Semantic Email as a Communication Medium for the Social Semantic Desktop

  • Simon Scerri
  • Siegfried Handschuh
  • Stefan Decker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5021)


In this paper, we introduce a formal email workflow model based on traditional email, which enables the user to define and execute ad-hoc workflows in an intuitive way. This model paves the way for semantic annotation of implicit, well-defined workflows, thus making them explicit and exposing the missing information in a machine processable way. Grounding this work within the Social Semantic Desktop [1] via appropriate ontologies means that this information can be exploited for the benefit of the user. This will have a direct impact on their personal information management - given email is not just a major channel of data exchange between desktops, but it also serves as a virtual working environment where people collaborate. Thus the presented workflow model will have a concrete manifestation in the creation, organization and exchange of semantic desktop data.


Semantic Email Workflow Patterns Speech Act Theory Semantic Web Social Semantic Desktop 


  1. 1.
    Groza, T., Handschuh, S., Moeller, K., Grimnes, G., Sauermann, S., Minack, E., Mesnage, C., Jazayeri, M., Reif, G., Gudjonsdottir, R.: The NEPOMUK Project - On the way to the Social Semantic Desktop. In: 3rd International Conference on Semantic Technologies (ISEMANTICS 2007), Graz, Austria (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Whittaker, S., Bellotti, V., Gwizdka, J.: Email and PIM: Problems and Possibilities. In: CACM 2007 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Voorhoeve, M., Van der Aalst, W.: Ad-hoc workflow: problems and solutions. In: Wagner, R., Revell, N., Pernul, G. (eds.) DEXA 2007. LNCS, vol. 4653, Springer, Heidelberg (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sintek, M., van Elst, L., Scerri, S., Handschuh, S.: Distributed Knowledge Representation on the Social Semantic Desktop: Named Graphs, Views and Roles in NRL. In: 4th European Semantic Web Conference, Innsbruck, Austria (2007)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sauermann, L., van Elst, L., Dengel, A.: PIMO - a Framework for Representing Personal Information Models. In: I-Semantics 2007, pp. 270–277 (2007)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Whittaker, S., Sidner, C.: Email overload: exploring personal information management of email. In: CHI 1996 Conference, Vancouver, BC Canada, April 1996, pp. 276–283 (1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    McDowell, L., Etzioni, O., Halevey, A., Levy, H.: Semantic Email. In: 14th international conference on World Wide Web, New York, NY, USA (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Searle, J.: Speech Acts. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1969)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Khoussainov, R., Kushmerick, N.: Email task management: An iterative relational learning approach. In: Conference on Email and Anti-Spam, CEAS 2005 (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Corston-Oliver, S., Ringger, E., Gamon, M., Campbell, R.: Task-focused summarization of email. In: Text Summarization Branches Out workshop, ACL 2004 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Khosravi, H., Wilks, Y.: Routing email automatically by purpose not topic. Natural Language Engineering 5, 237–250 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goldstein, J., Sabin, R.E.: Using Speech Acts to Categorize Email and Identify Email Genres. In: System Sciences, HICSS 2006 (2006)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carvalho, V., Cohen, W.: On the collective classification of email speech acts. In: SIGIR 2005, pp. 345–352 (2005)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Scerri, S., Mencke, M., Davis, B., Handschuh, S.: Evaluating the Ontology underlying sMail – the Conceptual Framework for Semantic Email Communication. In: 6th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC 2008), Marrakech, Morocco (2008)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jose, P.: Sequentiality of speech acts in conversational structure. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 17(1), 65–88 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Singh, M.: A Semantics for Speech Acts. Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence 8(1-2), 47–71 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Scerri, S.: Semanta - Your Personal Email Semantic Assistant. In: Demo Session at the International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI 2008), Island of Madeira, Canary Islands, Spain (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Scerri
    • 1
  • Siegfried Handschuh
    • 1
  • Stefan Decker
    • 1
  1. 1.Digitial Enterprise Research InstituteNational University of Ireland GalwayGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations