Meaning Negotiation: An Invitation

Paolo Bouquet and Massimo Warglien

The development of distributed applications over large networks of computers raises the issue of semantic het-erogeneity between autonomously developed sources of in-formation or service providers. If, on the one hand, it is generally recognized that we need a semantic layer to pro-vide more and more complex services, on the other hand it is clear that such a layer requires the ability to bridge (interoperate) representations whose heterogeneity is much deeper than that of syntactic formats. As a matter of fact, different people (individuals, groups, communities, service providers, corporations, and so on) view -- and thus represent -- the world from different perspectives, using different interpretation schemas, having different goals in mind. This diversity of viewpoints is the real source of semantic hetero-geneity; it is intrinsic of the way cognitive agents (in partic-ular, human beings) know the world, and as such it cannot be wiped away.

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