Principles and Patterns of Organizing Systems

INFO 290-6 (CCN 42628) — Spring 2011
School of Information, UC Berkeley

Instructors: Erik Wilde and Robert J. Glushko

Seminar: Tue 11.00–12.30, 205 South Hall

Description: We have traditionally analyzed collections of information or things using categories like libraries, museums, archives, content or knowledge management systems, and data repositories. The concept of an organizing system complements this categorical view with a dimensional perspective that sees these categories as sets of design patterns that reflect typical answers to questions about what is being organized, why, when, how much, who is doing the organizing, and how services are provided to interact with the organizing system. These dimensions frame trade-offs and constraints about the content, policies, and implementation of organizing systems. The primary goal of this course is to use these design dimensions to better understand traditional design patterns and their consequences, and to identify useful new ones.

For example, the thingness, uniqueness, persistence, useful lifetime, mashability, and intended uses and users of the content of an organizing system jointly determine how it is implemented and operated. We will examine how these design influences intersect, and consider what alternative designs would look like if some of these content and policy choices were to change. Furthermore, in many domains the Web has become the default implementation of organizing systems interfaces, yet we don't critically examine the implications this should have on the system itself. So we will study how Web Architecture — or the architectures and constraints implied by other metamodels and architectures such as Linked Data or WS-* services — influence decisions about content granularity and structure, how identity and provenance are supported, the kinds of interactions and services the organizing system allows, and so on.

Toward the end of the semester we will analyze some case studies and proposed architectures for health informatics infrastructures or for exposing government data in general to test and consolidate the new concepts of the course.

Date Subject Slides Required Reading Reading Notes [reading/] Assignment [a/] Additional Resources
2011-01-18 Course Introduction: Motivation and goals for the seminar. What Wilde and Glushko expect from students and what students can expect from them. The larger context: the Intellectual Foundations for Information Organization and Information Retrieval book, the ISchool curriculum, the ISchools as a whole.
2011-01-18T11:00 2011-01-18T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Bob [] · Erik [] · Bob's 202 [] · Erik's 242 [] · Erik's 290 []
2011-01-25 Foundations for Organizing Systems: We have traditionally analyzed collections of information or things using categories like libraries, museums, archives, content or knowledge management systems, and data repositories. The concept of an organizing system complements this categorical view with a dimensional perspective that sees these categories as sets of design patterns that reflect typical answers to questions about what is being organized, why, when, how much, who is doing the organizing, and how services are provided to interact with the organizing system.
2011-01-25T11:00 2011-01-25T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Foundations for Organizing Systems [] · Why is the Web Loosely Coupled? [] · On Communication [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-01-25] A1 [a/1/] assigned (due date: 1/31 6pm) bSpace PPOS Site [] · bSpace Email Archive []
2011-02-01 Traditional Domains for Organizing Systems: The traditional categories of public sector or nonprofit memory institutions — libraries, museums, and archives — have been evolving for thousands of years. Some of the proliferation of collection categories reflects technological innovation and especially digitization and webification. We can stretch the traditional definitions and add modifiers to describe these novel variations, but a dimensional perspective acknowledges the diversity of instances of these collection types and provides a generative, forward-looking framework for inventing and describing new kinds of collection types and their associated services.
2011-02-01T11:00 2011-02-01T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Emerging Convergence? [] · Playing Catch-Up in a Digital Library Race [] · Kindle Lending [] · Berkeley Tool Lending Library [] · Seed Library [] · Software Component Library [] · Abu Dhabi Museums [] · Crowdsourced Science [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-02-01]
2011-02-08 More Diversity in Organizing Systems: Organizing systems are necessary for any institution or individual engaging in purposeful and systematic activity. These include commercial enterprises, professional service firms, educational and research institutions, governmental agencies, … and the business people, lawyers, doctors, teachers, scientists and the other people who work for them. Can we find a robust set of dimensions that broadly applies to and differentiates organizing systems when we expand their scope beyond the traditional bibliographic and cultural artifact domains?
2011-02-08T11:00 2011-02-08T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Organizing Systems Diversity (8 Slides) Flea Markets [] · Institutional Identity at the Zoo [] · Museums in Second Life [] · Wiki Genres in Enterprises [] · Interoperable Data and Articles [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-02-08]
2011-02-15 Data Sources and Services in Organizing Systems: Can we push the idea of organizing system to include data sources and services? Smart information-intensive systems can be built or "mashed up" from sensor networks or data feeds. Business models can be viewed as composites or choreographies of services. And so on …
2011-02-15T11:00 2011-02-15T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Document Engineering [] · Value Structures in Banking [] · Cloud Farms [] · Data Integration in Mashups [] · Digital Libraries and Data Intensive Computing [] · Data and Process Curation [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-02-15]
2011-02-22 Principles of Web Architecture: Today we will look at how some of the principles and patterns of Web Architecture can be applied to real-world scenarios, user-facing Web-based systems, and machine-oriented Web-based services. By looking at those architectural principles, it becomes clear that they focus on certain design goals and trade-offs. Generally speaking, he goal is to design and build scalable, easily combinable, and shareable services and organizing systems.
2011-02-22T11:00 2011-02-22T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Web Architecture (11 Slides) Seven Web Ways [] · Links in HTML [] · Web Linking [] · Media and Resource Types [] · The Role of Hypermedia [reading/wsrest2010-hypermedia.pdf] Notes [reading/#lec2011-02-22] A2 [a/2/] assigned (due date: 2/28 6pm)
2011-03-01 RESTful Organizing Systems: Representational State Transfer (REST) is an architectural style for building distributed systems. The Web is an example for such a system. REST-style applications can be built using a wide variety of technologies. REST's main principles are those of resource-oriented states and functionalities, the idea of a unique way of identifying resources, and the idea of how operations on these resources are defined in terms of a single protocol for interacting with resources. REST-oriented system design leads to systems which are open, scalable, extensible, and easy to understand.
2011-03-01T11:00 2011-03-01T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
RESTful Systems (23 Slides) How I Explained REST to My Wife [] · Roots of the REST/SOAP Debate [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-03-01] A3 [a/3/] assigned (due date: 3/7 6pm) REST: From Research to Practice []
2011-03-08 REST Principles I: Identification and Uniform Interface: The two core constraints of REST are identification and a uniform interface. Starting from identification, we take a look at how the Web mixes identification with access, by using an identification scheme that not only supports decentralized and (mostly) anarchic growth. The Domain Name System (DNS) makes the growth at some level a bit more controlled, but as demonstrated by some TLDs (and ICANN's recent decision to sell new TLDs to the highest bidder), apart from the technical robustness, little else is stable about the way how the DNS is managed. Once identification and access are solved, the second important constrained coming into play is that of the uniform interface. In most real-life cases, this means that actual interactions in the application scenario are mapped to methods of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).
2011-03-08T11:00 2011-03-08T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Identification (15 Slides) Cool URIs [] · Cool SemWeb URIs [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-03-08]
2011-03-15 REST Principles II: Representations and Hyperlinking: Identification, identity and the uniform interface (how to interact with identified things) are the most basic constraints of REST. Today, we look at two more constraints of the REST architectural style: Representations are the only thing that are actually available in a RESTful system, and when interacting with a resource, the interactions use self-describing representation. This means that it is possible for actors in a RESTful system to interact with resources without prior knowledge of what media types to expect or to use. We will look at different metamodels that can be used to define specific representations, HTML, XML, JSON, and RDF are popular examples. Since interactions yield representations that are supposed to be starting points for further interactions, representing links is another core constraint of REST. Links often have (implicit or explicit) types which guide clients of RESTful services through the set of available resources. We will look at links from the RESTful perspective, looking at popular patterns such as directories, search services, and typical purchasing workflows.
2011-03-15T11:00 2011-03-15T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Representations (15 Slides) Still Building the Memex [] · Hypermedia Types [reading/HypermediaTypes.pdf] · REST and RDF Granularity [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-03-15] A4 [a/4/] assigned (due date: 5/9 6pm)
2011-03-22 Spring Break: Enjoy!
2011-03-22T11:00 2011-03-22T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
2011-03-29 Mid-Course Review:
2011-03-29T11:00 2011-03-29T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
2011-04-05 Semantic Web and Linked Data: The original vision of the Semantic Web is still alive, but more recently has been reframed as Linked Data. Semantic Web technologies are the foundation of Linked Data, but Linked Data adds best practices to these technologies and has moved the focus of the AI-inspired vision of the Semantic Web to an BI-inspired vision of large connected datasets that can be uniformly stored and queried. In this lecture, we look at the principles of Linked Data and how it has shifted the focus from the original ontology-heavy vision of the Semantic Web to the more data-heavy vision of making data available as RDF.
2011-04-05T11:00 2011-04-05T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Semantic Web (10 Slides) Linked Data [] · voiD [] · Linked Data and Service Orientation [] · REST and Linked Data [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-04-05] RDF Datasets and Graphs []
2011-04-12 Project Progress Meeting:
2011-04-12T11:00 2011-04-12T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
2011-04-19 Semantic Web and Linked Data for Libraries: Libraries have a very long history in trying to systematize and catalog the world's knowledge. However, they also have a deeply engrained model of how it is supposed to be done, by a few heavyweight and fairly centralized organizations. How this world view can the changed or adapt to the more decentralized and heterogeneous world view of the Semantic Web and Linked Data is a question the library community has debated since it became clear that libraries are not the only large-scale organizing systems for knowledge and documents anymore.
2011-04-19T11:00 2011-04-19T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Libraries and Linked Data (8 Slides) Libraries and Linked Data [] · Resource Description and Access (RDA) [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-04-19]
2011-04-26 Enterprise Organizing Systems: The organizing systems designed and operated by enterprises to perform systematic business activities and implement business models face challenging requirements for application integration, process management, reliability, security other ilities and ities that (some people think) are not easily met with plain web and REST architectures.
2011-04-26T11:00 2011-04-26T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Enterprise Organizing Systems (23 Slides) Principles of E-Government Architecture [] · REST vs. WS-* [] Notes [reading/#lec2011-04-26]
2011-05-03 Course Wrap-Up: We'll revisit the design dimensions or principles that we identified earlier in the semester and analyze them in the context of the three different architectural philosophies we've discussed.
2011-05-03T11:00 2011-05-03T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
Course Wrap-Up (31 Slides)
2011-05-10 Project Presentations:
2011-05-10T11:00 2011-05-10T12:30 205 South Hall, UC Berkeley
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