Semantic and Conceptual Structures (SCS)
29th March 2007
Semantic and Conceptual Structures In Module Design
The Higher Education Academy Centre for ICS together with the University of Bolton are running a one day workshop on Semantic and Conceptual Structures (SCS) 29th March 2007, The University of Bolton.
The outline programme is below and we are currently looking for interested colleagues to present on the following topics;
There is ample evidence of a growing interest in the development and exploitation of semantic and conceptual structures. There are two main reasons for this. The first relates to the formal nature of such structures, enabling complex domains to be represented in machine processable forms. This opens up the potential for developing machine support for semantic processing, a good example of which is the emergence of the Semantic Web. In addition to semantic processing by machines, such formal structures can also be represented in graphical forms. Examples of this are semantic nets, conceptual graphs, hierarchical representation of taxonomies and ontologies etc. Hence, semantic representations that are usually expressed in a verbal form can now be expressed in a graphical form, making the semantic content of verbal communication accessible through visual perception. This is the second reason for the growing interest in SCS; providing access to the untapped avenue of semantic and information visualization.
Visualization makes use of visual perception, a very powerful human faculty for the acquisition of information. It is the primary human perceptual channel for interacting with the huge environment around us. Just imagine the amount of information one can absorb with a glance taken at a high street. All the structures around the street, in terms of buildings, shops, street cafes, stalls etc, in addition to all the dynamics of life on the street, in terms of cars moving, people shopping while others sipping coffee seated on street cafes etc, all that is absorbed in a fraction of a second. By absorbed we mean sensed and correctly interpreted to inform the subject of what exits around. Imagine now that all this information is encoded in verbal form, and compare the efficiency of information acquisition between these two forms of representation! This simple everyday example vividly elicits the potential of visual perception if applied to verbal information.
Until now, this powerful perceptual faculty has been confined to the acquisition of non-verbal information. With the emergence of information overflow, a phenomenon associated with the Internet, resulting from the accumulation of millions and millions of containers of verbal content on the shared cyberspace, we have to resort to unconventional means for the acquisition of knowledge from such a huge, but ever growing resource. The answer seems to lie in the two technologies of semantic processing and semantic visualization. With such a promising potential, this workshop aims to explore the principles and potential applications of SCS, particularly in relation to teaching and learning.