Howard Beck

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, United States

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Publications (22)6.66 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The Shuffled Complex Evolution—Universal Algorithm (SCE-UA) is an automatic calibration algorithm that has shown success in finding a globally optimum objective function with more efficiency than other methods. We incorporated the SCE-UA into our novel modeling environment, utilizing an ontology-based simulation (OntoSim-Sugarcane) framework adapted to analyze groundwater table (WT) fluctuations and drainage practices on four farm basins in the Everglades Agricultural Area of south Florida. Utilizing two water years (WY96–97) of farm WT fluctuations observed at a portion (
    Irrigation and Drainage 01/2014; · 0.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solutions to many complex problems that government organizations all over the world face today require these organizations to share, not only data and computing resources,but also policies, constraints, regulations, processes and services in order to achieve inter-organizational coordination and collaboration. This paper presents an integrated specification language and a user interface for collaborating government organizations to specify events of common interest, policies,constraints and regulations in the form of different types of knowledge rules, manual and automated services, and sharable workflow processes. A network system infrastructure for dynamic processing and interoperation of distributed rules and processes, and an event-triggered rule processing and process enactment technique are also described.
    System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on; 02/2011
  • Lukasz Ziemba, Camilo Cornejo, Howard W. Beck
    The Electronic Library. 01/2011; 29:200-211.
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter presents a distributed event-triggered knowledge network (ETKnet) developed for use by government organizations to share not only data and application operations but also knowledge embedded in organizational and inter-organizational policies, regulations, data, and security constraints as well as collaborative processes and operating procedures. A unified knowledge and process specification language has been developed to formally specify multi-faceted human and organizational knowledge in terms of three types of knowledge rules and rule structures. A user-friendly interface is provided for collaborating organizations to define events of interest as well as automated and manual operations, operation structures, knowledge rules, rule structures, and triggers. Through this interface, these organizations can also perform task management, administrative management, configuration management, and ontology management. Events are published in a global registry for browsing, querying, event subscription, and notification. Rules and rule structures are automatically translated into Web services for discovery and distributed processing in ETKnet. Event data are dots that can be connected dynamically across organizational boundaries through the interoperation of knowledge rules and processes. KeywordsKnowledge management-Distributed system-Collaboration technology-Event-based system-Agriculture homeland security
    01/2010: pages 135-153;
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    ABSTRACT: An ontology-based simulation (OntoSim) is a unique data modeling environment where soil-plant-nutrient processes are represented as database objects and the user-defined relationships among objects are used to generate computer code (Java) for running the simulation. The aim of this study was to model hydrologic processes of sugarcane-grown organic soils utilizing OntoSim in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) of South Florida. This OntoSim-Sugarcane model describes the complex hydrology of sub-irrigation and open ditch drainage commonly used on Florida farms. Model calibration was conducted by (i) selecting rectangular farm water management units (<12ha), which are encompassed with farm ditches, from two farms in the EAA, (ii) assembling all relevant input data including water tables (WT) recorded at the monitoring farm well of each unit, and (iii) optimizing the fits between the simulated and observed daily WT during two consecutive water years (WY). By calibrating two site-specific parameters - lateral saturated hydraulic conductivities of soil profiles and vertical saturated hydraulic conductivity of the underlying limestone bedrock - good agreement between simulated and observed daily WT was obtained (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient >0.65; coefficient of residual mass <1%) within the units during WY96-97 (May 1995-April 1997). The validation of the model during subsequent WY98-99 at both units also showed Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency >0.55 and coefficient of residual mass <3%. It indicated that OntoSim-Sugarcane is able to simulate daily fluctuations of WT within the farm units and estimate lateral drainage/sub-irrigation and deep seepage that significantly contribute to the water balance at farms in the EAA. Thus, it can be a promising management tool to provide farmers with accurate assessment of water movement in this agricultural area.
    Agricultural Water Management 01/2010; 97(1):112-122. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Water flow and P dynamics in a low-relief landscape manipulated by extensive canal and ditch drainage systems were modeled utilizing an ontology-based simulation model. In the model, soil water flux and processes between three soil inorganic P pools (labile, active, and stable) and organic P are represented as database objects. And user-defined relationships among objects are used to automatically generate computer code (Java) for running the simulation of discharge and P loads. Our objectives were to develop ontology-based descriptions of soil P dynamics within sugarcane- (Saccharum officinarum L.) grown farm basins of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) and to calibrate and validate such processes with water quality monitoring data collected at one farm basin (1244 ha). In the calibration phase (water year [WY] 99-00), observed discharge totaled 11,114 m3 ha(-1) and dissolved P 0.23 kg P ha(-1); and in the validation phase (WY 02-03), discharge was 10,397 m3 ha(-1) and dissolved P 0.11 kg P ha(-). During WY 99-00 the root mean square error (RMSE) for monthly discharge was 188 m3 ha(-1) and for monthly dissolved P 0.0077 kg P ha(-1); whereas during WY 02-03 the RMSE for monthly discharge was 195 m3 ha(-1) and monthly dissolved P 0.0022 kg P ha(-1). These results were confirmed by Nash-Sutcliffe Coefficient of 0.69 (calibration) and 0.81 (validation) comparing measured and simulated P loads. The good model performance suggests that our model has promise to simulate P dynamics, which may be useful as a management tool to reduce P loads in other similar low-relief areas.
    Journal of Environmental Quality 01/2010; 39(5):1751-61. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A methodology and applications of ontology-based simulation are presented. An environment for building simulations based on the Lyra ontology management system is described which includes web-based visual design tools for constructing models and automatically generating simulation code. The ontology is used for representing all equations and all symbols appearing in these equations that are needed to describe a model. The example applications presented are models of soil, water, and nutrient management in citrus and sugarcane. Results thus far show that the ontology-based approach has advantages for representing the model structure, equations, and symbols, that complex models can be described in this format, and that efficient simulation code can be generated automatically from the ontology definition of the model. Potential applications, not yet fully explored, include ability to automatically connect models and data sources, using the ontology to organize model bases containing many models and model components, and using ontology reasoners to search for models, automatically discover model similarities and differences, and generate model instances from general principles.
    Agricultural Systems. 01/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents an ontology management system and ontology processing techniques used to support a distributed event-triggered knowledge network (ETKnet), which has been developed for deployment in a national network for rapid detection and reporting of crop disease and pest outbreaks. The ontology management system, called Lyra, is improved to address issues of terminology mapping, rule discovery, and large ABox inference. A domain ontology that covers the concepts related to events, rules, roles and collaborating organizations for this application in ETKnet was developed. Terms used by different organizations can be located in the ontology by terminology searching. Services that implement knowledge rules and rule structures can be discovered through semantic matching using the concepts defined in the ontology. A tableau algorithm was extended to lazy-load only the needed instances and their relationships into main memory. With this extension, Lyra is capable of processing a large ontology database stored in secondary storage even when the ABox cannot be entirely loaded into memory.
    The Semantic Web: Research and Applications, 7th Extended Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2010, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, May 30 - June 3, 2010, Proceedings, Part I; 01/2010
  • Lukasz Ziemba, Camilo Cornejo, Howard W. Beck
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose ‐ The paper's aims is to present research that evaluates a technology that assists in organizing and retrieving knowledge stored in a variety of forms (books, papers, models, decision support systems, databases) through a real world application. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Ontology has been used to manage the Water Conservation Digital Library in Florida, USA, which holds a dynamic collection of various types of digital resources in the domain of urban water conservation. The ontology based back-end powers a fully operational web interface, available at: http://library.conservefloridawater.org Findings ‐ The system has demonstrated numerous benefits of the ontology application, including easier and more precise finding of resources, information sharing and reuse, and has proved to effectively facilitate information management. Research limitations/implications ‐ A large and dynamic number of concepts makes it difficult to keep the ontology consistent and to accurately manually catalog resources. To address these issues, ongoing research focuses on the area of information extraction with the aid of natural language processing techniques. Originality/value ‐ The paper presents a real-world-verified application of ontology to a digital library. It may be of potential interest for anyone who needs to effectively manage a collection of digital resources.
    Metadata and Semantic Research - Third International Conference, MTSR 2009, Milan, Italy, October 1-2, 2009. Proceedings; 01/2009
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    ABSTRACT: New technologies are emerging that assist in organizing and retrieving knowledge stored in a variety of forms (books, papers, models, decision support systems, databases), but they can only be evaluated through real world applications. Ontology has been used to manage the Water Conservation Digital Library holding a growing collection of various types of digital resources in the domain of urban water conservation in Florida, USA. The ontology based back-end powers a fully operational web interface, available at http://library.conservefloridawater.org . The system has already demonstrated numerous benefits of the ontology application, including: easier and more precise finding of resources, information sharing and reuse, and proved to effectively facilitate information management.
    12/2008: pages 263-269;
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the goal, accomplishments and research issues of an NSF project. The project aims to develop a distributed event-triggered knowledge sharing network (ETKnet) for government organizations to share, not only data and application operations, but also knowledge embedded in organizational and inter-organizational policies, regulations, data and security constraints as well as collaborative processes and operating procedures. A unified knowledge and process specification language has been developed to formally specify multi-faceted human and organizational knowledge in terms of three types of knowledge rules and rule structures. A user-friendly interface is provided for collaborating organizations to define events of interest as well as application operations, knowledge rules, rule structures and triggers. Events are published in a global registry for browsing, querying, event subscription and notification. Rules and rule structures are automatically translated into Web services for distributed processing in ETKnet. Event data are dots that can be connected dynamically across organizational boundaries through the interoperation of knowledge rules, processes and application operations.
    Intelligence and Security Informatics, 2008. ISI 2008. IEEE International Conference on; 07/2008
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    ABSTRACT: Today's government and business organizations face many complex problems and challenges. Effective resource sharing, collaboration and coordination among organizations are needed. Collaborating organizations need to share not only data, but also human and organizational knowledge embedded in organizational and inter-organizational policies, regulations, constraints, processes and operating procedures. This paper presents an XML-based knowledge and process specification language, a user interface tool, and a distributed Event-Triggered Knowledge Network (ETKnet). The language allows policies, regulations and constraints to be specified in terms of three types of rules and structures composed of these rules. The action clause of a condition-action rule allows a process or an operating procedure to be specified in the form of a structure of manual and automated operations having various constructs. The user-interface is meant to ease the user's task of defining events of common interest, along with rules and rule structures, and outputting the captured knowledge in the specification language. The rules and rule structures in the XML format are automatically translated into program code, wrapped as web services and installed at the defining organizations' sites. When an event occurs, data associated with the event is sent to the sites that contain applicable rules. ETKnet processes these distributed rules and rule structures uniformly as web services, thus achieving event-triggered knowledge sharing.
    01/2008;
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    ABSTRACT: Government agencies globally are facing problems like illegal immigration, terrorism, and disease diagnostics and control. Solutions to these problems rely heavily on collaborating organizations' ability to effectively and efficiently share not only data but also knowledge embedded in organizational and inter-organizational policies, regulations, data and security constraints, processes and procedures. The United States Department of Agriculture has launched a multi-year national project to build the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) for strengthening the homeland security protection of food and agriculture by connecting five regional plant diagnostic centers with a national center. Complementing this effort, our research team has been developing a web-based, distributed system for event-triggered knowledge sharing among NPDN organizations. We capture multi-faceted knowledge using three types of rules and rule structures. A user-friendly interface is provided for collaborating organizations to define events of interest as well as knowledge rules and publish them in a global registry for browsing, querying, event subscription and notification, and processing. Event data are the dots that can be connected across organizational boundaries through the interoperation of knowledge rules and rule structures.
    Technologies for Homeland Security, 2007 IEEE Conference on; 06/2007
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    ABSTRACT: Government agencies globally are facing problems such as illegal immigration, terrorism, and disease diagnosis and c ontrol. Solutions to these problems rely heavily on collabo rating organizations' ability to effectively and efficient ly share not only data but also knowledge embedded in organizational and inter- organizational policies, regulations and constraint s. Responding to an emergency often requires organizational and i nter- organizational processes and complex operating procedures to be followed. We focus on the sharing of data associate d with events of interest to collaborating organizations. Conditi on-action- alternative-action rules, logic/derivation rules, a nd constraint rules are used to define organizational and inter-organiz ational policies, regulations, and data and security constraints. Str uctures of these heterogeneous rules are used to capture organizatio nal and inter- organizational processes and operating procedures. In this demonstration, operational procedures developed by collaborating organizations in USDA's National Plant Diagnostics Network (NPDN) will be used to show the knowledge definition facilities and the distributed event-triggered knowledge shari ng strategy.
    Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, Bridging Disciplines & Domains, DG.O 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 20-23, 2007; 01/2007
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    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Solving complex global problems such as illegal immigration, border control, and terrorism requires government organizations at all levels to share not only data but, more importantly, knowledge pertinent to decision support, problem solving and activity coordination. Responding to an emergency,often requires organizational,and,inter-organizational,policies and,complex operating procedures to be followed. In this work, we focus on the sharing of data associated with events of interest to collaborating organizations. Condition-action-alternative-action rules, logic/derivation rules, and constraint rules are used to define organizational and inter-organizational policies, regulations, and data and security constraints. Structures of these heterogeneous rules are used to capture organizational processes and operating procedures. A distributed event-triggered knowledge sharing
    Proceedings of the 8th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research, Bridging Disciplines & Domains, DG.O 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, May 20-23, 2007; 01/2007
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    ABSTRACT: A database approach to managing educational materials is presented that uses ontologies, object management systems, and dynamically generated Websites to manage educational resources better and enhance learning in the agricultural engineering curriculum. An example in the area of bioprocess is presented. An ontology is used to define and organize the concepts in the domain: in this case concepts involving the biology, chemistry, and physics of bioprocess. A database, rather than files, is used to store and distribute concept objects. Instructors use Web-based data visualization tools to develop and manage course content. Objects can be projected to a number of different presentation formats including Websites and printed materials. Evaluation of a 2D simulation of a bioprocess experiment shows that Web-based simulation can offer many of the experiences of hands-on laboratory exercises. The database approach simplifies the development process and lowers the cost.
    International Journal of Engineering Education 10/2006; 22(6):1210-1218. · 0.29 Impact Factor
  • Soonho Kim, Howard W. Beck
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    ABSTRACT: To compare the capabilities of a thesaurus and an ontology, we explored a number of differences between them, employing two specific examples: the National Agricultural Library Thesaurus (NALT) and a crop-pest ontology. For each, we compared the richness of representation of domain knowledge and the capacity for reasoning that could potentially lead to improved ability to retrieve documents, including agricultural publications. Fundamental differences of domain knowledge representation between them were then identified: Formality of language in the crop-pest ontology, logical consistency of concepts and relationships in the crop-pest ontology, and ambiguity of relationships among terms in the NALT. Relationships such as broader term (BT) and narrower term (NT) in the NALT could support a capacity for reasoning based on generalization and specialization, assuming the relationships themselves are valid. However, the crop-pest ontology supports the deduction of conclusions based on domain knowledge described in the ontology, the search for information resulting from logical inference, and the automated validation of logical consistency. We conclude that an ontology can provide a better representation of domain knowledge and more advanced power of reasoning based on the underlying knowledge representation, which could improve searching in agricultural publications.
    Journal of Agricultural & Food Information 01/2006; 7(4):23-42.
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    ABSTRACT: All nations are facing many global problems, the solutions to which require efficient and effective sharing of distributed, heterogeneous data, knowledge and application systems. We present a way to capture organizations' multi-faceted knowledge by three popular rule types and rule structures, and wrap them as Web services for their registration, discovery and invocation. Distributed data associated with events defined by these organizations are transmitted through a distributed event infrastructure to those sites that contain applicable rules. The processing of heterogeneous rules and application operations specified in rules may add to or modify the event data to produce a dynamic event data set that can be used to support collaborating organizations' decision-making and problem solving. A peer-to-peer architecture of a distributed system and the functions of its components are described. Issues and approaches related to event data evolution and distributed rule and trigger processing are also discussed.
    Information Reuse and Integration, Conf, 2005. IRI -2005 IEEE International Conference on.; 09/2005
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    ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the detection and management of a soybean rust outbreak in the context of agricultural homeland security. An Event-Trigger-Rule system is used for event registration, filtering and notification, and for process coordination and enforcement of agencies' policies, constraints, regulations and data integrity/security/privacy. A 'Response and Action Plan' for combating the disease proposed by one of the 12 member states of the Southern Plant Diagnostic Network is used in a prototype implementation to demonstrate the utility of the system.
    01/2004;
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    ABSTRACT: Ontology-based simulation is an approach to modeling in which an ontology is used to represent all elements of a model. In this approach, modeling is viewed as a knowledge representation problem rather than a software engineering problem. Ontology-based techniques can be applied to describe system structure, represent equations and symbols, establish connections to external databases, manage model bases, and integrate models with additional information resources. Ontology reasoners have the potential to automatically compare, organize, search for, and discover models and model elements. We present an environment for building simulations based on the Lyra ontology management system, which includes Web-based visual design tools used for constructing models. An example application based on a model of soil, water, and nutrient management in citrus that uses the approach is also presented.
    01/1970: pages 209-242;