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ABOUT THE LECTURE:
Starting in 1992, Michel Biezunski and Steven R. Newcomb created,
named, standardized and pioneered the application of the Topic
Maps paradigm. Biezunski and Newcomb serve as co-editors of the
ISO 13250 Topic Maps standard. They also co-founded TopicMaps.Org,
where they co-edited the XML syntax (the "XTM Specification")
that was added to the 2002 version of the standard.
Dr. Newcomb wrote the first documentation of the paradigm in
1993, under the aegis of the Graphic Communications Research Institute
(now IDEAlliance). He also drafted the ISO/IEC 13250:2000 standard
Dr. Biezunski pioneered the practical application of the Topic
Maps paradigm. With his "Topic Map Loom" software, he
created the first industrial-strength topic maps. His work has
focused on the empirical development of methodologies for solving
complex information integration problems.
Newcomb and Biezunski both work for Coolheads Consulting, a consultancy
specializing in semantic analysis, subject-based information integration,
and the actual creation and maintenance of topic maps (and of
systems for creating and maintaining topic maps), for clients
in government, industry, and academia.
Dr. Newcomb will speak about the conceptual foundations of the
Topic Maps paradigm. (He has drafted a statement of these foundations
under the title, "The Topic Maps Reference Model".)
These conceptual foundations are more abstract (less "ontologically
committed"), than the Topic Maps standard. The conceptual
foundations are concerned with facilitating the creation and maintenance
of subject-based indexes that amalgamate other subject-based indexes.
The amalgamated indexes may themselves be either collaboratively
or independently created, maintained, and amalgamated, and they
may be based on different ontologies and/or taxonomies. The development
of an effective conceptual and methodological basis for the amalgamation
of subject-based indexes speaks to several of the goals and issues
of Library Science, including the "co-location" objective
and the "co-referencing" problem. Perhaps the simplest
way to communicate the goal of the Topic Maps Reference Model
is to ask, "How can a single perspective be most easily provided
for each subject, from which various independent assertions about
the subject are directly available?" To put it even more
briefly, "How can a master index be made from indexes that
were never intended to be merged with others?"
Dr. Biezunski will speak about his vision on what the next step
should be in applying the abstract foundation provided by the
proposed Reference Model. He will assess, among other things,
the possibility amalgamating knowledge resources (including finding
tools) expressed in accordance with diverse interchange standards,
by creating a new layer where semantic integration has a broader
range of application. Dr. Biezunski will present his experiences
in applying the Topic Maps paradigm, and their impacts on the
ongoing development of his methodologies and software. He will
report on the Internal Revenue Service application as a case study.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Biezunski is an internationally recognized expert in
the field of information management. He works as a consultant
for Coolheads Consulting and is the creator of a technology called
Topic Map Loom, owned by Infoloom, Inc., that is used for creating
navigable information corpora conforming to the Topic Maps standard.
Michel has a PhD in physics. He has worked as a historian and
philosopher of science, where he gained experience on how to qualify
knowledge. He has written 3 books (in French) on Einstein and
the history of modern physics. He participated in the development
of the HyTime standard, and is recognized as the inventor of the
Topic Maps standard (ISO/IEC 13250), together with Steven R. Newcomb.
Michel is co-editor of the Topic Maps standard. He has written
many articles and developed and conducted numerous workshops centered
on these new technologies.
Michel's consulting work consists of strategic consulting, as
well as helping information owners to enhance their information
systems by adding semantic navigation for facilitating access
to the items of interest. Michel works with government agencies
to implement navigation systems improving access to information.
Steven R. Newcomb has a number of roles within
the Knowledge Integration and Information Management communities:
Editor and drafter of ISO/IEC 13250:2000 and: 2003 Topic Maps
International Standard, also known as "XTM" ("XML
Topic Maps"), and of the Reference Model for Topic Maps (2002)
Editor of the ISO Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language
("HyTime", ISO/IEC 10744:1992 and :1997), and of the
ISO Standard Music Description Language (ISO/IEC 10743:1996)
CEO of TechnoTeacher, Inc. from 1994-2000. Developed the pioneering
HyMinder, HyBrowse, and GroveMinder implementations of the HyTime
Founder and co-chair of the "Extreme Markup Languages"
conference series of IDEAlliance, now in its ninth year (www.extrememarkup.com).