Named by hash

About Nuvl

The Nuvl project aims to build a Named by hash, Uncensored, Verifiable Library:
  • Named by hash: Content in Nuvl is named by its hash, not by its server location, so it can live anywhere on the net.
  • Uncensored: A link to a claim is good as long as the hash can find the data anywhere. No one organization controls it.
  • Verifiable: All claims link to their sources so your viewing software can verify it according to your own accepted assumptions.
  • Library: The result is a shareable library of knowledge you can trust.
Nuvl also sounds like núvol, the Catalan word for cloud.

What Nuvl is

Nuvl is a cognition workspace for storing, communicating and evaluating claims of knowledge. Each claim is connected to its supporting evidence, so you can evaluate it against competing claims. Eventually, your Nuvl can connected to all knowledge you can put into it.
What Nuvl is not

Nuvl is not an autonomous learning algorithm ... but other learning algorithms can feed models and claims into Nuvl.
Nuvl is not an Artificial Intelligence ... but an AI system may use Nuvl as a reliable tool.
Nuvl does not think for you ... but if you express your knowledge to Nuvl it can tell you where there may be contradictions and where improvement may come from other connected knowledge.

Technical details

Named by hash

Nuvl needs a reliable way to get the data it depends on, so it refers to a piece of data with the hash of the data. This has two advantages: each piece of data automatically has a globally unique name so that it can be stored anywhere, and it is secure because when your software downloads a piece of data it computes a new hash and compares with the name.  Because of the strong cryptography of the hashing algorithm, you know you got the data you wanted.  No one can spoof you and send the wrong data.  More details are here.

Assumption-based argumentation

Nuvl is based on the theory of assumption-based argumentation (ABA). In this theory, there is a set of rules. Each rule has a premise in an assumption or in the conclusion of another rule. And there are conditions where two conclusions contradict or not.  The theory describes how to achieve a stable system (where no conclusions contradict) based on selecting assumptions, and proves conditions under which this is guaranteed.

Reference by conclusion

Most systems refer to a statement by reifying it. But this is problematic because you have to invent a reification syntax, or give arbitrary identifiers to each statement. So, Nuvl refers to a statment by its conclusion. There can be multiple statements with the same conclusion, so Nuvl actually refers to the statement by its conclusion, plus the assumptions necessary to narrow down the system's non-contradicting statements to only include the intended statement. Nuvl presumes open access to the system, which enables this approach to referencing statements.