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Inference Web (IW) is a framework for explaining Semantic Web reasoning tasks by storing,
exchanging, combining, abstracting, annotating, comparing and rendering proofs
and proof fragments provided by reasoners embedded in Semantic Web applications
and facilities. IW is expected to be flexible enough to address explanation
requirements of a broad audience of Semantic Web users.
Why InferenceWeb is needed?If users (humans and
agents) are to use and integrate system answers, they must trust
them. System transparency supports understanding and trust.
 Thus, systems should be able to explain their actions, sources, and
beliefs.
 Also, if systems are hybrid, it is useful to work in an integrated yet
separable manner.
These are some technical requirements for trusting
system answers:
 Provenance information  explain where source information: source
name, date and author of last update, author(s) of original information,
trustworthiness rating, etc.
 Reasoning information  explain where derived information came
from: the reasoner used, reasoning method, inference rules, assumptions, etc.
 Explanation generation  provide abbreviated descriptions of the
proof  may include reliance on a description of the representation language
(e.g., DAML+OIL, OWL, RDF, ...), axioms capturing the semantics, rewriting
rules based on axioms, other abstraction techniques, etc.
 Distributed webbased deployment of proofs  build proofs that are
portable, sharable, and combinable that may be published on multiple clients,
registry is web available and potentially distributed, ...
 Proof/explanation presentation  Presentation should have
manageable (small) portions that are meaningful alone (without the context of
an entire proof), users should be supported in asking for explanations and
followup questions, users should get automatic and customized proof pruning,
web browsing option, multiple formats, customizable, etc.
IW ContributionsIW makes proofs more useful for explaining queries
on the Semantic Web. Trust disclosure is achieved by making proofs easy to
visualize and rendering proofs using "user centered" notations. Interoperability
is achieved by making proofs (and proof fragments) sharable, easy to distribute
and combine, and free of unexplained reasonerspecific inference rules. Reuse is
achieved by making proofs able to be annotated in addition of making them
interoperable.
A list indicating how these expected IW contributions can
be achieved is presented as follows.
 OWL
representation provides an interlingua for proof
interchange.
 the use of a distinct URI for each proof, whether
or not the proof is also a subproof, allows the handling of all its
combinations of proof fragments.
 support for browsing
multiple proofs of a single theorem provides a mechanism for
comparing and analyzing distinct proofs.
 support for explaining
reasonerspecific inference mechanisms facilitates the interchange
of proofs between distinct reasoning agents.
 support for
followup questions for a single step of proof lets people explore
ONLY those portions of proofs that they care about.
 support for
browsing a single step of proof a time provides lowcost browsing of
proofs. Moreover, proofs can be browsed from any of their subproofs
since a subproof is a proof.
 extensible support for rendering
multiple notations (i.e., English, KIF, etc.)
facilitates the understanding of proofs by distinct browser
users.
 support for adding extra information to proofs. Some
pieces of extra information useful for proofs include the following:
 identification of (authoritative) sources;
 identification of authors of proofs;
 identification of dates of proofs;
 links to alternative proofs of antecedents;
 formal description of additional properties of proofs;
 textual (informal) description of additional properties of proofs.
Further descriptions on these IW contributions will be added
to this web page soon.
