Posts Tagged ‘semantic’

The Financial Times Builds Up Its Semantic Publishing Infrastructure

ftpixThe former lead architect at the BBC who handled its semantic publishing projects, such as its FIFA World Cup 2010, 2012 Olympics and redesigned BBC Sports Site, today is building up the semantic infrastructure at another media might, The Financial Times

Jem Rayfield, who holds the title Head of Solution Architecture Technology there, is rebuilding the Financial Times’ whole publishing stack to use semantic technology. “We are working on republishing the architecture on the back end, basically engineering the whole of the backend stack to use the RDF model” for data interchange, he says. Its work involves modeling ontologies for companies, organizations, brands, exchanges, shares, financial instruments and other key business terms.

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Semantic Web Developer Challenge: We Have A Winner And Runners-Up Too

xsblogoThe results of the Semantic Web Developer Challenge, co-sponsored by XSB and SemanticWeb.com and launched at this summer’s Semantic Technology and Business Conference, are in: The $5,000 prizewinner was a team of two, Greg Varga and Siraj Bawa,  from Vanderbilt University. There were two runners-up: One was a team from Stony Brook University, comprised of Mrinal.Priyadarshi, Anurag Choudhary, and Paul Fodor, and the other was Roman Sova from consulting firm Good Monster.

The aim of the Challenge was to build sourcing and product life cycle management applications leveraging XSB’s PartLink Data Model, which the company developed as a project for the Department of Defense Rapid Innovation Fund. The model uses semantic web technology to create a coherent Linked Data model for all part information in the Department of Defense’s supply chain – which includes about 40 million component parts, their manufacturers and suppliers, materials, technical characteristics and more.

The large collection of engineering product information has potential beyond DoD use alone. “The current size of the Part Link triple store is well over a billion triples — maybe 1.3 billion,” says Alberto Cassola, vp sales and marketing at XSB. “For the industrial sector it may very well be one of the largest efforts of its kind.”

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Yandex Takes Its Machine Learning Smarts Into New Role as Business Services Provider

yandex-logo (1)Yandex is going beyond web search and into the enterprise. This week it announced a new venture, the Yandex Data Factory, which will apply its machine-learning products and algorithms – which power more than 70 percent of its own products and applications – to business’ Big Data issues.

Using a client’s pre-existing data, the press release notes, Yandex creates an algorithmic model, which it then applies to the client’s new data to predict what will happen next in various scenarios. “This is exactly what is happening every second on Yandex’s services when we personalize search suggestions, recommend music, recognize speech or images, or target ads,” the release notes.

The model cases for Yandex Data Factory include: churn prediction by running segmentation and micro-segmentation algorithms on the data to find patterns in customer behavior that indicate they’re heading for the exit or that possible fraud activity is underway; personalizing cross-sell and up-sell recommendations based on user profiles built upon the searches they made, links or ads they clicked, videos they watched, and other activities; using its speech-to-text technology to analyze call center or other support call speech streams and detect anomalies in interactions to drive employee interaction quality and improve skills.

It also uses history-based prediction technology and its own computer vision and image recognition technologies to enables businesses to analyze large volumes of images and videos to spot anomalies, find recurring objects or events, and other things that will help them assess conditions and assure productivity.

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Tamr On Mission To Curate And Connect Data

tamrlogoMake it as easy to add and connect new data sources into the enterprise analytics infrastructure as it is to add a new web site onto the modern web. That’s where next-gen data curation company Tamr, a startup born from an MIT research project to bring together lots of tabular data sources in a scalable and repeatable way.

Just like Google does all the work to find and connect web sites hosting the information that users want, “we want to do the same with tabular data sources inside the enterprise,” says Tamr co-founder and CEO Andy Palmer. “Tamr provides systems of reference. If you are looking for attributes to add to an analysis or want data to support something, you have this reference place to go in the enterprise with a catalogue of all the data that exists across the company.”

So often businesses want to use analytics to address hard questions, but can’t do so successfully unless they are integrating lots of disparate data sources and creating a referential catalog. With Tamr, Palmer says, they can ingest data sources very quickly into a semantic triple store, make them available in real time, and connect them using machine learning to map attributes and match records, in support of providing a unified view of a given entity that can then be consumed by various business intelligence and analytics tools. To be useable, he points out, data has to be “very, very thoroughly connected into everything else for there to be context and reference for how it can be consumed and whether it is reliable.”

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Semantic Tech Lends A Hand To Thanksgiving Holiday Sales

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Photo courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119886413@N05/

Retailers are pushing holiday shopping deals earlier and earlier each year, but for many consumers the Thanksgiving weekend still signals the official start of the gift-buying season. With that in mind, we present some thoughts on how the use of semantic technology may impact your holiday shopping this year.

  • Pinterest has gained a reputation as the go-to social network for online retailers that want to drive traffic and sales. Shoppers get an advantage, too, as more e-tailers deploy Rich Pins, a feature made available for general use late last year, for their products, using either schema.org or Open Graph. Daily updated Product Rich Pins now include extra information such as real-time pricing, availability and where to buy metatags right on the Pin itself. And, anyone who’s pinned a product of interest will get a notification when the price has dropped. OverstockTarget, and Shopify shops are just some of the sites that take advantage of the feature. Given that 75 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices, it’s nice that a recent update to Pinterest’s iPhone mobile app – and on the way for Andoid and iPads – also makes Pins information and images bigger on small screens.

 

  • Best Buy was one of the earliest retailers to look to semantic web technologies to help out shoppers (and its business), adding meaning to product data via RDFa and leveraging ontologies such as GoodRelations, FOAF and GEO. Today, the company’s web site properties use microdata and schema.org, continually adding to shopper engagement with added data elements, such as in-stock data and store location information for products in search results, as you can see in this presentation this summer by Jay Myers, Best Buy’s Emerging Digital Platforms Product Manager, given at Search Marketing Expo.

 

  • Retailers such as Urban Decay, Crate&Barrel, Golfsmith and Kate Somerville are using Edgecase’s Adaptive Experience platform, generating user-friendly taxonomies from the data they already have to drive a better customer navigation and discovery experience. The system relies on both machine learning and human curation to let online buyers shop on their terms, using the natural language they want to employ (see our story here for more details).

 

  • Walmart at its Walmart Labs has been steadily driving semantic technology further into its customer shopping experience. Last year, for example, Walmart Labs senior director Abhishek Gattani discussed at the Semantic Technology and Business conference capabilities it’s developed such as semantic algorithms for color detection so that it can rank apparel, for instance, by the color a shopper is looking for and show him items in colors close to read when red itself is not available, as well as categorizing queries to direct people to the department that’s really most interesting to them. This year, WalMart Labs added talent from Adchemy when it acquired the company to bring further expertise in semantic search and data analytics to its team, as well as Luvocracy, an online community that enables the social shopping experience—from discovery of products recommended by people a users trusts to commerce itself. Search and product discovery is at the heart of new features its rolling out to drive the in-store experience too, via mobile apps such as Search My Store to find exactly where items on their list are located at any retail site.

What’s your favorite semantically-enhanced shopping experience? Share it with our readers below to streamline their holiday shopping!

 

Web Components: Even Better With Semantic Markup

W3C LogoThe W3C’s Web Components model is positioned to solve many of the problems that beset web developers today. “Developers are longing for the ability to have reusable, declarative, expressive components,” says Brian Sletten, a specialist in semantic web and next-generation technologies, software architecture, API design, software development and security, and data science, and president of software consultancy Bosatsu Consulting, Inc.

Web Components should fulfill that longing: With Templates, Custom Elements, Shadow DOM, and Imports draft specifications (and thus still subject to change), developers get a set of specifications for creating their web applications and elements as a set of reusable components. While most browsers don’t yet support these specifications, there are Web Component projects like Polymer that enable developers who want to start taking advantage of these capabilities right away to build Web objects and applications atop the specs today.

“With this kind of structure in place, now there is a market for people to create components that can be reused across any HTML-based application or document,” Sletten says. “There will be an explosion of people building reusable components so that you and I can use those elements and don’t have to write a ton of obnoxious JavaScript to do certain things.”

That in itself is exciting, Sletten says, but even more so is the connection he made that semantic markup can be added to any web component.

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Factiva Teams With Evernote To Redefine Productivity

Factiva Evernote 2Starting December, Factiva will integrate with Evernote’s Context, a recently added capability from the productivity platform’s new Augmented Intelligence team that surfaces content relevant to information that users are writing about or collecting. And starting today, all one million Factiva users will get the ability to add Factiva articles right to their Evernote notebooks.

Making its information easily available to users, including across devices such as smartphones and tablets, is key for Factiva. “The notions of productivity and mobility are very important to us,” says Frank Filippo, VP, GM of Corporate Products at Dow Jones and head of Factiva, which enriches the content it aggregates with capabilities such as company, industry, region, and subject taxonomies. Mobile considerations will become an increasing focus for Factiva as it seeks to expand further beyond its core audience of information pros and researchers to a wider and perhaps less deskbound audience that needs to efficiently access quality data, such as users charged with competitive intelligence or mergers and acquisitions strategies.

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Lexalytics’ Semantria Accommodates Text Analytics Abroad

lexsemInternational expansion has been a focus for cloud-based text and sentiment analytics vendor Semantria since its acquisition by text mining vendor Lexalytics over the summer. This week, that’s being addressed by adding enterprise text analytics servers in Europe, to address compliance with EU privacy laws around the location of personal data, as well as making its services available in Arabic, Russian, Japanese and Malay.

Lexalytics’ Semantria SaaS and Excel text-mining platform has a few clients in Europe so far, including among them several large social media monitoring and voice-of-the-customer clients that it’s signed up in the last quarter, according to Seth Redmore, VP Product & Marketing Lexalytics.  eDigitalResearch in the UK is one of them. English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are already among its supported languages, and Dutch should be next on board.

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HTML5: The Party Is Officially On!

w3chtmlWord came from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) yesterday that it has published the 5th major revision of HTML, the core language of the web. While HTML5 is already in use by developers (having become a W3C candidate recommendation a couple of years ago), the recommendation for the standard is a lynchpin for the community, as it now formalizes stable guidelines for the development of innovative and cross-platform web sites and applications.

A key feature of HTML5 – the first major new HTML standard in more than a decade – is that it provides the ability to describe the structure of a web document with standard semantics. It uses semantic tags for things like page headers, footers, body, ordered lists, time, and more to better identify an element and how it is being used. Greater use of these tags should improve a browser’s ability to understand content for display across a range of devices and screen sizes without requiring any development rejiggering, and search engines’ ability to more effectively index a page, which could lead to better rankings.

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Data Innovation, Driven By Semantic Models, Machine Learning And More

VRThe Ventana Research summit took place this week, and semantic and related technologies had a place at the table.

Among the keynoters discussing the topic of Inspiring Business Technology Innovation to Change Business and IT Forever, for example, was Nedshad Bardoliwalla, co-founder and vp of products at data prep vendor Paxata. He discussed the need to rethink how to innovate with data, as that will “drive the biggest increases in value for your organization for the foreseeable future.”

As part of that, he explained that in a world where everything physical on the planet will have a digital representation, businesses should pay attention to factors including the “massive and interesting algorithms around recognition systems, around deep learning, around semantic models that let us understand images and text in ways we never could….Take advantage of those if you are to innovate and bring capabilities to market that change way people think of data.”

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