Re: Question: Is/was there an ASWC 2011?

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Paola Di Maio

Jan 5, 2011, 7:02:21 AM1/5/11
to John Domingue,,, vilas Wuwongse, Han Woo PARK (Asso. Prof.), Tru Cao, Semantic Web, Dieter Fensel, Art - Arthit Suriyawongkul,, Open Source Thailand
Dieter, and John

Thanks for sharing. I lived for some years in Asia, and taught IT
there, and have formed a small network of colleagues and gathered some

The situation is very complex, and a nice challenge from the
sociotechnical systems viewpoint, which is my current research
interest :-)

What I may say below is surely going to be controversial, and I do not
expect everyone to agree with my analysis.

I appreciate the difficulties you highlight, and probably more factors
add to the complexity, however, I hope everyone agrees, Asia is of far
too high strategic importance nowadays to make a pass at it. Its a
question of finding a way. It aint going to be easy.

Some of the issues I picked up on while attending ISWC in Busan and
ASWC in BKK you may be interested in:

- it looked to me, and to other researchers I chatted with at the back
of the rooms (incl prof Vilas and Mitzoguchi in separate
conversations) that the conferences were organised mainly from a
European viewpoint, with the respective organising institutions trying
to promote their own research and tools to the Asian community as if
they were 'the' semantic web. At times it looked as if instead of
promoting general academic knowledge (semantic web knowledge, with its
diversity of facets, views and interpretations) the conferences were
marketing efforts biased toward certain technologies and tools,
looking for Asian 'buyers'. This is understandable, not per se a bad
thing, but a bit too partial perhaps. Asians can be very ingenuous and
also very smart, and have strong views. A bottom up, more inclusive
approach in developing the programme with more committee members from
diverse Asian research communities and groups may be required.

- In addition to what you list, there are many other challenges,
including the fact that local organisers may
a) have difficulties communicating with westerners who have never
lived outside Europe (ie, who are not accustomed to very different
cultures and communication protocols)
b) be very different people with different ethics and beliefs, very
often contrasting and in disagreement with one another. Such is life
in Europe and elsewhere, as I understand it :-). Therefore there are
some inevitable conflicts to be addressed even at local level.

- . EU funding of SW research has definitely contributed to promote
semantic technologies progress internationally, but there are many
open issues as to with what results, and with what motives. Often EU
research funding seems prioritise the future economic interests of
researchers and institutions, its a bit a of a closed shop, and even a
means of financing private industry and producing patents, rather than
promoting knowledge and free open tools that everyone can benefit
from, which has otherwise been the underlying ethos of the SW
community from the start. This conflict could be impacting the
direction of the research itself. In Asia I am in touch with many open
source communities, which can sometimes become platforms to promote
commercial opportunities for companies
There is a bit of a rush to 'colonize' commercially Asia, which may or
may not conflict with the trend to leverage 'open source spirit'. And
Asia is today what America was centuries ago, with all its
opportunities and challenges.

MIT is opening a campus in Singapore, I hear from my colleagues in
the systems engineering field. I wonder if there is anyone on this
list who can make a connection and get some involvement there?

Just scratching the surface, there is probably more to be untangled,
possibly argued, and maybe other people see it differently.

If the spirit of collaboration is to be upheld, my best suggestion is
to form an open workgroup inviting everyone (academics, industry and
hackers alike) interested to discuss the various issues and make a
collaborative plan on how to advance semantic web conferences and self
organised camps (like barcamps, vocamps etc) in Asia that could
benefit and interest everyone, irrespective of their position and
standpoint, provided minimal agreement on the ethos can be agreed upon
(for example, democracy and respect for niversal human rights must be
a driver for transparency and openness and technological progress etc)

Bearing in mind that Asia and Europe face different set of
socio-economic challenges,

I am aware that this is not the way things have been done so far, and
many esteemed professors like yourself are not often that keen to
discuss to public lists and are not used to open collaboration, but
obviously this needs to change Maybe you can be of example and start
such a discussion group and invite your counterparts in Asia to
collaborate on a plan in an open discussion group, and see if
something opens up?. I think the question could be 'how do we go about
organising future semantic web conferences in Asia given the set of
challenges' and see what comes up.

I am hopeful. Asia is big, despite massive political and socio
economic problems people very enthusiastic and keen to learn, make
connections etc, provided conflicting interests can be kept under

I cc'd some of my contacts in this email, hope they can also circulate
this note and contribute to the discussion to the formation of an open
collaborative research community around semantic web and related
technologies in Asia

Let me know how can I help


Paola Di Maio

On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM, John Domingue <> wrote:
> just to follow up Paola, as Dieter says organising a conference in Asia is
> very different to organising one in Europe where we have a common funding
> framework for a lot of our research and we need time to work out how best to
> do this in an expanded area that includes the Pacific region.
> As Dieter also says we are open to suggestions on collaboration.
> cheers
> John
> On 5 Jan 2011, at 10:13, Dieter Fensel wrote:
>> Dear Paola,
>> as John said STI2 is not planning to organize an event for 2011. Mostly
>> for three reasons:
>>       1) Asia is somehow fragmented (obviously because it is so much
>> bigger than small
>>       Europe) and therefore it is quite a challenge to bridge the
>> different national research
>>       communities and establish a true cross country event. Even for small
>> Europe this
>>       only happened after EU funding helped to generate a cross-country
>> awareness
>>       (what a shame that people need money to civilize). Also when we had
>> ISWC in
>>       Asia we made similar epxeriences.
>>       2) There were severe requests that we should generalize the
>> conference to
>>       a Pacific-Asian Semantic Web Conference and we are reflecting on
>> this for 2012.
>>       In a sense this makes the problem even harder but it is requested
>> quite clearly.
>>       3) A number of people were requesting to see the event going on and
>> I love to
>>       see your interest in it. For example, we have severe interests
>> expressed from groups
>>       in Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia (Unfortunately in Japane they
>> still think we
>>       are their failed 5th generation project). Simply, currently nobody
>> is taking the lead to
>>       take the opportunity and brings it to its full potential.
>> If you would like to help on this (and some of the colleagues you are
>> referring to, too) we would
>> very much appreciate this and could provide you much of the help and
>> contacts needed.
>> Finally this is also a question to Jim and the SWSA foundation which
>> could/should help on
>> this task, too.
>> Many greetings,
>> Dieter
>> At 10:16 AM 1/5/2011, Paola Di Maio wrote:
>>> John
>>> I wonder if you could share some info on why there's no ASWC, was the
>>> last one not successful or something?
>>> Some of us who lecture in Asia and organise research events are
>>> particularly interested
>>> to know the plans
>>> cheers
>>> PDM
>>> On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 1:14 PM, John Domingue <>
>>> wrote:
>>> > Hi Michael, I can confirm that there are no plans for ASWC for next
>>> > year.
>>> > Preliminary discussions are under way for a Pan-Pacific conference
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Regards
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > John
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > On 6 Dec 2010, at 12:26, Yimin Wang wrote:
>>> >
>>> >> Hi Michael,
>>> >>
>>> >> To my knowledge, ASWC has no plan for 2010 or any further. This was a
>>> >> decision made last year.
>>> >>
>>> >> Regards,
>>> >>
>>> >> Yimin
>>> >>
>>> >> On 6 December 2010 18:51, Michael Schneider <> wrote:
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Hi!
>>> >>>
>>> >>> A question: Does anybody know whether there is or was an Asian
>>> >>> Semantic
>>> >>> Web
>>> >>> Conference (ASWC) this year? In former years, it has been close to
>>> >>> the
>>> >>> end
>>> >>> of the year, but I cannot find anything about it on the web. Or was
>>> >>> it
>>> >>> merged with ISWC, as in 2007 (although I cannot find any note about
>>> >>> this
>>> >>> at
>>> >>> the ISWC site)?
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Thanks in advance,
>>> >>> Michael
>>> >>>
>>> >>> --
>>> >>> Dipl.-Inform. Michael Schneider
>>> >>> Research Scientist, Information Process Engineering (IPE)
>>> >>> Tel  : +49-721-9654-726
>>> >>> Fax  : +49-721-9654-727
>>> >>> Email:
>>> >>> WWW  :
>>> >>>
>>> >>> =======================================================================
>>> >>> FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik an der Universität Karlsruhe
>>> >>> Haid-und-Neu-Str. 10-14, D-76131 Karlsruhe
>>> >>> Tel.: +49-721-9654-0, Fax: +49-721-9654-959
>>> >>> Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts, Az 14-0563.1, RP Karlsruhe
>>> >>> Vorstand: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger Dillmann, Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Michael
>>> >>> Flor,
>>> >>> Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wolffried Stucky, Prof. Dr. Rudi Studer
>>> >>> Vorsitzender des Kuratoriums: Ministerialdirigent Günther Leßnerkraus
>>> >>>
>>> >>> =======================================================================
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> --
>>> >> The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an
>>> >> exempt charity in England & Wales and a charity registered in Scotland
>>> >> (SC
>>> >> 038302).
>>> >>
>>> >
>>> > _________________________________________
>>> > Deputy Director, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University
>>> > Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK
>>> > phone: 0044 1908 653800, fax: 0044 1908 653169
>>> > email: web:
>>> >
>>> > President, STI International
>>> > Amerlingstrasse 19/35, Austria - 1060 Vienna
>>> > phone: 0043 1 23 64 002 - 16, fax: 0043 1 23 64 002-99
>>> > email:  web:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>> --
>> Dieter Fensel
>> Director STI Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck, Austria
>> phone: +43-512-507-6488/5, fax: +43-512-507-9872
> _________________________________________
> Deputy Director, Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University
> Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, UK
> phone: 0044 1908 653800, fax: 0044 1908 653169
> email: web:
> President, STI International
> Amerlingstrasse 19/35, Austria - 1060 Vienna
> phone: 0043 1 23 64 002 - 16, fax: 0043 1 23 64 002-99
> email:  web:

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