UKUUG: Automated Website Synthesis

Siu-Wai Leung’s talk Automated Website Synthesis was quite an eye-opener for me at UKUUG 2003:

Basically, Siu-Wai presented a proof-of-concept how to apply Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Semantic Web technologies to transform annotated content to a Website. Read it again! His talk was not only about how to present annotated content on a Website, no, it was rather about how to automatically create a Website from annotated content! In fact, what he talked about was ontology-based web content development and design.

He perfectly demonstrated the use of such an approach for aviation accident reporting. The tools he used are the HEIDI ontology (HEIDI is the abbreviation for “Harmonisation of European Incident Definition”). Furthermore, upon any aviation accident, a sophisticated pilot report form has to be filled in. Furthermore, data is automatically being recorded storing e.g. the altitude and speed of the airplane. Based on that data, Siu-Wai was able to create a graph showing the altitude of the plane, or a tree of events of the aviation accident.

The Website prototyping was done using a Simple Website Interface Model (SWIM), the Web Modelling Language (WebML). More on the technology behind can be found in Siu-Wai’s paper (PDF).

At the end of his talk, Siu-Wai summarized that the ontology-based mapping of information, Website, and perception is an AI problem (that’s his mapping hypothesis). He presented some ideas of how this could be achieved in the future. I very much liked his idea to use genetic programming to mutate the design of single Webpages or complete Websites to find the most suitable format to present the information to the user – an intelligent way of adaptive and personalized C/KMS.

That was a cool talk 😉 The aviation accident reporting demo seems like a perfect prototype to exemplify the possible advantages of AI and the Semantic Web. Also, the idea of genetic mutations of info visualization acknowledges the reality that every individual has a different way of filtering information and offers a higher flexibility in personalized content presentation then the theme-based CMS currently provide.