Value Matrix Object

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Operational goal

  • Design and implement a value matrix object for the Knowledge Federation community [1].


  • In the world where information glut has replaced information scarcity, information about the value of knowledge resources becomes recognized as a most valuable information [2]. A key insight emerges — right way of treating this valuable information is to federate it [3]:
    • accummulate every piece of data that may be of value when making a decision, without judgment or bias and
    • enable free creation of insights based on this data — by providing the wider community not only a variety of ways/functions for computing parameters and evaluating the criteria, but even an option to create those functions (even the functions must be federated).

    The value matrix object provides this functionality. A value matrix is an object attached to a resource that accumulates all data that may be useful for evaluating the value of this resource, throughout the lifetime of the resource. We may imagine it conceptually as a matrix whose columns are criteria and whose rows are various ways of evaluating them. Implemented as an object, the value matrix hides implementation and exports its functions — including functions for accumulating value data, and functions for evaluating value with respect to a variety of criteria.

  • The priority of tasks such as semantic annotation, creation of Wikipedia-style community summaries... — and the general task of refocusing attention and resources from increasing quantity to improving quality of produced information — become widely acknowledged. It immediately becomes obvious that nothing good can really happen as long as the systemically supported values (remuneration criteria in journalism, promotion criteria in academia) reflect and support largely the quantity of production. The Value Matrix Object turns out to be a key instrument of change [4].

Immediate practical tasks

  • Help Benjamin Johansson develop a prototype value matrix object [5].

Themes to introduce, paradigms to change

  • Federating value — departing from the (Industrial Age) focus on productivity of quantity.
  • Knowledge work ecology — creating a knowledge-work ecosystem where right behaviors are supported and good memes flourish.

Contributions to Knowledge Federation

  • A knowledge-work ecology where federation of knowledge is seen and rewarded.

Contributions to the changing world

  • Refocusing the productivity of the collective mind from glut to meaning.
  • Giving a fair chance to transformative ideas [6].


  1. A value matrix object is an object attached to a knowledge resource that federates knowledge about the value of that resource i.e.:
    • aggregates all information that may be relevant for evaluating the value of the associated resource throughout the lifetime of that resource;
    • provides a variety of operations, algorithms and social procedures for extracting or sublimating value-related insights.
  2. Imagine that the Semantic Web dream has come true and all our Web resources were semantically annotated; there can still be thousands or milllions of resources that are valid answers to a query. Which of them will be brought to the attention of the user? And based on what will this decision be made? By following this line of thought we quickly discover that the information about the value of a knowledge resource is a most valuable information; and that this information must be federated
  3. It might require a bit of thought to see why; this is left as an exercise.
  4. By enabling not only multidimensional evaluation of resources, but also multidimensional evaluation of contributions. A value matrix object becomes associated with every knowledge worker as well (in our model knowledge workers are included in the concept 'resource'); it accumulates every manner of contribution that may be of interest — including of course various federation activities. A promotion committee may later look at candidates and see that one has an excellent publication record while another contributed substantially to federating the knowledge within and beyond the community, and choose what criteria to apply.
  5. Benjamin Johansson is a CS graduate student at University of Oslo; by Summer 2012 he is expected to complete an MS thesis that includes a functioning Value Matrix Object prototype; at this moment he is writing a term paper summarizing various existing ways of aggregating value information (by Google, Amazon etc.). You will find Benjamin on Knowledge Federation Ning where he is a member of Knowledge Federation Value Matrix Object group. At this moment Benjamin is writing a survey article taxonomizing existing ways in which value information is accumulated. As soon as he is a bit advanced, let us help him by federating this project. Let us help Benjamin to help us!
  6. Paradoxically, knowledge resources that are truly transformative (i.e. that truly have value, or truly contain new information) might be ignored and neglected, exactly because they fail to fit in; a challenge taken by Value Matrix Object project is to develop ways to spot and empower such ideas .

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See also

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