:

  • "A Social Collaboration Argumentation System for Generating Multi-Faceted Answers in Question and Answer Communities." Sethi, R. J.; and Gil, Y. In Proceedings of the AAAI Workshop on Computational Models of Natural Argument, San Francisco, CA, 2011. Available as a preprint.
  • "Trusting Information Sources One Citizen at a Time." Gil, Y.; and Ratnakar, V. In Proceedings of the First Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), page 162-176, Sardinia, Italy, 2002. preprint.

References for Social Task Networks:

  • "Capturing Common Knowledge about Tasks: Intelligent Assistance for To Do Lists." Gil, Y.; Ratnakar, V.; Chklovski, T.; Groth, P.; and Vrandecic, D. ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, 2(3). 2012. Available as a preprint.
  • "Social Task Networks: Personal and Collaborative Task Formulation and Management in Social Networking Sites." Gil, Y.; Groth, P.; and Ratnakar, V. In Proceedings of the AAAI Fall Symposium on Proactive Assistant Agents, Arlington, VA, 2010. Available as a preprint.

General background on collaborative knowledge capture:

  • "Interactive Knowledge Capture in the New Millenium: How the Semantic Web Changed Everything." Gil, Y. Knowledge Engineering Review, 26(1). 2011. Available as a preprint.

Provenance

References for provenance representations:

  • “A Primer for the PROV Provenance Model.” Gil, Y.; Miles, S.; Belhajjame, K.; Deus, H.; Garijo, D.; Klyne, G.; Missier, P.; Soiland-Reyes, S.; and Zednik, S. 2013. World Wide Web (W3C). Available as a W3C PROV Working Group Note.
  • “Requirements for Provenance on the Web.” Paul Groth, Yolanda Gil, James Cheney, and Simon Miles. International Journal of Digital Curation, Vol 7, No 1, 2012. Available as a preprint.

References for information trust:

  • "Towards Content Trust of Web Resources." Gil, Y.; and Artz, D. Journal of Web Semantics, 5(4), 2007. Available as a preprint.
  • "A survey of trust in computer science and the Semantic Web." Artz, D.; and Gil, Y. Journal of Web Semantics, 5(2):58-71. 2007. Available as a preprint.
  • "Trusting Information Sources One Citizen at a Time." Gil, Y.; and Ratnakar, V. In Proceedings of the First Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), page 162-176, Sardinia, Italy, 2002. preprint.

Point of Contact

Yolanda Gil (PI)

Students

  • Angela Knight, student intern
  • Kevin Zhang, student intern
  • Larry Zhang, student intern
  • Cynthia Nava, student intern

Collaborators

  • Ricky Sethi, post-doctoral researcher, USC/ISI
  • Daniel Garijo, Polytechnic University of Madrid
  • Paul Hanson, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • Chris Duffy, Pennsylvania State University

Funding

This work was done under the grant An Analytical Framework for Provenance-Rich Social Knowledge Collection, funded by the National Science Foundation with grant number IIS-1117281 from September 2011 to August 2014.

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