Skip to Main Content
In the present day Knowledge Society, which is increasingly mobile, workers are expected to bring to bear vast amounts of knowledge to deal with situations they face - often instantly. Under these circumstances, there is little time to employ traditional methods of searching for information and processing it to deal with the problem at hand. What we need then is a tool that constantly finds information, organizes and presents it at the point of need - perhaps, on a mobile computer such as the iPhone. This is the focus of the Vijjana project at West Virginia University. The basic premise of Vijjana is that information is of little use unless it is classified and interlinked to reflect the underlying semantic relationships. Vijjana's underlying paradigm is called SIVA which stands for Sieve, Interlink, Visualize, and Apply. Under this paradigm, a Personal Agent constantly searches for information which is submitted to a Sieve which filters the information and then passes it on to an Interlinking Agent which transforms the collected information into a semantic network. This semantic network is automatically partitioned to reflect the different roles performed by the knowledge worker. For example, a professor in his role as a teacher needs to apply a kind of knowledge which is different from when he is performing as a researcher or as an industrial consultant. These role boundaries are often fuzzy and may overlap significantly. Nevertheless, by determining contextual relationship between individual pieces of information (called Jan in Vijjana) and roles played by the knowledge worker a practical partitioning could be accomplished. As this Sieving and Interlinking take place continuously, at any instant we can visualize any partition using a variety of display techniques driven by what we call a Context Channel :what we want to see is based on what context we are in. The final stage in this approach to using distilled and visualizable knowledge is direct application to - problem solving at the time it is needed. This may be viewed as a collection of mini-Expert Systems that use the partitioned network as the knowledge source to deal with most commonly faced situations or tasks encountered by the knowledge worker. We believe progress in systems like Vijjana is the key to dealing with challenges faced by knowledge workers in what is now being referred to as the Mobile Millennium.