ISWC 2007 Tutorial Description

User-Centered Design for the Semantic Web

in conjunction with the 6th International Semantic Web Conference and
the 2nd Asian Semantic Web Conference, 2007

11 November 2007, Busan, Korea


Overview of the Content

During the first 90 minutes, we will present basic usability concepts, goals and challenges in the context of semantic web technologies. The usability challenges are outlined with respect to the end users of such semantic web systems (not system builders), who can be domain experts, professionals, or lay users. For concreteness, we will refer to two representative case studies with which we are involved, as well as (more briefly) to other relevant semantic web systems. These case studies cover two broad ways of using semantic technologies: for browsing and information retrieval on the one hand and for collaborative knowledge formalization on the other hand:

Case Study 1: Semantically enhanced multimedia access to distributed collections of cultural heritage objects. The MultimediaN E-Culture project is a leading semantic web project that won the 2006 Semantic Web Challenge. The main objective of the project is to demonstrate how novel semantic web and presentation technologies can be deployed to provide better indexing and search support within large virtual collections of cultural-heritage resources. There are currently 5 collections and 6 thesauri that are part of the E-Culture demonstrator. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide a systematic approach to the building of a large Semantic Culture Web.

Case Study 2: Collaborative formalization of scientific knowledge in semantic wikis. Project Halo, which has been funded by Vulcan, Inc. since 2002, is a multi-staged effort to create a generally accessible repository of scientific knowledge which is represented richly enough to enable question answering on the level of difficulty exemplified by the Advanced Placement exams that are taken by American high school students each year. One part of this project, being carried out by ontoprise GmbH, AIFB (Karlsruhe, Germany), and DFKI (Saarbrücken, Germany), involves the introduction of interface enhancements to the Semantic MediaWiki that make it both motivating and efficient for scientists to annotate scientific webpages (such as those found in Wikipedia). In addition to being queried directly, knowledge formalized in this way can be imported into more complex rich modeling systems that are suitable for complex question answering. Relevant links:

During each of the next three tutorial sections of about 90 minutes each, we will introduce the most important methods applied in user-centered interface design and supervise participants as they conduct hands-on exercises with some of these methods.