Last week I gave an invited talk on the opening day of the 15th International Conference on Conceptual Structures (ICCS 2007). Fundamentally, their focus is on computational representations that are also cognitively tractable, hence the invitation to forge a link with our work on usable tools for the network-centric mapping of dialogue and arguments. The historical path they have trodden is summarised on the conference website as:
“Arising originally out of the work of IBM in Conceptual Graphs, and developed by learned researchers and business organisations such as Boeing and Microsoft, over the years ICCS has broadened its scope to include a wider range of theories and practices. Amongst these are Formal Concept Analysis, Description Logics, the Semantic Web, the Pragmatic Web, Ontologies, Multi-agent Systems, Concept Mapping, and more. Accordingly conceptual structures represent a family of approaches that builds on the successes of artificial intelligence, business intelligence, computational linguistics, conceptual modelling, information and web technologies, user modelling, and knowledge management.”
My contribution was as follows:
Abstract. This invited contribution motivates the Hypermedia Discourse research programme, investigating the reading, writing and contesting of ideas as hypermedia networks grounded in discourse schemes. We are striving for cognitively and computationally tractable conceptual structures: 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. Given the current geo-political and environmental context, the growth in distributed teamwork, and the need for multidisciplinary approaches to wicked problems, there has never been a greater need for sensemaking tools to help diverse stakeholders build common ground.
Buckingham Shum, S.J. (2007). “Hypermedia Discourse: Contesting Networks of Ideas and Arguments”. In: Priss, U., Polovina, S. & Hill, R. (Eds.): Conceptual Structures: Knowledge Architectures for Smart Applications (15th International Conference on Conceptual Structures, Sheffield, 22-27 July 2007). Springer: Berlin (Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence LNAI 4604).