General Market Requirements

engineerbeetsAI and Robotics

Nov 15, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Note


See also Section 8 of the Strategic Plan


ARTICLE:

TWS Information Model



Topics:


Information

Model

&

Navigation

The

TWS

utilizes an evolved

Information

Model

that distinguished between different types of
information entities (Websites/Portals, Topics, Resources, Metadata, etc.) and defines formal relationships
between them. The goal of the TWS Informatio
n Model is to provide a framework
for

ontological

information mapping and user interaction, as well as to provide a robust foundation for
future

Semantic

Web

application.

Related

documents



Bread

Crumb

Trail



Metadata Overview



Resource Metadata



Metadata Framework



Links

and

Namespaces

General Market Requirements

Key goals for the TWS information model are:

1.

Make it
easier for Portal/Website and content developers to organize information in an intelligent
manner without requiring extensive training in information theory

2.

Reduce the complexity of taxonomic structures needed to map and navigate large quantities of
inform
ation across broad domains of knowledge

3.

Facilitate the reuse of information resources for different types of activities (e.g. reference look
-
up, learning, teaching, listening, watching, playing, blogging, mapping, trading, etc.)

4.

Provide a robust foundation

for future

Semantic

Web

capabilities within the TWS platform.

5.

Provide for interoperability with leading

metadata

standards
, including full compatibility
with

Dublin

Core

and partial compatibility with

FGDC

and

ISO

19
115

geospatial metadata
frameworks.

Topics, Resources, Websites/Portals and Resource Categories

The TWS information model relies on key concepts such as

Topics
,

Resources
,

Resource

Categories
,
Websites/Portals

and

Metadata
, as described below.

The TWS
information model has the following generalized "information hierarchy":

Websites/Portals

>

Topics

>

Resource

Categories

>

Resources

though Topics and Resources are represented in the TWS model along "orthogonal" information "axes"
(see below).

Each of the
se information types include metadata, which will
--

over time
--

provide TWS with powerful
semantic capabilities for searching, viewing and relating information.

Topics vs. Resources (and Resource Categories)

A fundamental concept within the TWS data mode
l is the formal delineation between Topics and
Resources:

1.

A

Topic

(or "subject matter") is an entity that exists apart from any specific piece of information
about it. A topic can be a person, an organization, a physical object, a theoretical concept, a
field
of study, an event, etc.

2.

A

Resource

is an information entity that pertains to one or more Topics. A resource can be an
article, a book, a web page, a news article, a photo, an album, a video, a map, a lesson, a data
record, metadata record, etc. Thes
e different types of resources may in turn be grouped
into

Resource

Categories

For example, a

photo

of

my

family

is a resource in the category "
Photos
" that pertains
to topic "
My

Family
". Similarly, a photo of

myself

is a photo resource that pertains to both the topic "
Myself
"

and

the
topic "
My

Family
".

By building this distinction directly into the data model, the 1
-
dimensional information ontologies that are
typicall
y found on popular web sites (such as

Open

Directory

Project
,

Yahoo!

Directory
,

About.com

and

Wikipedia
) may be trivially transformed to a 2
-
dimensional information
ontology:






















This 1D
-
> 2D transformation has several advantages:

1.

Greater efficiency in terms of ontological nodes that need to be uniquely defined: the number of
uniquely defined taxonomic nodes required for 2
-
dimensional information model is

n

+

m

instead of

n

*

m

for a 1
-
dimensional mapping, where

n

=

number

of

topics
, and

m

=

number

of

resource

categories
. While this may not make a significant difference for sites with a very
narrow range of resource types (such as

Wikipedia
, which is essentially limited to encyclopedia
articles), it can make a very significant difference (an order of magnitude or more) for sites that
cover broad range of content types (e.g. witness the extremely
complex and "spaghetti
-
like"
taxonomies of sites such as

Open

Directory

Project
,

Yahoo!

Directory

and

About.com
).

2.

Similarly, by segregating topics and resources onto orthogonal "information axis," the task of
developing rigorous knowledge ontologies may be greatly simplified, since the ontology is
"cleaner" (e.g. no m
ixing topics and resources) and only the Topic axis needs to be uniquely
defined (i.e. the Resource Category axis is reused across topics).

3.

A simpler and more consistent user experience: since the "resource" categorization axes is reused
(with only additio
ns and subtractions) across all topics, users do not need to re
-
learn the
categorization scheme as they navigate across topic domains.

4.

Provides a framework for building "activity
-
centered" capabilities, where users are focused on a
particular activity (suc
h as teaching, learning, watching, keeping up with the latest news, etc.) the
cut across multiple topic domains.

5.

As a corollary to point 4, the 2
-
D ontology is an important foundational structure for enabling
future semantic web capabilities envisioned for

the TWS platform.

Resource

Categories

Resources are grouped into categories of similar types. In some cases, the category corresponds to a strict
media type definition (such as "Videos" "Photos", "Audio" and "Links"). In other cases, the category is
defin
ed by the intended usage (such as "News" and "Encyclopedia"). In many cases, the category is a
combination of both (such as "Blog", "Forum", "Events" and "Music").

Note:

In the current TWS, resource categories are listed as tabs across the top of the page,

and
clicking on a particular resource category tab shows all resources for the current topic and all sub
-
topics below (within the current Portal/Website). While there is a standard list of Resource
Categories, users will only see those categories that hav
e content within them. In

Phase

III

of the
TWS project, administrators will be able to add "soft categories."

Phase

I

&

Phase

II

Category Lis
t

1.

Articles

2.

News

3.

Blog

4.

Photos

5.

Events

6.

Links

7.

Members

8.

All

Phase

III

Category Additions



Encyclopedia



Forum



Videos



etc.



+ Soft Categories

Websites/Portals vs. Topics

Groups of Topics may be aggregated into TWS Websites/Portals, which allow related Topics (and
associated resources) to be managed and viewed as cohesive units. Typically
--

but not always
--

TWS
Websites/Portals coincide with
major Topics that

ontologically

include a number of sub
-
topics (typically
organized hierarchically). To see how this works, consider the following 4 Websites, which a
re interlinked
via topic/sub
-
topic taxonomic relationships (note here that this example uses the family tree metaphore for
illustrative purposes
--

the relationships could similarly be organizational or other ontologies such
as

knowledge

ontologies
):


"
Bob's

Website
" includes several topics and sub
-
topics. The topic "
Family
" includes 5 topics, each
corresponding to a family member of Bob (content within the
Portal/Website
--

such as photos of family
members
--

would get tagged with the appropriate family member "topic"). Two of these family member
"topics"
--

"
Wife
" and "
Daughter
"
--

are native to Bob's Portal/Website and are administrated as part of the
Port
al/Website. Three of the other family member "topics"
--

"
Bob's

Sister
", "
Bob's

Father
" and "
Bob's

Mother
"
--

exist as separate portals, and are administered directly by those family members (these family
members may grant "contributor" privileges to other

family members
--

so the family members may add
content to each others' portals
--

while withholding "publisher" rights so that they can review content new
content contributions before making it public on their Portal/Website).

In the above diagram, "
Bob'
s

Sister's

Portal/Website
" has been shown in detail, including a topic
hierarchy that is analogous to "
Bob's

Portal/Website
". Note that the the "
Family
" topic links right back to
"
Bob's

Portal/Website
", indicating a

recursive

topic/Portal/Website

relations
hip
. There is nothing
wrong with having recursive relationships, and is in fact necessary in order to accurately represent certain
types of topic ontologies.

Note also that "
Bob's

Father
" and "
Bob's

Mother
" portals each have two ascended topic linkages
--

to
"
Bob's

Portal/Website
"

and

"
Bob's

Sister's

Portal/Website
"
--

and thus are "
multi
-
parented
" (note that
term refers to the topic/Portal/Website

lineage

and should not to be confused with the fact that in the
specific example above the portals in question

correspond to Bob's parents). Again, there is nothing wrong
with having multi
-
parented Portal/Website/topic relationships, and is in fact necessary in order to
accurately represent certain types of topic ontologies.

It is clear from the example that the f
ollowing statement is true: in the TWS information
model,

all


Websites/Portals

are

Topics,

but

not

all


Topics

are

Websites/Portals
. This statement is the
justification for showing

both

portals
and


topics

within

a

single

hierarchical

navigation

tree
.

Types of Websites/Portals

TWS Websites/Portals may be be managed by groups of people

or

a single individuals. Websites/Portals
managed by several people are marketed by

Trunity

as
"
Community

Websites/Portals
", while
Websites/Portals managed by single individual are marketed as "
Personal

Websites/Portals
" (in essence, a
Personal Portal/Website is a Community Portal/Website with a

community

of

one
). Community
Websites/Portals managed (or "stewarded") by experts certified by the

Digital

Universe

Foundation

are
known as "
Digital

Universe

Websites/Portals
" (or Stewarded Websites/Portals). A special case are "
Genesis

Websites/Portals
", which are Digital Universe Websites/Portal
s that do not yet have a

Digital

Universe

Foundation

certified expert assigned to manage (or "steward") the Portal/Website.

In the most gene
ralized sense, all types of portals may be interlinked, as shown in the following graphic:

Trunity Community Websites/Portals

Community Websites/Portals may be created by any or organization or individual, and includes the ability
to assign different individuals (called "Members") different levels of privileges for contributing, authoring
and publishing content within the Portal/
Website. Community Websites/Portals include a simple content
managing work flow, that divides the responsibility of contributing/authoring content from
approving/publishing content to the public.

Community Websites/Portals may build out their own Topic Tre
es according the above described schema.
They may also interconnect with one another in the following manner:

1.

Websites/Portals may be attached to other portals as direct children visible at the top level of the
Navigator within the parent Portal/Website. A

Portal/Website may have "multiple parents" in the
sense that the Portal/Website may appear within the Navigator of several different portals.
Circular lineages, where the parent/child Portal/Website relationship eventually loops back on
itself, are also a
llowed.

2.

Websites/Portals may also be attached to a specific Topic within another Portal/Website, making
that Portal/Website visible further down within the parent Portal/Website's topic tree. However
(for the time being), Topics may not be directly attache
d (i.e. without going through it's parent
Portal/Website lineage) to another Portal/Website or Portal/Website's topic (though this
restriction may eventually removed)

3.

Community Websites/Portals may be assigned to one or more Digital Universe Websites/Porta
ls
and/or Topics, which will make the Community Portal/Website visible as "children" of the
"Communities" branch of the corresponding Digital Universe Portal/Website or Topic.

Trunity Personal Websites/Portals

Personal Websites/Portals are identical in fun
ction to Community Websites/Portals, with the only
difference that Personal Websites/Portals may

not

assign different levels of privileges for contributing,
authoring and publishing content to Members. As a result, Personal Websites/Portals have a simplifi
ed
workflow for creating and publishing content.

Digital Universe Websites/Portals

Digital Univere Websites/Portals are
--

for now
--

identical to Trunity Community Websites/Portals in
Features and Functionality, with following exceptions:

1.

Digital Universe

Websites/Portals and Topics show up in the mainline Navigation taxonomy, and
replace the functionality of Trunity Topics (they also show up in the "Topic Picker" within the
Trunity

Portal/Website

Info
and

My

Profile

screens

2.

Digital Universe Websites/Portal
s and Topics retain the "Subportals and Communities" listing of
the current Trunity Topics

Later on, Digital Universe will have the following additional functionality:

1.

A skin theme and branding that is different from Trunity Websites/Portals

2.

A "unique name
" identifier that ensures that only one Portal/Website on a particular topic exists
within the Digital Universe of portals

3.

The ability to directly assign Topics from one Portal/Website to Sub
-
Topics of another
Portal/Website

4.

An "Encyclopedia" content tab i
n addition to the other tabs

Genesis Websites/Portals

Genesis

Websites/Portals

are Digital Universe Websites/Portals that do not yet have a

Digital

Universe

Foundation
certified

expert assigned to manage (or "steward") the Portal/Website. Genesis portals will be
the first type of Digital Universe Portal/Website available within the TWS, and have two primary
functions:

1.

Provide a "topic" to which Trunity Personal and Community
Websites/Portals my be listed (thus
"Genesis Websites/Portals" replace the functionality of Trunity Topics)

2.

Generate interest and build communities of involvement around the possibility of building the
finest place on the web.

3.

Recruit Stewards

4.

Place to fin
d links to the best content on the web within the topic of the Genesis Portal/Website

Depending on feasibility and work involved, we may want to automatically post certain messages and
highlight certain standard Portal/Website functionality (such as blogs
and links) across all Genesis
Websites/Portals in order to achieve objectives #2
-

#4.

Taxonomy & Navigation

Taxonomy

The TWS driven taxonomic framework has the following characteristics:

1.

The TWS taxonomy is inherently "multi
-
parented": that is, a
Portal/Website may have multiple
"parents", one of which is designated the default or "primary" parent. Users my browse the
taxonomy using the

Top
ic

Navigator
(link broken), which will eventually take many forms
(depending on audience and user preference).

2.

The Topic taxonomy comes into play within two different domains:

within

portals
and

across

portals. Within a Portal/Website, the Portal/Website administrator(s) have complete
control over their taxonomy. Across portals, taxonomic relationships must be mutually agreed
upon by administrators for both portals involved.

3.

In general, Topics and Websi
tes/Portals are not unique: the same name can be used for any
number of portals and topics. There is, however, and exception: within the Digital Universe
taxonomy, Portal/Website names are unique (similar to any encyclopedia, where there is a
unique articl
e for any given topic).

4.

The global "canonical" taxonomy is determined by Digital Universe stewards, who create the
Digital Universe taxonomy collaboratively via mutual agreement across Digital Universe portals
(using the same request/allow/deny linking sys
tem available to Trunity Personal and Community
Portal/Website administrators).

5.

Trunity Personal and Community Portal/Website administrators may assign their Portal/Website
to one or more Digital Universe Websites/Portals/Topics via the Topic Picker. If th
ey do so, their
Portal/Website will be listed within the "Community Websites/Portals" branch of a the particular
Digital Universe Portal/Website/Topic they selected. This also applies to Trunity topics (see next
item).

6.

While there is a single canonical Dig
ital Universe taxonomy, any Portal/Website or Topic within
this taxonomy may be lifted to the top level and featured as a canonical "Favorite" branch of the
taxonomy. Currently, this is accomplished in a global default manner via Digital Universe
Topics da
ta structure, which is visible at the
Digital

Universe

Home
.

Navigation

Websites/Portals and Topics may be navigated via the Navigator, with the following characteristics

1.

At the

Digital

Universe

Home
, the Navigator shows the top level Digital Universe topics, as well
as Digital Universe Websites/Portals attached to these Trunity Topics (Community/Personal
Websites/Portals are visible under the "Communities"
branches of Trunity Topics and Digital
Universe Websites/Portals/Topics (see section above for details)

2.

When viewing a Portal/Website, the root level topics are visible within the Navigator, with the
Name of the Portal/Website concoctinated with the word "
Topics" in the Navigator Header.
Clicking on the Navigator Header returns to the home of the Portal/Website.

3.

Clicking on the "up" button of the Navigator when in it's default state reveals the Name of the
Portal/Website immediately above the top
-
most topic
, as well as (above the Portal/Website
Name) a linear list of all Parent Websites/Portals and Topics Websites/Portals that this
Portal/Website belongs to (including both Digital Universe and Community/Personal
Websites/Portals/Topics)

Bread Crumb Trail

The

"Cookie Crumb Trail" is listed near the top of each page to give users a "reference frame" within the
TWS information map.

There are two "approaches" in doing "bread crumbs"

1.

Show the location of the current page within the sitemap/taxonomy of the site

2.

Show the browsing history

There are pros/cons of each approach, but the TWS uses Approach #1 for the following reasons:



The browser already keeps track of the browsing history: if the user want to see their
browsing history, all they need to do is to click

on the down arrow by the back/forward
buttons in the browser



While the Topic Browser could be used for this purpose, in it's current implementation
there is no "bird's eye view" that includes the path w.r.t. other portals (it only gives view
for the topic

tree *within* the Portal/Website).

Detailed specifications may be found in the document

Bread

Crumb

Trail

(link broken).

Metadata

All informational entities
with the TWS framework have metadata associated with them. The type of
Metadata depends on the type of information: Topics and Resources require distinctly different types of
Metadata, and thus the

TWS

metadata

framework

(link broken) includes two broad classes: Topic Metadata
and Resource Metadata (see

Metadata

Overvi
ew

(link broken) for a comprehensive introduction and
overview to the

TWS

metadata

framework

(link broken)). A comprehensive listing of future desired TWS
resou
rce metadata may be found in the document

Resource

Metadata
(link broken).

Links and Namespaces

Future directions for TWS link and namespace functionality may be

found in the document

Links

and

Namespaces

(link broken).

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