Tetherless World Constellation

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Since its inception the World Wide Web has changed the ways people work, play, communicate, collaborate, and educate. There is, however, a growing realization among researchers across a number of disciplines that without new research aimed at understanding the current, evolving and potential Web, we may be missing or delaying opportunities for new and revolutionary capabilities. If we want to be able to model the Web, if we want to understand the architectural principles that have provided for its growth, and if we want to be sure that it supports the basic social values of trustworthiness, personal control over information, and respect for social boundaries, then we must pursue a research agenda that targets the Web and its use as a primary focus of attention.

The Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will address this emerging area of "Web Science," focusing on the World Wide Web and it's future use. Faculty in the constellation will explore the research and engineering principles that underlie the Web, will enhance the Web's reach beyond the desktop and laptop computer, and will develop new technologies and languages that expand the capabilities of the Web. We will use powerful scientific and mathematical techniques from many disciplines to explore the modeling of the Web from network- and information- centric views. Our goals will include making the next generation web natural to use while being responsive to the growing variety of policy and social needs, whether in the area of privacy, intellectual property, general compliance, or provenance. The Tetherless World Constellation will design new techniques to explore social, scientific, and legal impacts of the evolving technologies deployed on the Web.

Specific topics to be addressed in the constellation will include:
  • Semantic Web Technology
  • Knowledge Provenance and Explanation
  • Privacy, Policy, and Workflow Transparency
  • Tetherless and Mobile Web access
  • Trust, Social networking and collaboration technologies for the Web
  • Network-centric concepts for the defense, industrial and intelligence sectors
  • Cyber-infrastructure in general with initial focus on eScience cyberinfrastructure
  • Ontology evolution, management and use in diverse disciplines
  • Ethical, Policy and Social aspects of Web use and usability

Sponsored Projects:

TW LogoBiological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Description: The Biological and Chemical Oceanography Data Management Office (BCO-DMO) was created to serve PIs funded by the NSF Biological and Chemical Oceanography Sections as a location where marine biogeochemical, ecological and oceanographic data and information developed in the course of scientific research can easily be disseminated, protected, and stored on short and intermediate time-frames.
TW LogoMobile Health
Principal Investigator: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: The Mobile Health project aims to bring semantic representations of medical data collected from a variety of consumer and medical grade devices and integrate those data on an individual's mobile smartphone. Combined with the reasoning capabilities of semantic web and technologies such as IBM Watson, this project plans to enable personalized health care through the instrumented self.
Description: Tasks for various TWC projects related to data access and the OPeNDAP software products.
TW LogoProcess and Event Ontologies (PEO)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Description: The PEO project investigates methods for representation and interpretation of scientific and natural processes and events.
TW LogoSemantically Enabled Facetd Browser (S2S)
Principal Investigator: Peter Fox
Description: S2S is a user interface framework that leverages the machine-readable semantics of data, services, and user interface components, or "widgets". S2S automates various tasks in UI development for search interfaces.
TW LogoTW Website Project
Description: A semantically-powered Tetherless World Website running in the Drupal CMS. This combines many web standard technologies, including RDF, SPARQL, XSLT, and XHTML.
TW LogoToolMatch (ToolMatch)
Description: or a given dataset, it is difficult to find the tools that can be used to work with the dataset. In many cases, the information that Tool A works with Dataset B is somewhere on the Web, but not in a readily identifiable or discoverable form. In other cases, particularly more generalized tools, the information does not exist at all, until somebody tries to use the tool on a given dataset. Thus, the simplest, most prevalent use case is for a user to search for the tools that can be used with a given dataset. A further refinement would be to specify what the tool can do with the dataset, e.g., read, visualize, map, analyze, reformat.
TW LogoWeb Science Research Center (WSRC)
Principal Investigator: Deborah L. McGuinness
Description: Web Science is the study of the World Wide Web and its impact on both society and technology, positioning the Web as an object of scientific study unto itself. Web Science recognizes the Web as a transformational, disruptive technology; its practitioners study the Web, its components, facets and characteristics. Ultimately, Web Science is about understanding the Web and anticipating how it might evolve in the future.