RE: Piggy Bank and rules

From: Shashi Kant <skant_at_MIT.EDU>
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2005 22:09:53 -0400


Thanks for your email. I work with the Simile team here at MIT...and thought
I would offer my perspective.

1. Your ideas are very valid - "rules" are the next level of abstraction
being developed over OWL. You prolly are familiar with SWRL

2. Specifically what can be done with PiggyBank(PB) and now, are some
elementary reasoning tasks using say a Reasoner like Pellet or Fact. For the
kind of task that you describe, you likely do not need the full power of a
"rules" system (mind you - it might carry a lot of overhead).

3. One of the things I am hoping to do is to build a reasoning system into
PB. This would let people prescribe actions based on certain inferences.

And this might be on bit of a tangent here - I am also building a
text-mining technique that would let Piggybank users "mine" RDF from text
(HTML) into their Piggybanks. I think this would be a step along the way of
boot-strapping the semantic web.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Phil Archer []
> Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2005 7:38 AM
> To:
> Subject: Piggy Bank and rules
> Hi all,
> I sent Ryan an e-mail the other day and he suggested I shared
> this with the full list so, after a bit of a delay, here goes.
> I wanted to let you know first of all how incredibly useful
> Piggy Bank is being for me in talking to about the virtues of
> the Semantic Web. My organisation, ICRA [1], currently uses
> the old PICS standard to add labels to content that describe
> whether it contains sex, nudity, violence etc.
> Filters, ideally ones built onto browsers, can then allow or
> block access to content based on those labels. The best known
> example of this is Content Advisor in Internet Explorer that
> comes with an old rating system called RSACi. That
> organisation/rating system lead to ICRA. We're now working to
> move labelling from PICS to RDF.
> OK, introductory history lesson over.
> Our use case involves content providers linking a small
> number of descriptions, what we call content labels, to any
> number of resources. For example, "there is no sex or nudity
> on". That's more than one URI we're trying to
> describe and to make RDF work, we need a way to encode that.
> Further, we need to be able to say "everything at
> has description A while
> everything else on the domain has description B."
> This has lead to the development of a simple rule set that is
> predicated on matching the URL of a resource for which we
> want a description against a sequence of one or more Perl5
> regular expressions. The first match then leads to a
> description - what we call a content label.
> Use cases and test data at [2], schema description at [3].
> And so to my question - do you see any wider value in Piggy
> Bank (or other SW helper applications) working with the kind
> of rule set ideas we're now using in our own use case? Let me
> expand a little further.
> The content label testing tool I've hacked together on our
> site [4] visits a target URL and looks for RDF data, then
> narrows in to look specifically for ICRA labels (my plan is
> to expand this in the near future but I'm in concept-proving
> mode still). There's a small chunk of rdf on my personal site
> at There are links to
> this same file in both the homepage and a dummy page set up
> at Links [5] and [6] below
> take the label tester off to those 2 pages respectively, it
> grabs the RDF instance and then works out which ICRA label
> applies to the URL in question - needless to say you get a
> different result for each URL.
> This is due to the simple rules encoded in the RDF instance -
> any URL on a given list of hosts gets "label 1", but if the
> URL contains "589" it gets label 2. Piggy Bank knows nothing
> about these rules of course so it shows all the RDF classes
> (in my terms, both possible labels) and the rule set itself.
> If Piggy Bank were to gain a deep an meaningful understanding
> of the rule set [3] (i.e. had some code added to support the
> functionality!) it would demonstrate the enormous potential
> of all this to the internet safety community. Yes, the labels
> might be used for filtering but they can equally be used to
> show through the kind of visualisation exemplified by Piggy
> Bank that a site is a good resource for homework, contains
> medical information that can be trusted and so on.
> Enough for one e-mail. I'm naturally keen to know what you think.
> Regards
> Phil
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
> Phil Archer
> Chief Technical Officer
> Internet Content Rating Association
> Label your site today at
Received on Sat Apr 09 2005 - 02:09:37 EDT

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