Reviving the VSIG

19 Jun 2017

Dear RDA VSIGers
It has been 8 months since the last formal activity of the group, so this is an update about why and the potential for some revived activity.
Two of our founding co-chairs have moved on to new positions which has made their continuing leadership roles difficult to fulfil.
Stephan Zednik has left the safe haven of academia for a position with Pearson, and Adam Leadbetter moved from Liverpool to Galway, where his duties at the Irish Marine Institute leave less time for community contributions. So Stephan and Adam are standing down from their positions, with our thanks for their contributions during the first two years of VSIG.
Meanwhile, we have had expressions of interest in reviving the VSIG from the EUDAT Semantics Working Group (primarily through Yann le Franc and Barbara Magagna), the Open Geospatial Consortium's vocabulary management team (Ingo Simonis), the Earth Science Information Partners (Adam Shepherd - continuing as co-chair), and the Australian National Data Service (Adrian Burton). EUDAT strengthens our connection to the life science community, complementing the earth and environmental science focus of the original leadership team. People representing these organizations have been considering the VSIG charter, and there is a general sense that the scope of the group could be useful expanded to also include non-SKOS vocabularies and ontologies.
It is therefore proposed to re-boot the group with modifications to the charter and name reflecting all this.
The proposed modified group name is
Vocabulary and Semantic Services Interest Group - VSSIG
A proposed updated case statement/charter has been added to the group wiki -
https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/vocabulary-services-interest-group/wik...
A request for a meeting of the IG at P10 in Montreal has been submitted -
https://www.rd-alliance.org/ig-vocabulary-services-rda-10th-plenary-meeting
The primary proposed business for this meeting relates to the revival of the IG.
If there are no objections, I will liaise with the TAB contact (Rainer Stotzka) and RDA secretariat to determine the formal way forward in executing these proposals, and in selecting new leadership for the group to replace Stephan and AdamL.
Simon J D Cox
Research Scientist
Environmental Informatics
CSIRO Land and Water
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  • Jakob Voß's picture

    Author: Jakob Voß

    Date: 20 Jun, 2017

    Hi,
    Thanks Simon for the initiative and Stephan and Adam for the work so
    far. Simon wrote:
    Hi,
    Thanks Simon for the initiative and Stephan and Adam for the work so
    far. Simon wrote:
    > People representing these organizations have been considering the VSI
    > charter, and there is a general sense
    > that the scope of the group could be useful expanded to also include
    > non-SKOS vocabularies and ontologies.
    [...]
    Hi,
    Thanks Simon for the initiative and Stephan and Adam for the work so
    far. Simon wrote:
    > People representing these organizations have been considering the VSI
    > charter, and there is a general sense
    > that the scope of the group could be useful expanded to also include
    > non-SKOS vocabularies and ontologies.
    [...]
    > A proposed updated case statement/charter has been added to the
    > group wiki -
    > https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/vocabulary-services-interest-group/wik...
    the proposed scope make sense but the wording could be improved.
    "Semantic resources" could be anything for instance any kind of RDF
    data, natural language processing tools or artificial intelligence. I
    wonder why you do not use the information science terminology for
    controlled vocabularies, ontologies, and similar systems:
    Knowledge Organization Systems
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_organization_system
    There is a very similar group to VSSIG called Networked Knowledge
    Organization Systems/Services (NKOS): http://nkos.slis.kent.edu/ The
    focus is more on academic research about vocabularies and ontologies but
    there is a large overlap with VSIG. The goals of the group include to
    break barriers between different communities and to improve
    interoperability, so it should connect more visibly.
    I modified the proposal to also refer to knowledge organization systems
    and to minimize fuzzy use of the word "semantic".
    Jakob Voß

  • Arthur Smith's picture

    Author: Arthur Smith

    Date: 23 Jun, 2017

    Thanks for the update Simon, I'm still interested in this work. It
    should be possible for me to attend the Montreal plenary. One aspect
    I've become interested in recently (but haven't developed to any degree
    myself) is the use of a reference LOD dataset to crosswalk between
    vocabularies - dbpedia or wikidata for instance. If anybody else is
    involved with something like that or actively working on it I'd love to
    hear about it.
    Arthur Smith

  • Arthur Smith's picture

    Author: Arthur Smith

    Date: 23 Jun, 2017

    This paper from Facebook Research people might be of interest to this
    group also:
    https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.08039
    basically they look at embedding hierarchical taxonomies in a
    multi-dimensional hyperbolic space, which apparently works surprisingly
    well.
    Arthur

  • Arthur Smith's picture

    Author: Arthur Smith

    Date: 05 Jul, 2017

    I noticed that my calendar has a "VSIG telecon" scheduled for 4 pm EDT
    next Wednesday (July 12th) - that was based on the old biweekly call
    schedule we were using. Would it be worth starting these calls up again,
    either on that schedule or another?
    Arthur

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