Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Case For Knowledge Base Driven Information Mining – A WebSummarizer Use Case

We use terms like “knowledge economy” (Peter Drucker) , “knowledge as the fuel for innovation” (Nonaka) to emphasize the value we put on knowledge.
Putting knowledge to work requires tools enabling the gathering and structuring relevant information as factors driving innovation, creativity, and  invention.  In practice tools and techniques are tangible instruments of applying knowledge to solving real life challenges.

This is especially important in modern information society “where the creation, distribution, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity”. (see here)
Both concepts - knowledge economy and information society - are closely related by its emphasis on increasing technological capacity to store,  analyze and compute information as bases for data mining and discovery.

In our daily practice we can see the that a direct impact of knowledge economy is measurable in the explosion of scientific and medical discoveries, technological  patents and rapid research progress.

Information overload and information wealth

On a practical human scale we are facing information overload – a condition described as “the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information.” (see here)
Clay Shirky operationally defined information overload rather as a case of filter failure in his famous talk at  Web 2.0 Expo NY:  "It's Not InformationOverload. It's Filter Failure"

In reality we should rejoice and take advantage of the fact that we have unprecedented in the human history access to information wealth. And to cope better with information wealth we need automated  smart tools allowing us to take advantage of this unparalleled access to information.

Let’s take a practical case from our daily work. Research tells us that we spend almost  one third of our time searching for relevant information.  Of course finding relevant data is critical to our productivity but  spending one third of our productive time on searches leaves not much time on the actual creative usage of our findings.
On one hand we have the challenges with large data sources that includes capture, storage, and search of relevant information and then we need effective tools for sharing, analysis, and visualization. On the other hand all of us can benefit from knowledge mining tools allowing us to concentrate on applying knowledge instead of using our precious time on inefficient searches. 

Knowledge Base – practical tool set for discovery
In short knowledge base allows us to see how different pieces of information are inter-connected! This is the principle of how the Web works: it is all about linking web pages.

However, what is even more useful is to link the topics that are discussed on those web pages with related topics on other pages. This allows are to purely look at the relationships as a family of connections without the distraction of seeing the the unrelated information.  This allows us to focus on the topic in context of its relationship, correlation, influence, meaning, to other topics and contexts. Such information filters help with understanding and conveniently provide facts and insights to form our judgment and decisions.

Here is an example of Visual Knowledge Map. The topic is "Learning". The sources for generating the Visual Knowledge Map are numerous articles in Wikipedia that address the subject of learning in rich context. The Visual Knowledge Map was generated by WebSummarizer.

The Visual Knowledge Map is interactive. You can click on the + and - signs to zoom in and zoom out.


Visual Knowledge Map - Topic: Learning - Generated by WebSummarizer from Wikipedia knowledge base

Visual Knowledge Map - Topic: Learning - Generated by WebSummarizer from Wikipedia knowledge base

About WebSummarizer:
WebSummarizer is a powerful text mining and visualization application.  It offers rapid summarization of web pages and documents, creation of personal and corporate knowledge bases. 

The summarization results are presented as: 
•   Visual Summaries
•   Visual Knowledge Maps
•   Tree Views (structured text)
•   Keywords Cloud, and
•   Visual Summaries and Visual Knowledge Maps can be exported to HTML, word editors and mind mapping applications. 

You can summarize text in English, French, German and Spanish.

         VISUALIZE and SUMMARIZE web pages and documents with WebSummarizer.

BlogSummarizer, WebSummarizer and WikiSummarizer are products of Context Discovery Inc.

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