Posts Tagged ‘semantic’

Semantic Technology May Help NIH In Its HealthCare Advancement Mission

ashoknareOcto Consulting, a technology solutions and management services company for both the intelligence and healthcare sectors, recently published an infographic exploring the intersection among the Semantic Web, Linked Data and Health IT as it relates to accessing and interacting with data from an array of sources in the healthcare chain. “Our point of view is that in healthcare there are multiple data sources and so much data – especially when it comes to clinical trials, pharmaceuticals research and scientific data,” says CTO Ashok Nare. “It’s very possible that each of those data elements is represented in a different format, so how to take them all and connect them to ask questions you aren’t able to ask otherwise. That’s where semantic technologies are extremely useful.”

One health-care sector project in which Octo is putting semantic technologies to use these days is an effort it has underway with the U.S.’s medical research agency, the National Institutes of  Health, whose mission includes providing grants to the scientific community to engage in research and experiments “to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability,”  as its web site explains. Now, not only does the NIH want to understand what it’s funding and how those grants are progressing, but also  “what opportunities it may be missing out on,” Nare explains.

That means continually assessing not only what’s in its portfolio but also what research gaps there are, which requires conducting analysis on more and more data sources and investigating more queries: That could mean more development and expense, without the help of semantic web technologies.

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Thinknum Sees Financial Analysis In A New Light

thinknumpixThinknum is a startup with the mission: disrupting financial analysis.

In his work as a quantitative strategist at Goldman Sachs, Thinknum co-founder Gregory Ugwi saw firsthand the trials and tribulations financial analysts went through to digest companies’ financial reports and then build their own research reports about their expectations for future performance based on past numbers. The U.S. SEC’s mandate that companies disclose their financial data using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) was supposed to help them, as well as investors of all stripes and sizes that want to better understand what’s going on at the companies they’re interested in.

“The SEC has mandated that all companies have to release their numbers in a machine-readable format, and that’s XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language),” says Ugwi. The positive side of that is that anyone can now get the stats on companies from Google to Wal-Mart, but the downside is that by and large, they can’t do it in a user-friendly way.

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Schema.org Takes Action

actionstatusThis week saw schema.org introduce vocabulary that enables websites to describe the actions they enable and how these actions can be invoked, in the hope that these additions will help unleash new categories of applications, according to a new post by Dan Brickley.

This represents an expansion of the vocabulary’s focus point from describing entities to taking action on these entities. The work has been in progress, Brickley explains here, for the last couple of years, building on the http://schema.org/Action types added last August by providing a way of describing the capability to perform actions in the future.

The three action status type now includes PotentialActionStatus for a description of an action that is supported, ActiveActionStatus for an in-progress action, and CompletedActionStatus, for an action that has already taken place.

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Declara Individualizes Large-Scale Learning

coggraphLearning at large-scale. That’s the work Declara is undertaking with its CognitiveGraph platform that leverages semantic search, social platforms and predictive analytics to build context-specific learning pathways for the individuals involved in mass learning efforts. Think, for example, of teachers in a country working to re-educate all its educators, or retail and manufacturing workers in parts of the world who need new skill sets because machines have taken on the work these people used to do.

Adults don’t have the luxury of just being focused on learning, so “we try to help them learn more effectively and quickly, using the CognitiveGraph as a way of knowing where to start from and how to get them to positive outcomes faster,” says co-founder and CEO Ramona Pierson. Its intelligent learning platform will determine what mentors and information exist within a closed private network or on the Web relative to supporting a user’s learning needs; what of all that will be the best fit for a particular user; and then match that learner to the best pathway to acquire the new skills. Among the technologies Declara is leveraging is Elasticsearch (which the Semantic Web Blog discussed most recently here) realtime search and analytics capabilities to turn data into insights.

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Semantic Markup Pays Off But For Whom?

schemapix1 Many eyes are turning to research being done by SEO optimization vendor Searchmetrics about the virtues of semantic markup. Exploring the enrichment of search results through microdata integration, it says it has analyzed “tens of thousands of representative keywords, and rankings for over half a million domains from our comprehensive database, for the effect of the use of schema.org markup in terms of dissemination and integration type.”

Its study is still underway but so far its initial findings include good news – that is, that semantic markup succeeds:

  • Larger domains are more likely to embrace structured data markup, and the most popular markups relate to movies, offers, and reviews.  That said, overall, domains aren’t flocking to integrate Schema HTML tags.

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Happy April Fools’ Day!

April-1Today we celebrate April Fool’s Day. And what better way to do it than to leverage semantic resources to find some interesting facts about the holiday and a few ideas for things to do today, too?

Just like these:

What to Watch:

The April Fools: a late 60’s romantic comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve

April Fool’s Day: called a “gory, darkly comic cult favorite” from the late ‘80s.

April Fools: The day belongs to the slasher flicks, this one centering on the accidental killing of a teen, its coverup, and subsequent murders of those responsible for the original incident.

What To Listen To:

Sounds of Silence: The Simon & Garfunkel release includes the song, April Come She Will. And after this winter, that’s something a lot of people will be very happy to hear.

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Cognitum Points To Use Cases For Semantic Knowledge Engineering

fl24Cognitum’s year got off to a good start, with an investment from the Giza Polish Ventures Fund, and it plans to apply some of that funding to building its sales and development teams, demonstrating the approaches to and benefits of semantic knowledge engineering, and focusing on big implementations for recognizable customers. The company’s products include Fluent Editor 2 for editing and manipulating complex ontologies via controlled natural language (CNL) tools, and its NLP-fronted Ontorion Distributed Knowledge Management System for managing large ontologies in a distributed fashion (both systems are discussed in more detail in our story here). “The idea here is to open up semantic technologies more widely,” says CEO Pawel Zarzycki.

To whom? Zarzycki says the company currently has pilot projects underway in the banking sector, which see opportunities to leverage ontologies and semantic management frameworks that provide a more natural way for sharing and reusing knowledge and expressing business rules for purposes such as lead generation and market intelligence. In the telco sector, another pilot project is underway to support asset management and impact assessment efforts, and in the legal arena, the Poland-based company is working with the Polish branch of international legal company Eversheds on applying semantics to legal self-assessment issues. Having a semantic knowledge base can make it possible to automate the tasks behind assessing a legal issue, he says, and so it opens the door to outsourcing this job directly to the entity pursuing the case, with the lawyer stepping in mostly at the review stage. That saves a lot of time and money.

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SNAP To It: Dell Proposes Way Of Seeing Returns On Social Media Investments

shreeAre you seeing a return on your investment in social media? When the question about whether such returns exist was put to the audience at the recent Sentiment Analytics Symposium by Shree Dandekar, Dell Software’s chief strategist and senior director of BI and analytics, only a few hands went up. But Dandekar explained that it’s more possible to realize returns than many people may believe.

Dell’s Social Net Advocacy Pulse, or SNAP, tool and program is designed to help drive those returns. “Social ROI is not a myth but a reality,” Dandekar said. “It starts with a social media strategy and text analytics is a crucial underpinning of that journey,” which takes a company from social media listening and monitoring, to capturing and aggregating data from that, to engaging on and deriving insights from social media, to bringing that information into context with enterprise data for better lead- and opportunities-tracking. Dell is an in-house user of SNAP, bringing in 25,000 to 30,000 conversations a day for dell, he noted, and it runs a Social Media Command Center for facilitating listening to those conversations.  (It also helps customers implement their own Command Centers.)

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CHAIN-REDS Project Enhances Semantic Search And Extends Reproducibility Of Scientific Data

chainredspixThe CHAIN-REDS FP7 project, co-funded by the European Commission, has as a goal building a knowledge base of information, gathered both from dedicated surveys and other web and document sources, for largely more than half of the countries in the world, which it presents to visitors through geographic maps and tables. Earlier this month, its Knowledge Base and Semantic Search Engine for exploring the more than 30 million documents in its Open Access Document Repositories (OADR) and Data Repositories (DR) became available in a smartphone and tablet app, while the results of its Semantic Search Engine also now are ranked according to the January 2014 Ranking Web of Repositories. So, users conducting searches should see results in the order of the highest-ranked repositories.

The project has its roots in using semantic web technologies to correlate the data used to write scientific papers with the documents themselves whenever possible, says Prof. Roberto Barbera, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Catania, as well as with applications that can be used to analyse the information. To drive to these ends, the CHAIN-REDS consortium semantically enriched its repositories and built its search engine on the related Linked Data. Users in search of information can get papers and data and, if applications are available, can be redirected to them on the project’s cloud infrastructure to reproduce and reanalyze the data.

“There is a huge effort in the scientific world about the reproducibility of science,” says Barbera.

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Love Is In The Air, And On The Semantic Web

Courtesy: Flickr/by Phillie Casablanca

Courtesy: Flickr/by Phillie Casablanca

Not everyone gets to have quite the affectionate relationship with technology that Joaquin Phoenix has with Samantha in Her. But it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and so as good a time as any to at least review some of the ways that semantic and related technologies are helping us find — and stay — in love:

  • Graphing relationships is the game at dating app Hinge, which works to connect Facebook friends with friends’ friends, using their history and likes to build a graph about each other that gets the love conversation started. The free mobile data-driven matchmaking app is available in  NYC, DC, Philadelphia, and Boston, and most recently came online in San Francisco, too.
  • Folks in search of romance also have the Freebase-powered LoveFlutter to check into. It, too, makes use of your Facebook interests and extends that with the help of the Freebase’s database to fill out other details about those interests – such as what genre of movies it is that you like – to semantically connect your interests with that of other users, and you with them. It will use that data to suggest a great first date spot for you, too. Costs range from free to $29.99 month.

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