Semantic Web Technologies
• Web Site syllabus still developing
• Everyone signed up?
- Listserv
- Blog
- Tagging system?
• Weekly, if not daily Web use & posting to keep
up with these topics
• Research Presentation Topics
The Big Question(s)
• What is the Semantic Web?
• How do semantic technologies work?
- What are Web services?
- What are the information structures and formats
for semantic data?
• What are Web 2.0 applications?
• How can Semantic Web technologies be used
to improve and develop information access?
Semantic Web Technologies?
• What do you think now?
• Let’s expand the term (& the class)
• How promising can they be?
- For people
- With culture
- As everyday systems
• Is it a new way to solve problems?
- Or
• A new set of capabilities & solutions?
Semantic Web ideas
• Machine (system) use of metadata
• The network is the delivery system &
addressing scheme
- Network properties are metadata too
• Markup languages can express meaning
- Formatting too
- Context matters
• Meaning clusters into taxonomies
- So does use & intent
• Taxonomies can fit into ontologies
- Logical rules define the data & its relationships
Semantic Web tech at work
• Originally: Semantics provide the mechanism
to share data among applications
• Semantic also provide mechanisms to share
system resources
- Client/server
- Browser/server
- Server/server
• Markup (XML) is easily translatable
- Especially in comparison to pre-existing methods
• Technology as philosophy
- Classification for universal application
- Small pieces, loosely joined
Semantic Web elements
- Structured markup languages
- Universal Resource Identifiers
• URLs of course
• Structured, parsable addressing
Structure is the gateway
• Web Services
- The URI describes the functional parameters
- The system does the REST
- The client is a smart interpreter of the results
• Web services have a grammar
- Defined by standards
- Initiated by the URI
• The request
- Implemented by the system
• The supplied
• Logic, Classification & Ontologies all provide
additional functionality & structure
• We don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time
- Build upon other’s work
- Using standards helps ensure their universality
Context is the reason
• Semantics help us discover context of the
- What it’s about
- Who can (best) use it
• When
• Where
• The growth of products and services based
on semantics & context
Why use Semantic Web Tech?
• Easier development?
• Beginning of a focus on structured
• An organized Data Warehouse?
• Make sense of huge amounts of data
- Make sensible small pieces of data, one at a time
• Are we talking about the technology for
Knowledge Management?
• Integrating systems logically helps users
understand current information & provides
new information in context
Application domains
KDD, Data mining & data warehousing
Information Retrieval
Information Seeking
- Findability
- Discovery
- Sharing
- Translating
- B2B applications
• Integrating user context into selection & presentation
of information
Hype, Promise or Practical?
• Where is the Semantic Web now?
• Are Semantic Web technologies being used now?
• Where uppercase Semantic Web technologies fail,
lowercase semantics may meet them in the middle
• Cooperating systems level the field (somewhat)
- Push us to adopt unintended standards that can be improved
as they develop
- Help us define the information we have now for use in new
Semantic Organization(s)?
• The best ideas for dealing with increasing volumes of
• Impact at all phases
- Capture & Creation
- Production (Organization)
- Integration (of everything?)
• Records Management
• Classification
- Discovery
• Putting information to use
• Universal access methods & interfaces
- Application (Results)
• Actionable tasks from the information
Knowledge Centric Organizations
Semantic Translation
Service initialization (registration)
- Search
- Browse
- Access with other services or tools
Is it all really about search?
- Discovery of knowledge via taxonomies
- Web service based data searches
- Search by association
• By example
• Facets
- Pattern searches
• OLAP reporting
• Status & monitoring
- Interfaces & agents
• Ease of use
• Automatic use (or help)
- Rule-based queries
• Structured Query Language for structured data?
- Inference
• Personalized search
Improving search
• What would you do?
Tagging systems for retrieval help
Different kinds of information (images)
Better interfaces for search query formulation
Better interfaces for search results display
Take unstructured information & build taxonomies
or ontologies for organization
- Enable easier comparison of information
• Expose the metadata & make it understandable
- Improve existing search using Web services
SWT Strategy
• XML Markup
• Expose content to Web services
• Build Web Services
- Use existing platforms & systems first
• Make APIs & registries for Web services
- Build on top of existing systems & toolkits
• Construct ontologies
- Start with taxonomies
• Provide interfaces for improvement
- Services
- Users to markup informaiton
• Integrate with Search systems
• Portal
Semantic Web
• “bring structure to the meaningful
content of Web pages, creating an
environment where software agents
roaming from page to page can readily
carry out sophisticated tasks for users”
(Berners-Lee, 2001)
Semantic Web Elements
Expressing Meaning
Knowledge Representation
Evolution of Knowledge
• The Meaningful Web?
- For us or for agents?
Expressing Meaning
Documents for People
Information for Systems
Structure & Meaningful content
Real World Rules
- “Carry out sophisticated tasks for users” p1
• Real World Limitations
• Extension of the Current Web
• Decentralized
- Access from anywhere
- Addressable
Knowledge Representation
Structured Collections of Information
Sets of Inference Rules
Automated Reasoning
Without Centralized Control
- How can this be negotiated between systems?
- How can users verify or trust information & actions?
• Massive Concurrency Coordination
- Does everything have to be dumb so it can be smart?
• Using logic (grammar) for description & action
- RDF - subject, verb & object
• A philosophical view of the world
- For SWT: “a file that formally defines the
relationships among items” p3
• Consistency of Object Classification
- Object Oriented information organization
• Inferences build a Taxonomy of Object Uses
• Ontological logic helps remove ambiguity &
allows for sharing & coordination
- Translations, not canonical definitions
- Context
• Programs That Use Semantic Web Content
- These programs build upon each other
- Exchanging information between them
• More Automated as Systems and Content
Support Increases
• Digital Signatures
- The Semantics of Trust
- Exchanging proofs
• Service Discovery
• Ontology Exchanges
- Fitting my ontology into yours & sorting out the rules
• Coordination of machines first, then information?
Evolution of Knowledge
• Extend from Virtual to Physical World
Other Devices & Platforms
Composite Capability/Preference Profile
Complex Relationships and Interactions
Extend to Individuals (Characteristics)
Locations (Temporal)
• A way for small pieces of information to be
integrated with others
• Mapping relationships between information
- Ideas & practices
• URIs are the gateway with discoverable
services & semantic markup
Semantic Web Issues
• Is it the Biggest Database Ever
- Is it the ONLY Database?
• Should data be Decentralized or Partitioned?
- Concurrency? (Time)
- Currency? (Money)
• Knowledge Representation
- Computational Issues
• How can all this meaning be derived for everyone?
- Just for me on my system?
- Cultural Issues
• Meaning & conventions
- Classification Issues
• One scheme for everyone & every system?
• Does “People Readable” Information go away or get better?
• 20% Class Participation
Discussion in class
Overview notes of the weekly Primary Readings
• Use as our class discussion notes and turn in at
the end of class
• 20% Technology Topic Presentation
• 20% Vertical Topic Presentation
• 40% Final Research Overview Paper or
Development Project
Technology Topic Presentations
• Choose a topic (and corresponding week) to overview
• Topic Presentations should include:
Overview of the technology
Provide examples of the technology in use
Show how to build using the technology (examples)
A list of citations and readings that you drew from and for
extended reference
• Do not rely on wikipedia & blogs as your only sources
• Academic journal & conference papers
• Books (development or conceptual design)
• How can these Semantic Web technologies help
coordinate, discover, organize information and
• Your own point of view about the practicality &
promise of these tools & procedures
Technology Presentation Topics
Metadata (e.g. Dublin Core)
Ontology building & editing (applications)
REST, XMLHttpRequest & AJAX
Javascript Introduction
Javascript Advanced
Social Media
Tagging systems
WebServices, APIs
Cloud Computing
Vertical Presentations Topics
• Semantics and a vertical market or industry
Semantic Law
Semantic Education
Semantic Biology
Semantic Medicine
Semantic Government
Semantic Geography
Semantic Games
Semantic Finance
Research Paper
• Put together your own thoughts in a
researched opinion about a subject related to
the Semantic Web (or semantic web)
• 7 -10 pages (not including endnotes &
• Topical & original thought on the topic
• Could be read as an essay, but with scholarly
evidence to support your ideas & opinions
Development Project
• A demonstration-quality application that uses
Semantic Web, Web Services or Web 2.0
functionalities & philosophies
AJAX application development
GreaseMonkey scripts
Taxonomy generation for a set of resources
GUIs for applications using Web vendor APIs (e.g.
the Amazon API)
- Novel visualization interfaces for viewing
ontologies, taxonomies or tag clouds
Next Week
• Readings & Discussion
- Bring your first Single Page Review paper
• Blogging & Tagging (ongoing)
• Initial topics & presentation dates
• Rough speaker schedule
- Suggestions welcomed

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