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AIC Seminar Series

Hypermedia Discourse: Theory and Technology for the Pragmatic Web?

Simon Buckingham ShumThe Open University[Home Page]

Notice:  hosted by Jack Park

Date:  Friday, May 4th 2007 at 11:00am

Location:  EJ228  (Directions)


The Hypermedia Discourse research programme is investigating theory and technology at the nexus of these two fields, building and evaluating tools for contesting ideas as networks grounded in discourse schemes. We’re striving for representations that are both cognitively and computationally tractable: fluid enough to serve as augmentations to group working memory, yet structured enough to support long term memory. I will describe how such networks can be (i) mapped by multiple analysts to visualize and interrogate the claims and arguments in a literature, and (ii) mapped in real time to manage a team’s information sources, competing interpretations, arguments and decisions, particularly in time-pressured scenarios where harnessing collective intelligence is a priority. I’ll include case studies from the NASA Mobile Agents project, and personnel recovery in a DARPA-PMESII exercise. I then reflect on the emergence of interest in Pragmatic Webs where context, conversation and commitment are of central importance. Hypermedia Discourse may exemplify how web pragmatics complement social web semantics.

   Bio for Simon Buckingham Shum

Simon Buckingham Shum is a Senior Lecturer at the UK Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, and leads the Hypermedia Discourse project. With a background in Cognitive Ergonomics (UCL) and HCI (York), he has worked on visual hypertext for mapping argumentation since his PhD work on Design Rationale at Xerox EuroPARC in 1990. "Visualizing Argumentation" (Springer, 2003) brought together leading figures in argument mapping, and "Knowledge Cartography" (2007) expands this. He is a PI/CI on several US/UK sensemaking technology projects, and is a co-founder of the Compendium Institute, with his group leading development of the Compendium tool for Conversational Modelling. He is Co-Chair of the 2nd Int. Conf. on the Pragmatic Web.

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