Published in Proceedings of InterSymp-2010: Baden-Baden, Germany, August 2, 2010. 14 pages. Publisher's website: http://www.iias.edu.
The paper postulates that the information technology revolution that is commonly referred to as the Information Age is currently in a transition stage between data-processing and knowledge management that should be more aptly referred to as the Data Age. Symptoms of this transition stage are a data deluge problem that is evidenced by the inability of human computer-users to effectively analyze and draw useful conclusions from the overwhelming volume of data that is being collected, the increasing complexity of networked systems, and the acknowledged vulnerability of virtually all existing digital systems to cyber security threats.
The author suggests that the core cause of the data deluge problem is that existing computer software systems are largely confined to the processing of atomic data elements rather than meaningful information. With the incorporation of a virtual model of the relevant real world knowledge domain it is possible for computer software to interpret the meaning of data within the context provided by the model. Such models can be constructed in the form of an ontology that is machine processable and accessible to inferencing modules referred to as agents. Context-based information-centric software provides a level of artificial intelligence that can be effectively used to mitigate the current data bottleneck, to shield the human user from the technical complexities of distributed systems, and to maintain an acceptable level of cyber security.