Title: Facts are little theories.
Presenter: Antal van den Bosch
Borrowing the title from a quote from the philopher Nelson Goodman, this talk will explore the notion that a semantic web can be built from the ground up, without guidance, except for a simple unification principle operating on small subgraphs that express "facts". When stated in simple non-anaphoric terms, facts can typically be regarded as little theories. Suppose that one collects little theories that always express some relation between two concepts, such as "cows produce milk". Each of these relations can be represented as two vertices (the concepts, "cow" and "milk") connected by a directed labeled edge (the relation, "produces"). Binding a lot of little theories together through their matching concepts produces a rich conceptual network that can even be expanded by allowing careful reasoning steps. The talk focuses on ConceptNet 3, a structure derived from the collaborative website Open Mind Commons, which was recently expanded to allow the collection of facts stated in Dutch. The collective aspect of the initiative allows for the collection of large amounts of facts, and the collaborative filtering and judging of facts, both manually asserted and deduced.