Papers from the AAAI Workshop
Paolo Bouquet, Chair
The development of distributed applications over large networks of computers raises the issue of semantic interoperability between autonomously developed sources of information or service providers. The problem seems especially critical in areas like knowledge management, semantic web, web services. A common strategy for dealing with semantic interoperability is to create large, shared conceptual schemas (e.g. ontology, web directories, taxonomies) that are used as a common reference for concepts belonging to heterogeneous schemas. However, there are practical and theoretical reasons why this can't work on a very large scale. This workshop aims to explore an alternative approach, based on the intuition that humans overcome semantic heterogeneity through meaning negotiation (MN) -- an activity that aims at finding an agreement on the meaning of the expressions that are used in linguistic communication. By definition, MN involves semantically autonomous entities, namely entities that cannot assess a semantic problem by "looking into each other's head;" MN does not exclude that semantically autonomous entities may share objects or artifacts in some environment, but that is not like taking for granted that this is sufficient to guarantee successful communication. The problem of meaning negotiation can be addressed from many different perspectives, using different conceptual and technological tools, and with different motivations in mind. We welcome contributions from a variety of fields, such as knowledge representation, multi-agent systems, databases, natural language processing, machine learning, game theory, epistemology, philosophy of language, cognitive science, psychology, sociology, organization and management sciences.