Industry / University Collaborative Research on Semantic ComputingA collaborative initiative by the three University of California campuses in Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, and Irvine) has been announced. UCLA, UCSD, and UCI are coming together for the first time to form a semantic Computing Consortium. The intent of the consortium will be to ally Semantics from both the Industry/Commercial and Academic Perspectives, not only to promote the technology, but also to create an infrastructure usable to all participants, in addition to stimulating the interest of this still nascent, but extremely powerful technology.

The existence of the Semantic Computing Center will undoubtedly have a powerful and positive impact on the Southern California community in general, as well as facilitate significant advancement and progress in the Arena of Semantic Computing, from both an academic and commercial prospective. Having such a powerful consortium here in Southern California is an extremely exciting prospect and will facilitate in defining/creating Southern California as a high tech strip with respect to Semantic Computing.

As part of an effort to promote this initiative, a Semantic Web Meetup was held in San Diego at the SuperComputer Center at UCSD.  In this talk, Professor Shlomo Dubnov gave many examples of Semantic Technologies and how they can be used in the domain of music. Subsequent to that, Professor Phillip Sheu, spoke more about the center at large, its purpose and who is involved.  He presented the basic architecture/framework as he initially sees the Semantic Problem Solving Network existing.  This is however, a work in progress and something that can be iteratively refined over time by the combined participants of the consortium to ensure all parties’ considerations are accounted for.  He also addressed some novel mechanisms for dealing with the resultant Intellectual Property so all parties would benefit.

Semantic Problem Solving Network initial architecture

Semantic Problem Solving Network (SPSN)

Of further interest, is the initial list of participating faculty and some sample projects Dr. Sheu illustrated (below). At this point, this list is still expected to grow, and does not include the participants from industry who range from conglomerations both large and small. This is just an initial list to illustrate the scope and boundary of the task.

Initial list of participating universities/faculty members

Morana Alac (UCSD): Social Apps for Video and Music
Abeer Alwan (UCLA): Noise-robust Speech Processing Systems
Natasha Balac (San Diego Supercomputer Center): Mining Screenplays for Narrative and Emotion
David Borgo (UCSD): Semantically Enhanced Online Music Learning and Production
Jim Brody (UCI): Semantic Search of Electronic Health Records for Drug-Drug Interactions
Carl Cotman (UCI): Semantic Biomedical Analytics
Nikil Dutt (UCI): Semantic Retention and Exploitation for Energy Efficient Embedded Systems
Shlomo Dubnov (UCSD): Analysis of Sentiment and Discourse in Audience Back Channel
Charles Elkan (UCSD): Next-generation Enterprise Search Engine
Rui de Figueiredo (UCI): Enterprise Data-Mining System
Jean-Luc Gaudiot (UCI): Computer Architecture for Semantic Computing
Ramesh Jain (UCI): Situation Recognition in Social Life Networks
David Kirsh (UCSD): Situated Learning in Community Information Environment
Xiao Hu (UCLA): Semantic Integration of Nursing Summary in Predictive Models of Patient Deterioration
Aditi Majumder (UCI): Content Aware Capture, Display and Interfaces
Mihaela van der Schaar (UCLA): Distributed Online Stream Mining of Big Data
Phillip Sheu (UCI): Semantic Search and Synthesis of Services
Mark Warschauer (UCI): Semantic Analysis of Online Student Writing
William Zame (UCLA): Uncertainty, Risk and Ambiguity: Implications for Asset Markets

A more detailed presentation and description is available and can be downloaded directly at this link.  More about the initiative can be read and found at this website.  A letter of support from a commercial entity does not involve any financial commitment on behalf of that entity. A sample of the letter can be found here. The deadline for these letters of support is March 1.  All and any support will be much appreciated and it is my belief that this will benefit the community at large.  Last, but not least is the fact that the Seventh International Conference on Semantic Computing is being held in Irvine this year, and full details can be found here.

About the Author

Photo of Barbara StarrBarbara Starr is Vice President of Product Marketing at Algebraix Data, a high performance Semantic Database company. Barbara is the founder of the Semantic Web Meetup in San Diego, CA as well as several other Semantic Web meetups. Recruited from a teaching position while studying for her doctoral degree in South Africa, to build expert trading systems on Wall Street, Barbara Starr has worked in the area of Semantic Technologies for the past several decades and has watched the evolution of the Semantic Web. She subsequently spent almost a decade at SAIC, and was PI for many government projects. After starting her own consulting business, she continued to work with DARPA and SAIC. Overstock.com was her first foray into the e-commerce and SEO world, and she has not looked back since!