Saturday, October 14, 2006

Kelly's Theory of Personality

George Kelly's theory of personality could be an alternate view for constructing the Semantic Web.

Out of these insights, Kelly developed his theory and philosophy. The theory we'll get to in a while. The philosophy he called constructive alternativism. Constructive alternativism is the idea that, while there is only one true reality, reality is always experienced from one or another perspective, or alternative construction. I have a construction, you have one, a person on the other side of the planet has one, someone living long ago had one, a primitive person has one, a modern scientist has one, every child has one, even someone who is seriously mentally ill has one.
This is exactly what Semantic Web should be. We may view the semantics in Semantic Web from two varied aspects: the community view aspect and the individual view aspect. For any specific domain, the community view is the description of the domain agreed by all people in the community. By contrast, an individual view is a special description of the domain by a person in the community. Essentially, when people publish knowledge, they yield to the community view to anticipate broader public recognition. When people search some particular information, however, they yield to their own individual views to anticipate higher precision of search results.

The relation between community view and individual view is not the same as the relation between a superclass concept and a subclass concept. Ideally, the community view is the collective set of all the individual views in the community. However, a collective set does not equal to a simple collection of all small pieces of components. In every individual view, people have their special interests that may not be interested by the other people in the same community. Therefore, the community view is rather a compromised agreement than a representative view of everybody in the community.

On the other hand, an individual view is always related to certain community view. But any individual view at the same time may have its own specifications that are not belong to, or even contradict to, the adopted community view.

With this model, we may not construct a community view. Community view is not directly constructable by anybody or any group. We may only approach a community view by gathering enough individual views. Thus, there must be individual views before the community view. This is actually a basic assumption of Web 2.0. Now we must extend it to Semantic Web.

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