Posts Tagged ‘Irene Polikoff’

RDF is Critical to a Successful Internet of Things

Depiction of RDF and the internet of ThingsDo you still remember a time when a utility company worker came to your house to check your electric meter? For many of us already, this is in the past. Smart meters send information directly to the utility company and as a result, it knows our up-to-the-minute power usage patterns. And, while we don’t yet talk to our ovens or refrigerators through the Internet, many people routinely control thermostats from their smart phones. The emerging Internet of Things is real and we interact with it on the daily basis.

The term Internet of Things refers to devices we wouldn’t traditionally expect to be smart or connected, such as a smoke detector or other home appliance. They are being made ‘smart’ by enabling them to send data to an application. From smart meters to sensors used to track goods in a supply chain, the one thing these devices have in common is that they send data – data that can then be used to create more value by doing things better, faster, cheaper, and more conveniently.

The physical infrastructure needed for these devices to work is largely in place or being put in place quickly. We get immediate first order benefits simply by installing new equipment. For example, having a smart meter provides cost savings because there is no need for a person to come to our houses. Similarly, the ability to change settings on a thermostat remotely can lower our heating costs. However, far vaster changes and benefits are projected or are already beginning to be delivered from inter-connecting the data sent by smart devices:

  • Health: Connecting vital measurements from wearable devices to the vast body of medical information will help to improve our health, fitness and, ultimately, save lives.
  • Communities: Connecting information from embedded devices and sensors will enable more efficient transportation. When a sprinkler system meter understands weather data, it will use water more efficiently. Once utilities start connecting and correlating data from smart meters, they might deliver electricity more efficiently and be more proactive in handling infrastructure problems.
  • Environment: Connecting readings from fields, forests, oceans, and cities about pollution levels, soil moisture, and resource extraction will allow for closer monitoring of problems.
  • Goods and services: Connecting data from sensors and readers installed throughout factories and supply chains will more precisely track materials and speed up and smooth out the manufacture and distribution of goods.

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Standards News: Using SPARQL to express rules and object behavior for the Semantic Web

SPIN - SPARQL Inferencing NotationThe current stack of modeling languages for the web of data provide excellent mechanisms for capturing the static structure of data. SKOS can be used to describe concept hierarchies and vocabularies. RDF Schema and OWL can be used to define classes, properties and relationships between these conceptual entities. There is, however, a key set of application requirements these languages have not dealt with. Namely, the way to describe general computational behavior of objects.

These requirements are now addressed by an emerging standard that uses SPARQL to express rules for the Semantic Web. It is called SPARQL Inferencing Notation or SPIN. Because of its heavy use of SPARQL it is also known as SPARQL Rules. SPIN has recently been accepted by W3C as a member submission from TopQuadrant, OpenLink and RPI.

SPIN combines concepts from object oriented languages, query languages, and rule-based systems to describe object behavior on the web of data. Read more

SemTech 2009 Post-Event Media, Blogs, and Trip Report Items

There were a lot of articles and blog postings written about the Semantic Technology Conference. Below is a list of those we are aware of.  If you know of others, feel free to send them to us at info (at) so we can add them to this list.

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Using Semantic Web Standards for Improved Text Mining

Better text mining makes it possible to connect information in a variety of sources. The technology can connect information in CRM databases with consumer e-mails and help desk reports to provide a more complete view of the customer. Text mining can also be used in national security applications to better identify terrorists and security threats; it can assist in marketing to mine reviews for feedback on products such as movies, books and music. It can help in scientific research by providing a way to better connect scientific articles.

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TopQuadrant Announces First Semantic Web Enterprise Vocabulary Management Solution

TopBraid EVMS Addresses Core Issue for Improving Data Quality, Search and Analysis

SEMANTIC TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE 2009 – SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 16, 2009 - TopQuadrant(tm), the global leader in Semantic Web application development technology, today announced TopBraid(tm) Enterprise Vocabulary Management Solution (EVMS) to help organizations connect data vocabulary assets in a modular fashion. TopBraid EVMS leverages W3C Semantic Web standards such as RDF, SPARQL and SKOS to construct a dynamic web of terminology, ultimately improving data quality and cohesiveness, resulting in better utilization of all information assets.

Most enterprises aim for a single, centralized master vocabulary system to create intuitive and understandable connections between data. But the reality is that enterprise vocabularies are managed in a disconnected, distributed manner – typically within spreadsheets and on individual user desktops. Even when enterprise systems include vocabulary capabilities, the result is a host of disconnected vocabularies – which subverts the value of a controlled vocabulary.

By leveraging Semantic Web technology, TopBraid EVMS applies the modularity and extensibility of the Web to vocabulary management. Instead of requiring everyone within an enterprise ecosystem to standardize on all the terms, TopBraid EVMS uses web-standard Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) to uniquely identify each concept. Each URI may be mapped to various terms used by the different groups of people to describe the same concept. This modular approach enables a sustainable, shared and distributed vocabulary management web.

"Information is becoming a product for many organizations," said Irene Polikoff, co-founder and CEO of TopQuadrant. "Vocabularies are used to communicate and integrate data across the supply chain and standardize the publication of company information to external partners and customers. But if companies cannot effectively manage reference terms across the organization, information navigation becomes disjointed and results in poor information quality and faulty communication. This directly impacts productivity, quality of customer service, competitiveness and, ultimately, revenues."

TopBraid EVMS offers simplified development and management of controlled vocabularies. Content owners create relationships between terminology elements that are recorded as hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. Connections that previously had to be accomplished with custom software are easily described in a standard, declarative format. TopBraid EVMS provides flexible, customizable approaches for managing taxonomies and business vocabularies to support data integration, search, navigation, content delivery and data analysis.

The following capabilities are available out-of-the-box with TopBraid EVMS:

Vocabulary Processing: Standard hierarchical, associative and equivalency relationships; repositioning and numbering of terms; crosswalk mapping and graph capabilities.

Automatic Processing: Ability to create validation rules and automated script processing via SPIN and SPARQLMotion.

Import/Export: Import/Export from RDBMS, RDF Store, SPARQL endpoints, spreadsheets (CSV), XML, RDF, SKOS and OWL.

Merging: RDF standard universal identifiers provide easy "hooks" for merging vocabularies.

Systems Integration:
Integrate with existing enterprise or vocabulary management systems via web services or APIs.

TopBraid EVMS customers receive specialized models for taxonomy development, governance and version control. The solution also includes SPIN Rules and SPARQLMotion scripts for key vocabulary management functionality, such as approval workflows and commonly used editing activities. TopBraidLive server and TopBraid Ensemble licenses are included in the solution along with TopBraid Ensemble web application templates that are optimized for vocabulary development.