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The Essence project Collaborative and Contextual Semantic Interoperability SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference 18 May 2011, Brussels.

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Presentation on theme: "The Essence project Collaborative and Contextual Semantic Interoperability SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference 18 May 2011, Brussels."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Essence project Collaborative and Contextual Semantic Interoperability SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference 18 May 2011, Brussels

2 Nice to meet you! 2 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011 Marijke AbrahamsePaul Oude Luttighuis

3 The issue Lagging semantic interoperability coherence in meaning, shared understanding of information; across contexts (systems, processes, organisations, domains, laws, countries, chains, networks, industries, …) Ongoing struggle between centralistic standardisation, which works only sparsely; laissez-faire, which does not bring about interoperability. Limits to semantic standardisation. There is inevitable, indispensible, deliberate, necessary, and extensive semantic variation across contexts. Semantics = the working language of business, but all too often seen as a technical issue. Jungle of paradigms. 3 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

4 Pains Our communication chain, one group unintentionally risks to impose its own particular concepts and ways of working upon the others. If we fail to pinpoint different perspectives on information shared across government, we will fail to use such information legitimately and effectively. Neglected differences in interpretation of the term employer have lead to years of delay and millions of additional costs in our communication chain. The mingling, processing and decontextualization of information, threatens the quality and reliability of information. If health care professional cannot grasp the interpretation details of exchanged medical information, they will not trust the information. Our document-based information is detached from our data-based informaion, but they are about the same things. Because we are active in a multitude of communication changes, we are asked to conform to many, mutually inconsistent, message standards. We fail over and over again in developing a useful canonical data model. 4 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

5 The message Manage semantics! Thats a business issue. At any serious (interoperability) scale, you need collaborative semantic models as a pivotal asset a collaborative development, maintenance, and governance process to not fight or neglect variation. Its there; manage it. Pitfalls to think that semantics is just about data; to think that standardization does the interoperability job; to think that information has absolute and final meaning; to think that information is a non-perishable good or product. 5 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

6 The contribution of Essence semantic models implement maintain reconcile connect reconcile connect describe communicate describe communicate other contexts domain stakeholders solutions (systems, processes, messages, engines, …) future situations 6 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

7 Dealing with the paradigm jungle semantic model backbone semantic model backbone data models data models data- bases data- bases business rule models business rule models rule engines rule engines message schemes message schemes messaging platforms messaging platforms meta data sets meta data sets registers & indices registers & indices workflow models workflow models workflow engines workflow engines … … 7 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

8 Essence Some words on the language The meaning of every single concept is context-based. For every concept, its context is explicitly modelled in the model itself, by means of a construct called contextual specification. Every context is a concept in its own right. Explicit (temporary) model boundaries: the horizon, the blinders. Essence owes the basic idea to Pieter Wisse. 8 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

9 Essence: Some words on reconciliation Collaborative process: all (two or more) contexts represented Collaborative result: shared model in which all separate contexts are present (private concepts) as well as their semantic overlaps (shared context) in mutual connection May introduce new concepts/contexts; may involve widening the horizon. Pattern-based (four problem-solution patterns) Peer-to-peer reconciliation rather than up-front standardization. May lead to semantic standardization afterwards, but this is a semantic intervention. 9 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

10 Essence Some words on other paradigms Essence models can go along with, and connect, many other model types: object models, business rule models, workflow models, ERDs, … It nevertheless adds expressive power to all of them: context. There is distinctive affinity with rule-orientation. Essences implementation approach: rather than an own native implementation environment reuse what other paradigms have to offer 10 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011 semantic model backbone semantic model backbone data- models data- models data- bases data- bases business rule models business rule models rule engines rule engines message schemes message schemes messaging platforms messaging platforms meta data sets meta data sets registers & indices registers & indices workflow models workflow models workflow engines workflow engines … …

11 The Essence project Some history ( ) Manifestation of semantic interoperability issues in Dutch e-government, e.g. concerning base registrations Agenda setting by major stakeholders, viz. Forum Standardization Inspiration from Pieter Wisses work on Metapattern First experiments in two cases: the employer concept in the salary declaration chain the partnership concept for non-inhabitants Second opinions from professionals (a.o. RAND Corporation) A host of additional pain indications from government and private sector 11 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

12 The Essence project Motivation By then, there was a recongnized problem and a solution direction. Experiments and second opinions had indicated necessity: a crucial issue is at stake feasibility: the solution might work added value: current practice Required: elaboration of the approach, definition, documentation instrumentalisation: practical methods and tools dissemination continuing validation in real-life cases Ultimate ambition: adoption in practice 12 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

13 Consortium Essence Phase 1 13 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

14 Way of working Precompetitive public-private consortium project Collaborative funding Project reuses unburdened knowledge Generic results (language, methods, …) have a CC licence Budget: 421 k November 2010 May 2011 Phase 2 in preparation 14 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011

15 Thank you! 15 SEMIC.EU Yearly Conference, Brussels, 12 May 2011


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