Wednesday, 28 May 2008

IBWiki Innovation Base - a working semantic wiki

Excellent seminar all about FREMA which became a domain model for the community. I really like the fact that it is an example of a working CoP. The fact that the project is at the interface of two domains make the content of the seminar linguistically interesting as well. 

The ideas and output are the cumulation of a whole range of projects in our Lab here in Southampton, the latest of which come from work funded by the JISC. Yvonne Howard and Dave Millard are the drivers of this development. basically it has grown from our work and expertise in the assessment domain, but beefed up by the particular software engineering strengths which Dave and Yvonne have in spades. 

Interesting use of language during the seminar, software engineers talk about domains, and people working in the domain. Community of Practice belongs way away with the social scientists, even if we are talking about the same thing!

Part of the account revisits the paradox of reuse vs learning (people need to do to learn, but if someone else has already learnt it, do we need to go through all the pain yet again!!). This is a big factor for discussion in the critical success factors, and what went wrong communities. cf "stop people continuously re-inventing the wheel". 

One topic of discussion included the downsides of the semantic wiki compared to the knowledge base. Difficulties of implementing concept maps, lists, networks, it all seems to be about whether you organise before or after. 

Semantic Wikis are more likely to grow, but with the Knowledge Base you alienate the potential/existing Community of Practice; experts are needed to manage the structure. So the challenge is can we couple a KB with a wiki to get the best of both worlds.

Observations (definitions from the domain) inevitably come from different perspectives (think Korzybski here, the map is not the territory). Turns out that Hugh Glaser (also in ECS but in DSSE) has a seminar on work which he is doing in a similar area this very afternoon!

Facts on current work: IBWiki is at Southampton, IBMap is Manchester (modelling and mapping - Hilary Dexter and Tom Franklin) 

There is some considerable mileage in the recognition/analysis of how regular people interact with formal systems (in both senses of the word!!) 

Language notes: domain, artifacts, model, personas, scenarios, reference models ( and the fact that these are not tags, but could be)

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