UMBC ebiquity
2017 May

Archive for May, 2017

New paper: Question and Answering System for Management of Cloud Service Level Agreements

May 21st, 2017, by Tim Finin, posted in GENERAL

Sudip Mittal, Aditi Gupta, Karuna Pande Joshi, Claudia Pearce and Anupam Joshi, A Question and Answering System for Management of Cloud Service Level Agreements, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, June 2017.

One of the key challenges faced by consumers is to efficiently manage and monitor the quality of cloud services. To manage service performance, consumers have to validate rules embedded in cloud legal contracts, such as Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Privacy Policies, that are available as text documents. Currently this analysis requires significant time and manual labor and is thus inefficient. We propose a cognitive assistant that can be used to manage cloud legal documents by automatically extracting knowledge (terms, rules, constraints) from them and reasoning over it to validate service performance. In this paper, we present this Question and Answering (Q&A) system that can be used to analyze and obtain information from the SLA documents. We have created a knowledgebase of Cloud SLAs from various providers which forms the underlying repository of our Q&A system. We utilized techniques from natural language processing and semantic web (RDF, SPARQL and Fuseki server) to build our framework. We also present sample queries on how a consumer can compute metrics such as service credit.

Modeling and Extracting information about Cybersecurity Events from Text

May 15th, 2017, by Tim Finin, posted in cybersecurity, Machine Learning, NLP, OWL, Semantic Web

Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal

Modeling and Extracting information about Cybersecurity Events from Text

Taneeya Satyapanich

Tuesday, 16 May 2017, ITE 325, UMBC

People rely on the Internet to carry out much of the their daily activities such as banking, ordering food and socializing with their family and friends. The technology facilitates our lives, but also comes with many problems, including cybercrimes, stolen data and identity theft. With the large and increasing number of transaction done every day, the frequency of cybercrime events is also increasing. Since the number of security-related events is too high for manual review and monitoring, we need to train machines to be able to detect and gather data about potential cybersecurity threats. To support machines that can identify and understand threats, we need standard models to store the cybersecurity information and information extraction systems that can collect information to populate the models with data from text.

This dissertation will make two major contributions. The first is to extend our current cyber security ontologies with better models for relevant events, from atomic events like a login attempt, to an extended but related series of events that make up a campaign, to generalized events, such as an increase in denial-of-service attacks originating from a particular region of the world targeted at U.S. financial institutions. The second is the design and implementation of a event extraction system that can extract information about cybersecurity events from text and populated a knowledge graph using our cybersecurity event ontology. We will extend our previous work on event extraction that detected human activity events from news and discussion forums. A new set of features and learning algorithms will be introduced to improve the performance and adapt the system to cybersecurity domain. We believe that this dissertation will be useful for cybersecurity management in the future. It will quickly extract cybersecurity events from text and fill in the event ontology.

Committee: Drs. Tim Finin (chair), Anupam Joshi, Tim Oates and Karuna Joshi

new paper: Modeling the Evolution of Climate Change Assessment Research Using Dynamic Topic Models and Cross-Domain Divergence Maps

May 15th, 2017, by Tim Finin, posted in AI, Machine Learning, NLP, Paper, Semantic Web

Jennifer Sleeman, Milton Halem, Tim Finin, and Mark Cane, Modeling the Evolution of Climate Change Assessment Research Using Dynamic Topic Models and Cross-Domain Divergence Maps, AAAI Spring Symposium on AI for Social Good, AAAI Press, March, 2017.

Climate change is an important social issue and the subject of much research, both to understand the history of the Earth’s changing climate and to foresee what changes to expect in the future. Approximately every five years starting in 1990 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes a set of reports that cover the current state of climate change research, how this research will impact the world, risks, and approaches to mitigate the effects of climate change. Each report supports its findings with hundreds of thousands of citations to scientific journals and reviews by governmental policy makers. Analyzing trends in the cited documents over the past 30 years provides insights into both an evolving scientific field and the climate change phenomenon itself. Presented in this paper are results of dynamic topic modeling to model the evolution of these climate change reports and their supporting research citations over a 30 year time period. Using this technique shows how the research influences the assessment reports and how trends based on these influences can affect future assessment reports. This is done by calculating cross-domain divergences between the citation domain and the assessment report domain and by clustering documents between domains. This approach could be applied to other social problems with similar structure such as disaster recovery.

Fact checking the fact checkers fact check metadata

May 13th, 2017, by Tim Finin, posted in schema.org, Semantic Web

TL;DR: Some popular fact checking sites are saying that false is true and true is false in their embedded metadata 

I’m a fan of the schema.org claimReview tags for rendering fact checking results as metadata markup embedded in the html that can be easily understood by machines. Google gave a plug for this last Fall and more recently announced that it has broadened its use of the fact checking metadata tags.  It’s a great idea and could help limit the spread of false information on the Web.  But its adoption still has some problems.

Last week I checked to see if the Washington Post is using schema.org’s ClaimReview in their Fact Checker pieces. They are (that’s great!) but WaPo seems to have misunderstood the semantics of the markup by reversing the reviewRating scale, with the result that it assets the opposite of its findings.  For an example, look at this Fact Checker article reviewing claims made by HHS Secretary Tom Price on the AHCA which WaPo rates as being very false, but gives it a high reviewRating of 5 on their scale from 1 to 6.  According to the schema.org specification, this means it’s mostly true, rather than false. ??

WaPo’s Fact Check article ratings assign a checkmark for a claim they find true and from one to four ‘pinocchios‘ for claims they find to be partially (one) or totally (four) false. They also give no rating for claims they find unclear and a ‘flip-flop‘ rating for claims on which a person has been inconsistent. Their reviewRating metadata specifies a worstRating of 1 and a bestRating of 6. They apparently map a checkmark to 1 and ‘four pinocchios‘ to 5. That is, their mapping is {-1:’unclear’; 1:’check mark’, 2:’1 pinocchio’, …, 5:’4 pinocchios’, 6:’flip flop’}. It’s clear from the schema.org ClaimReview examples that that a higher rating number is better and it’s implicit that it is better for a claim to be true.  So I assume that the WaPo FactCheck should reverse its scale, with ‘flip-flop‘ getting a 1, ‘four pinocchios‘ mapped to a 2 and a checkmark assigned a 6.

WaPo is not the only fact checking site that has got this reversed. Aaron Bradley pointed out early in April that Politifact had it’s scale reversed also. I checked last week and confirmed that this was still the case, as this example shows. I sampled a number of Snope’s ClaimCheck ratings and found that all of them were -1 on a scale of -1..+1, as in this example.

It’s clear how this mistake can happen.  Many fact checking sites are motivated by identifying false facts, so have native scales that go from the mundane true statement to the brazen and outrageous completely false.  So a mistake of directly mapping this linear scale into the numeric one from low to high is not completely surprising.

While the fact checking sites that have made this mistake are run by dedicated and careful investigators, the same care has not yet been applied in implementing the semantic metadata embedded in their pages on for their sites.

New paper: A Question and Answering System for Management of Cloud Service Level Agreements

May 13th, 2017, by Tim Finin, posted in AI, KR, NLP, Paper, Semantic Web

Sudip Mittal, Aditi Gupta, Karuna Pande Joshi, Claudia Pearce and Anupam Joshi, A Question and Answering System for Management of Cloud Service Level Agreements,  IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing, June 2017.

One of the key challenges faced by consumers is to efficiently manage and monitor the quality of cloud services. To manage service performance, consumers have to validate rules embedded in cloud legal contracts, such as Service Level Agreements (SLA) and Privacy Policies, that are available as text documents. Currently this analysis requires significant time and manual labor and is thus inefficient. We propose a cognitive assistant that can be used to manage cloud legal documents by automatically extracting knowledge (terms, rules, constraints) from them and reasoning over it to validate service performance. In this paper, we present this Question and Answering (Q&A) system that can be used to analyze and obtain information from the SLA documents. We have created a knowledgebase of Cloud SLAs from various providers which forms the underlying repository of our Q&A system. We utilized techniques from natural language processing and semantic web (RDF, SPARQL and Fuseki server) to build our framework. We also present sample queries on how a consumer can compute metrics such as service credit.

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