End User Semantic Web Interaction WS @ ISWC2005

Report from the Workshop

We will publish all kinds of information about the workshop day here as soon as it becomes available. At this point we have:



(a.k.a. Second International Workshop on Interaction Design and the Semantic Web) held in conjunction with the 4th International Semantic Web Conference, Galway, Ireland.

Workshop Date: November 7, 2005

This announcement includes:

Workshop Goals

How do we bring the power of the semantic web to end-users? If exploited effectively, the rich markup and processing of information promised by the semantic web can provide much more power available to meet user needs. However, if the semantic web is to be valuable to users (rather than being confined to computer-to-computer interaction) its benefits have to be made tangible through the quality of the interaction.

The semantic web is proving to be an integration point for many different disciplines. This workshop will bring together experts -- both practitioners and researchers -- from the semantic web, human-computer interaction, human language technologies, information visualization, information retrieval, and knowledge-based systems communities. We will share research and insights, and explore future potential.

Workshop Technical Content

  • The state of the art of end user interaction with the semantic web
    • What effective or novel interaction methods are beginning to appear?
    • What (if at all) is the difference between other areas of user-interaction with knowledge intensive sources and the semantic web?
    • What other areas of research can inform semantic web user interface design? This question is particularly important as there is a long tradition of designing user interfaces that interact with large data/knowledge bases or document collections in many research areas (e.g., information retrieval, information visualization, natural language processing, user modeling, multimodal interfaces, to name just a few).
  • How a semantically-enabled site/application should behave
    • How to expose assumptions, meanings and relationships in a non-cluttering way?
    • How to reduce noise while improving user preference-setting and adaptability?
    • What does giving "trust" mean for users when enabling semi-autonomous agents?
    • How can we provide a smooth transition from traditional to semantically enabled sites/applications?
  • The major challenges to the introduction of tools for the semantic web
    • How can we enable and encourage authors and end-users to mark up their content? (The markup prisoners dilemma - if the people who do the markup are not going to benefit from it they are unlikely to do it - is a phenomenon heavily researched in CSCW.)
    • Is it possible to hide semantically-rich markup "under the covers" (as has been happening increasingly with traditional web tools) and still retain integrity in meanings, relationships and rules?
    • How can semantic data be maintained so inference logic and meaning can remain relevant to people who rely on it?
    • What tools are needed to effectively support development of complex ontologies and rules?

These questions are particularly pressing as the growing number of semantic web applications is revealing new challenges for user interaction design. These challenges include designing effective ways of presenting the new kinds of results that semantic web applications are capable of generating and new ways of representing user interaction options that do not overwhelm users with the complexity found in the underlying logic-based implementations. Users have traditionally been quick to reject applications that are burdensome, confusing, or cause a lack of confidence in their behavior.

The rise in popularity and active use of the web has clearly shown the importance of good, usable interfaces. Consequently, it should be a central goal of the semantic web community to increase the user base (and thus the semantic connections/richness available), and this calls for methods to present the logical content, inferences, and increased functionality of the semantic web in ways that provide value and a positive experience for end-users.

Workshop Format

The workshop will feature both interactive discussion and presentations. To that end, we solicit both research and position papers. All papers will be peer-reviewed.

Paper Presentations

Accepted papers will be presented during the first part of the workshop. To increase the interactivity of this presentational part, there will be a discussant from among the participants and/or organizing committee, who will raise central questions for discussion. Furthermore, papers will be grouped into common subject areas/themes, and time will be allocated to discuss common issues cutting across the similarly themed papers.

Facilitated Discussion/Exploration

The papers and resulting conversations will set the stage for the second part of the day, where there will be a facilitated discussion on selected subjects, solicited from the participants both prior to arrival and during the workshop.

Published Proceedings and Workshop Summary

All the accepted papers (including position papers, should the authors wish to publish them) will be included in the workshop's on-line proceedings or in a printed published format (should we reach an agreement with publisher). Along with this will be a report containing the most important issues and viewpoints raised, as well as any resolutions reached in the discussions.

Submission Instructions

  • The language of the workshop is English.
  • Papers should be in PDF format (and in exceptional circumstances in postscript); papers will not be accepted in any other format (information of how to generate postscript with freeware/open source tools is available in the resources section later in this document).
  • Research papers should be at most 8 pages long, while position papers should be at most 2 pages long.
    Research papers follow the typical workshop format. In contrast, position papers are expected to clearly state the author's position/opinion about at least one of the questions raised. An opinion doesn't need to be supported by an evaluation, but some (at least anecdotal) evidence would be desirable.
  • All papers should be formatted in the style of the Springer Publications format for Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS).
  • All papers should include the names of the authors, their affiliations, their e-mail addresses, and an abstract on their first page. Please submit the paper by email to:

    enduser_ws05 (at) ifi (dot) unizh (dot) ch

  • More information regarding the format and on how to create PDF files can be found at:

Workshop Dates, Location, and other Logistics

  • Important Dates (tentative)
    • Paper submission deadline: July 30, 2005
    • Notification of acceptance: September 15, 2005
    • Submission of camera-ready copy: September 30, 2005
    • Workshop: November 7, 2005
    • Conference dates: November 6-10, 2005
  • Workshop location
    • The workshop is help in conjunction with ISWC 2005.
    • The precise location will be announced in due course.
  • Registration
    • All participants will have to register at the conference through the main conference web-site.

Organizing Committee

  • Ion Androutsopoulos, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece (co-chair)
  • Abraham Bernstein, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (chair)
  • Duane Degler, IPGems, Columbia, MD, USA (co-chair)
  • Brian McBride, HP Laboratories, Bristol, UK (co-chair)

Program Committee (in formation)

  • Mark Ackerman (University of Michigan, USA)
  • Nikos Avouris (University of Patras, GR)
  • Hamish Cunningham (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Lynda Hardman (CWI, NL)
  • David R. Karger (MIT - CSAIL, USA)
  • Esther Kaufmann (University of Zurich, CH)
  • Dave Robertson (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • monica c schraefel (University of Southhampton, UK)
  • Robert St. Amant (NC State University and ISI, USA)
  • Vasilis Vassalos (Athens University of Economics and Business, GR)

Information about the First International IDSW Workshop

The First International Workshop on Interaction Design and the Semantic Web was held in May 2004, in conjunction with the World Wide Web Conference (New York, NY). Information from that workshop can be found at: