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  • COGNITIVE ASPECTS OF SEMANTIC DESKTOP

    TO SUPPORT PERSONAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

    by

    Danish Nadeem

    A thesis submitted to the

    Institute of Cognitive Science

    in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

    MASTER OF SCIENCE

    Thesis AdvisorsProf.Dr. Kai-Christoph Hamborg

    Dipl.Inf. Leo Sauermann

    University of Osnabrueck

    March 2007

  • Copyright c 2007 Danish Nadeem

    All Rights Reserved

  • DECLARATION

    I declare that the Master Thesis entitled: Cognitive Aspects of Semantic Desk-top to Support Personal Information Management is my own original work,and hereby certify that unless stated, all work contained within this thesis ismy own independent research and has not been submitted for the award of anyother degree at any institution, except where due acknowledgment is made inthe text.

    ERKLAERUNG

    Mit der Abgabe die Diplomarbeit mit dem Thema: Cognitive Aspects of Se-mantic Desktop to Support Personal Information Management, versichere ich,dass ich selbststndig verfasst und keine anderen als die angegebenen Quellenund Hilfsmittel benutzt habe. Die Stellen, die anderen Werken dem Wort-laut oder dem Sinn nach entnommen wurden, habe ich durch die Angabeder Quelle, auch der benutzten Sekundrliteratur, als Entlehnung kenntlichgemacht.

    Date Danish Nadeem

  • UNIVERSITY OF OSNABRUECK

    As the main supervisor of the candidates graduate committee, at the Uni-versity of Osnabrueck, I have read the dissertation of Danish Nadeem in itsfinal form and have found that (1) its format, citations, and bibliographicalstyle are consistent and acceptable and fulfill university and department stylerequirements; (2) its illustrative materials including figures and tables are inplace; and (3) the final manuscript is satisfactory to the graduate committeeand is ready for submission to the university record.

    Date Prof.Dr. Kai-Christoph HamborgInstitute of Cognitive Science

    GERMAN RESEARCH CENTER FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

    As the close mentor of Danish Nadeem at German Research Center for Ar-tificial Intelligence, I have closely monitored the thesis progress from time totime with feedback and suggestions.

    Date Dipl.Inf. Leo SauermannKnowledge Management Lab, DFKI GmbH

  • ABSTRACT

    Better Knowledge Management enhances our efficiency of work and gives sat-isfaction. Personal Information Management (PIM) tools support augmentedproductivity of user in an organizational role. The research for developingstandard metrics to capture, understand and model user requirements needshigh attention, the thesis focuses on Cognitive considerations of Personal Infor-mation Management and evaluating the Semantic Desktop: Gnowsis , lookingup for a standard utility function based on users PIM behaviour and de-rive standard evaluation methods. A number of cognitively adequate designmethodologies have been explored and suggested for developing user-centredSemantic Desktop.The thesis critically views different Philosophical theories in order to real-ize their application in Semantic Desktop prototypes. The theory of MentalModels is explored and its characteristics are elicited as an analytic tool to un-derstand peoples behaviour for organising their personal information. MentalModel has been revisited to understand how people represent their mental im-ages, assumptions and real-world concepts. Moreover, its possible applicationis suggested for the Semantic Desktop. The current status of the SemanticDesktop evaluation for PIM support is still in its infancy, there are not manypublications, which implies that the work in this direction demands high re-search attention to claim the usability of the Semantic Desktops. The thesisis an initiative to bring an attention on usability issues of the Semantic Desk-top from Cognitive Science point of view. The research has been conductedwithin the Gnowsis prototype, being developed at DFKI. Several approachesare being taken to the date to study PIM. But study of PIM behaviour withinthe Semantic Desktop framework would be a novel approach. In this workwe explore several evaluation criteria which are to be tested for the SemanticDesktop developments. The thesis concludes with suggestions on formalizingMental Models and the evaluation scenarios of the Semantic Desktop proto-types.

  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

    The proper and immediate object of science, is the acquirement, orcommunication, of truth[...] - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Definitionsof Poetry, 1811

    This research is done in requirements for the partial fulfillment of the Mas-ters in Cognitive Science, It begun while I started working with the SemanticDesktop group at the Knowledge Management Lab of German Research Cen-ter for Artificial Intelligence (Deutsches Forschungszentrum fuer KuenstlicheIntelligenz GmbH, DFKI), within the context of NEPOMUK Social SemanticDesktop project.First, I want to give thanks to the Almighty God for giving me life, healthand courage. You deserve the best of praises and thanks. My parents whowere always with me emotionally. I would also like to thank all of my friendsaround me specially for constant encouragement and motivation during mythesis, few to mention here Saleha Rizvi(UIC), Friederike Rausch(TU Dres-den), Olga Kukina(Uni Osnabrueck), Dominik Heim(FH Kaiserslautern), Be-jamin Horak(TU Kaiserslautern), they all helped me not to get lost during thedevelopment of this thesis both academically and emotionally.Leo Sauermann deserves special thanks, as my closely working advisor, pro-vided a motivating, enthusiastic, and critical atmosphere during the manydiscussions we had. He is a pragmatic scientist, as an advisor and co-workerhe knew how to balance between freedom and control, which is very importantduring the course of research. It was a great pleasure for me to conduct thisthesis under his supervision.I also acknowledge Dr.Kai-Uwe Christoph Hamborg as supervisor from myUniversity provided constructive comments during my thesis time and his en-couragements. Needless to say, that I am grateful to all of my colleagues andfriends at the DFKI for their support.

    Date Danish Nadeem

  • Contents

    Table of Contents vii

    List of Figures ix

    1 An Introduction 11.1 Research Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21.2 Pre-requisite literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31.3 Structure of thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41.4 Personal Semantic Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51.5 PIM Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61.6 Semantic Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81.7 Social Semantic Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91.8 CSCW (Computer Supported Collaborative Work) . . . . . . . . . . 101.9 NEPOMUK Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

    1.9.1 Main goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141.9.2 Desktop Aspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141.9.3 Social Aspect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141.9.4 Community Uptake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151.9.5 Nepomuk Scenario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

    2 Theoretical Background 172.1 What is Cognitive Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

    2.1.1 Historic behaviourism perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182.1.2 Cognitive Science modern views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192.1.3 Ideas development timeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

    2.2 Semantic Web vision of TimBL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212.3 Cognitive Science vs Semantic Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222.4 Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242.5 Information Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252.6 How do people organize . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262.7 Boardman cross-tool thesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272.8 Challenges in PIM development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

    vii

  • viii CONTENTS

    3 Cognitive Aspects 333.1 Philosophy, AI and Cognitive Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333.2 Real versus Mental representations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363.3 Cognitive Maps of Mental Representation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373.4 Mental Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 383.5 Constructivism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413.6 Gestalt Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433.7 Cognitive Overload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45

    4 Cognitive Semantic Desktop 474.1 Semantic Desktop as Cognitive Amplifier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 494.2 Applying Mental Models to Semantic Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504.3 RDF model for Semantic Desktop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534.4 Ontology based approaches to PIM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554.5 Semantic Desktop Information-types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

    5 Evaluating the Semantic Desktop 615.1 Holistic understanding of PIM behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 615.2 Software usability evaluation overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 635.3 Evaluation design challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645.4 Goals of evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 655.5 Evaluation criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 665.6 Techniques of evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 685.7 Evaluation -ISO standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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