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Panels focus on emerging technologies, controversial issues, or unsolved problems in the World Wide Web community to stimulate lively, thoughtful, and sometimes provocative discussions. We expect the panelists to actively engage the audience and help them broaden their understanding of the issues.

Ron Brachman
Dan Connolly
Rohit Khare
Frank Smadja
Frank van Harmelen

It is a truism that as the Web grows in size and scope, it becomes harder to find what we want, to identify like-minded people and communities, to find the best ads to offer, and to have applications work together smoothly. Services don't interoperate; queries yield long lists of results, most of which seem to miss the point. If the Web were a person, we would expect richer and more successful interactions with it - interactions that were, quite literally, more meaningful. That's because in human discourse, it is shared meaning that gives us real communication. Yet with the current Web, meaning cannot be found.

Much recent work has aspired to change this, both for human-machine interchange and machine-machine synchronization. Certainly the "semantic web" looks to add meaning to our current simplistic matching of mere strings of characters against mere "bags" of words. But can we legislate meaning from on high? Isn't meaning organic and determined by use, a moving and context-dependent target? But if meaning is an evolving organic soup, how are humans able to get anything done with one another? Don't we love to "define our terms"? But then again, is real definition even possible?

These questions have daunted philosophers for years, and we probably won't solve them here. But we'll try to understand what's at the root of our own current religious debate: should meaning on the Web be evolutionary, driven organically through the bottom-up human assignment of tags? Or does it need to be carefully crafted and managed by a higher authority, using structured representations with defined semantics? Without picket signs or violence (we hope), our panelists will explore the two extreme ends of the spectrum - and several points in between.

Arnaud Sahuguet
Stefan Brands
Kim Cameron
Cahill Conor
Aude Pichelin
Fulup Ar Foll
Mike Neuenschwander

Since the early days of the Web, identity management has been a big issue. As the famous cartoon from the New Yorker reminds us, "on the internet, nobody knows you are a dog". This was true back in July 1993. This is true today. For the last few years, numerous initiatives have emerged to tackle this issue: Microsoft Passport, Liberty Alliance, 3GPP GUP, Shibboleth, to name a few. Major investments are being made in this area and this is foreseen as a multi-billion dollar market. Yet, as of this writing, there is still no widespread identity management infrastructure in place ready to be used by the general public on converged networks.

The goal of this panel is to do a reality check and try to answer the following five questions:

  • What is identity management?
  • Who needs identity management and why?
  • What will the identity management ecosystem look like?
  • What's agreed upon?
  • What's next?

Rachna Dhamija
Peter Cassidy
Phillip Hallam-Baker
Markus Jakobsson
Rob Franco

In the last few years, Internet users have seen the rapid expansion of "phishing", the use of spoofed e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to trick users into divulging sensitive data. More recently, we have seen the growth of "pharming", the use of malware or DNS-based attacks to misdirect users to rogue websites. In this panel, we will examine the state of the art in anti-phishing solutions and explore promising directions for future research.

Nigel Shadbolt
Richard Benjamins
Tim Berners-Lee
Jim Hendler
Clare Hart

The World Wide Web has been revolutionary in terms of impact, scale and outreach. At every level society has been changed in some way by the Web. This Panel will consider likely developments in this extraordinary human construct as we attempt to realise the Next Wave of the Web - a Semantic Web. The discussion will focus on the prospects for the Semantic Web, its likely form and the challenges it faces. Can we achieve the necessary agreements on shared meaning for the Semantic Web? Can we achieve a critical mass of semantically annotated data and content? How are we to trust such content? Do the scientific and commercial drivers really demand a Semantic Web? How will the move to a mobile and ubiquitous Web affect the Semantic Web? How does Web 2.0 relate to the Semantic Web?

Mark Crocker
Diego Anza
Neil Edwards
Paul Walsh
Jonas Wilhelmsson

Everybody is familiar with the web and relies on it for both business and personal use. The explosion of mobile devices extends the pervasive web further into the 24x7 world, with ever increasing demands. New performance, reliability and security issues have arisen, with speed and usability coming to the forefront. From searching for timetable information, to banking and shopping, mobile access to the web is vital to the end user whether at work, home or while travelling.

Fresh problems arise from continued access as you travel at speed around the world whilst maintaining connections as your mobile device jumps cells and service providers. There are increasing threats to security of systems already straining under the load.

As the novelty of access declines, along with cost, user expectations increase, what are user expectations and can we get the balances right?

The Panel will discuss the following questions:

  • Performance and reliability. Are they issues or are we just impatient?
  • Opportunities for Infrastructure support; On-line, Off-line, near and location based who does what?
  • Is Mobile/pervasive web a special case, or should we just make the screens larger?
  • Application and business Opportunities for pervasive Web
  • Car repairs
  • Yellow Pages

The wired world does not mean the mobile world.

Souheil Badran
Jonathan Armstrong
Tom Ilube
Mary Ellen Zurko

With the rise in virtual organized crime units, consumers - now more than ever - are threatened by the ill-effects associated with identity theft and phishing attacks. We will discuss a comprehensive, layered approach to protecting consumer identities that addresses all facets, from detection - to prevention - to protection and the latest US and European legislation applied to this growing problem.


  • Prabhakar Raghavan, (Yahoo! and Stanford University)
  • Marti Hearst, (UC Berkeley)

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