From NEURON to NULON

Executive Summary

A computer is a general purpose, programmable electronic device, for storing and processing data. From the era of personal computers to the age of mobile devices, we are storing data into files and web pages. We are processing electronic documents with myriads of formats. We organize our file collections into hierarchies with folders. We use them to share information. So far the digital document is the main vehicle of information exchange and at the same time the obstacle for effective management of information and interconnection of information systems. Information technology industry is still waiting for the promised revolution in terms of web software and services.

This partly happened with Web 2.0, the social collaborative user environment that made the need to escape from the document centric computing more urgent. The published content has to be independent of the container so that it can be viewed in many alternative ways and combined easily in many forms. In all these years of computing evolution, there is very little that has been achieved to bridge the gap that exists between the presentation of information to the user and the storage of information on the computer.

But what if we could unify and standardize the processing of information from the lowest level of storing data up to the highest level of consuming the data as interconnected pipeline services. Then the flow of information, the interoperability of services and the communication among users can be achieved by defining a new kind of data abstraction that will enhance and gradually replace the electronic document. This is the information resource/reference (IR) a term that is so confused and obscure in Semantic Web technologies.

You can now start drawing the analogy from computer networks to neural networks. IR is the fundamental unit of processing similar to “neuron”, and the Neurorganon project has already implemented IR in NULON (Neurorganon Upper Level Ontology), a solid theoretical framework that is the foundation for linking concepts together and attaching binary information resources (BIRs). With NULON we can model any kind of data as a graph with nodes (IRs) and edges (associations) and store permanently the network of information in state of the art database management systems that are also based in graphs, the perfect marriage for data modeling.

Most important, with NULON it is now possible to reuse, redesign, repurpose, recombine and interconnect existing software tools for extraction, integration, transformation and visualization of information. Tools will be commercialized, or offered for free, as services and will be used to connect NULON to Web Browser Applications and Graph databases. Eventually we foresee the empowerment of a user with a decentralized network of services that will place him or his community group in charge of a personalized, specialized knowledge graph that will be tailored to his needs.

Finally, with respect to organized information, new browsing methods will appear on the web. These will be present in the form of linked autonomous networks of concepts that will be either automatically created or semi-automatically designed by the expert user again with the help of software as a service. There has to be control for the level of detail and the depth of information, as well as a highly interactive environment to experiment with the visualization of data and the various templates that will assist in the dissemination of information from and to the user.

Arguably the most challenging aspect on this kind of megaproject is to make the user to feel in a natural and comfortable way as it is most often the case when he is browsing the internet or when he sends an email to a friend. One has to experience the new environment and the services in relation to other internet users and tasks that he/she is already accustomed to accomplishing.

The team behind the Neurorganon/NULO project will be aligned with that scope in mind, and the experience and skills of the members involved will eventually guarantee a mature and viable technology and methodology that will lead the development of new generation products and services in the information technology industry.

From NEURON to NULON

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