Applying semantic technologies to IoT, however, has several research challenges, the authors note, pointing out that IoT and using semantics in IoT is still in its early days. Being in on the ground floor of this movement is undeniably exciting to the research community, including people such as Konstantinos Kotis, Senior Research Scientist at University of the Aegean, and IT Manager in the regional division of the Samos and Ikaria islands at North Aegean Regional Administration Authority.
Posts Tagged ‘Ontologies’
As we close out 2012, we’ve asked some semantic tech experts to give us their take on the year that was. Was Big Data a boon for the semantic web, or is the opportunity to capitalize on the connection still pending? Is structured data on the web not just the future but the present? What sector is taking a strong lead in the semantic web space?
We begin with Part 1, with our experts listed in alphabetical order:
John Breslin, lecturer at NUI Galway, researcher and unit leader at DERI, creator of SIOC, and co-founder of Technology Voice and StreamGlider:
I think the schema.org initiative really gaining community support and a broader range of terms has been fantastic. It’s been great to see an easily understandable set of terms for describing the objects in web pages, but also leveraging the experience of work like GoodRelations rather than ignoring what has gone before. It’s also been encouraging to see the growth of Drupal 7 (which produces RDFa data) in the government sector: Estimates are that 24 percent of .gov CMS sites are now powered by Drupal.
Martin Böhringer, CEO & Co-Founder Hojoki:
For us it was very important to see Jena, our Semantic Web framework, becoming an Apache top-level project in April 2012. We see a lot of development pace in this project recently and see a chance to build an open source Semantic Web foundation which can handle cutting-edge requirements.
Still disappointing is the missing link between Semantic Web and the “cool” technologies and buzzwords. From what we see Semantic Web gives answers to some of the industry’s most challenging problems, but it still doesn’t seem to really find its place in relation to the cloud or big data (Hadoop).
Christine Connors, Chief Ontologist, Knowledgent:
One trend that I have seen is increased interest in the broader spectrum of semantic technologies in the enterprise. Graph stores, NoSQL, schema-less and more flexible systems, ontologies (& ontologists!) and integration with legacy systems. I believe the Big Data movement has had a positive impact on this field. We are hearing more and more about “Big Data Analytics” from our clients, partners and friends. The analytical power brought to bear by the semantic technology stack is sparking curiosity – what is it really? How can these models help me mitigate risk, more accurately predict outcomes, identify hidden intellectual assets, and streamline business processes? Real questions, tough questions: fun challenges!
Edamam, which has built a food ontology for its food knowledge site (which The Semantic Web Blog initially covered here), is adding an iPad version of its app to its existing iPhone and Android versions. The company also did a full relaunch of its web site to optimize the experience for desktop users, as well, with improved browsing and search.
Originally, the web site app mirrored the mobile versions. But, says co-founder and CEO Victor Penev, “We realized that people wanted to be able to access recipes and search on the desktop, and they should have a holistic experience from anywhere.” While the company had been more focused on the mobile arena, Penev says building traffic for the website is going to be a priority too. Among the capabilities users should see in the near future are functions like one that will let people save recipes on their iPhone or Android mobile devices and then access them on their iPads or desktops, or vice verse.
One of the exciting things about being a semantic technologist is the opportunity to be in on the ground floor of things as companies revamp, revise, and renew their infrastructures for the Web 3.0 world.
That’s the position that Keith DeWeese finds himself in. DeWeese recently moved from The Tribune Company, where he led efforts in applying semantic technology to the publisher’s content (see story here), to Ascend Learning, a company that provides technology-based education products with a focus on the healthcare sector.
There, as principal content architect he is again championing the power of semantic technology for online content. “What’s cool is that Ascend is in a state of redefining what it does, how it works, its whole platform,” DeWeese says. Ascend wants to be able to take people from the beginning stages of their career, when they’re learning the basics, and work with them throughout their life, so that as they progress in their careers and become more knowledgeable about their profession or specialization and work toward different exams, it’s got the tools to engage with them at that part of their lifecycle.
“It’s really great because there’s an openness and willingness to try different approaches to making content available to end users.”
Dave Mccomb of Semantic Arts recently discussed how inspiration plays a part in designing ontologies. He writes, “It seems that there are three ways that ontologies are or can be related to applications. They are: (1) Inspiration. (2) Transformation. (3) Extension. To put this conversation in context, let’s go back to the ‘tic tac toe’ board [above]. What it is attempting to convey is that there are levels of abstraction and differences in perspective that we should consider when we are modeling. An application is in the lower middle cell. Data models are in the middle square. Ontologies could be anywhere. An ontology is a formal way of representing a model. And so we could have an ontology that describes an application, an ontology of a logical model, even ontologies of data or meta meta data.” Read more
According to the team at MakoLab SA, the company has published a new ontology that supports precise descriptions of used cars. The Used Cars Ontology (UCO) was created in cooperation with Professor Martin Hepp (Hepp Research GmbH), creator of the GoodRelations ontology. The Used Cars Ontology “represents knowledge concerning used cars regardless of their manufacturer. The notions included in it cover properties which are significant in the used cars market and characterize the basic state of a given car, such as car modifications, damages, additions, information about the owner, as well as more detailed data, such as whether the owner of the car smoked cigarettes, what kinds of animals were transported in the car, etc.” Read more
“The idea of the Big S Semantic Web seems to have fallen off by the wayside in publishing as people are just trying to structure their data,” says Barbara McGlamery, taxonomist at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.
McGlamery, who will be presenting a case study comparing her experiences in two publishing houses that took opposite approaches to the semantic web at the SemTech conference in NYC this month, says that the path most publishers are on now “hardly seems like the same beast” as the one she formerly knew. A few years back, the focus was on RDF, OWL, full-blown ontologies and inferencing engines, whereas today “it’s schema.org and we’re using microdata, not even RDFa.”
VIVO, a semantic information representation system that enables collaboration among scientists across all disciplines, has had a busy summer: The open source project to facilitate the advancement of research and discovery by integrating information about scholars, their activities, and outputs, gained a more permanent home in the DuraSpace Incubator, ensuring a way to continue activities after its NIH grant continuation year ran out. It saw the publication of VIVO: A Semantic Approach to Scholarly Networking and Discovery. And Northwestern University brought its researchers together in a single hub called Northwestern Scholars, an implementation of Elsevier’s SciVal Experts research networking tool (see our story here).
The future is looking pretty bright, too. “We are very interested in funding, research resources, scholarly works, scholars and data sets,” says Mike Conlon, primary investigator of the VIVO project. “As the world moves forward, these things are all inter-related, but that’s been very blurry, especially to organizations and institutions.” Funding agencies, for example, want to know what work was produced as a result of its grants to a major center. It no longer is just a question of who wrote a paper, but who funded it, what tools were behind it, and how was the data produced, and how all these things inter-relate in a scholarly data system.
“Connecting these things becomes the work of the future,” says Conlon.
Barbara Starr recently discussed on Search Engine Land how search engines and social engines are incorporating semantic search. She writes, “The term ‘Semantic Search’ is certainly not new. However, it has taken on a new dimension and implications in both search and social engines today. In addition, it has had a strong impact on targeted semantic advertising. This special series of forthcoming articles on semantic search will take a look at the history behind the development of semantic technology and why it has now become so commercially viable and topical. It will also take a look at how the technology enables “answer engines,” rather than simple search engines, to improve the user experience.” Read more
Phys.org recently shared an interesting ontology case study in the field of botany, Ontologies as Integrative Tools for Plant Science. The article states, “Botany is plagued by the same problem as the rest of science and society: our ability to generate data quickly and cheaply is surpassing our ability to access and analyze it. In this age of big data, scientists facing too much information rely on computers to search large data sets for patterns that are beyond the capability of humans to recognize—but computers can only interpret data based on the strict set of rules in their programming.”
The article continues, “A new article in this month’s American Journal of Botany by Ramona Walls (New York Botanical Garden) and colleagues describes how scientists build ontologies such as the Plant Ontology (PO) and how these tools can transform plant science by facilitating new ways of gathering and exploring data. Read more