Posts Tagged ‘semantic’

Real-Time Semantic Enterprise App Integration: The Way To Deal With Dynamic Business

entwebReal-time semantic enterprise application integration – that’s what SmartAlex agent technology from EnterpriseWeb has in store for businesses.

With SmartAlex, a component of its EnterpriseWeb model-driven app development platform, “the consumer asks the agent to figure out what needs to happen and it happens in realtime,” according to Jason Bloomberg, the company’s chief evangelist. “It gives you a level of dynamic capability that traditional integration environments – whether application or data – can’t rise to.”

Why that’s a problem: “Business is a big mess. People are talking, interacting, and concepts are changing,” he noted during a presentation at this week’s Data Summit conference. “How data is structured is in a fluctuating state, so a simple representation of business context in a static data model doesn’t meet our needs.”

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Get More Value Out Of Video By Facilitating Better Search

ramp_logo_grad_4cEnterprise videos– visionary statements, product introductions, town hall meetings, training aids, and conferences – are everywhere on the Internet and corporate Intranets. But no matter how flashy the graphics or how well-prepared the speaker, there’s something missing when it comes to the viewer experience: The ability to search these videos.

Ramp is one of the vendors aiming to address the issue by delivering a fully automated data-driven user experience around finding content. It’s about the ability to watch and look inside a video — a 45-minute keynote, for example, said Joshua Berkowitz, the company’s director of product management at Enterprise Search & Discovery 2014. Everyone has had the experience of starting to view such an event online, only to get distracted by their smartphones or something else a few minutes in. In the meantime, the video plays on and goes right past the part you were most interested in without your even noticing.  “How to find the piece of content that interests you in the same way you could find those pieces inside a document?” he asked the audience.

More importantly, how can the supplier of that content facilitate that, as well as other ways to help the viewer interact with the elements they are interested in, or provide additional information such as links to product or contact details? “Time-based metadata for video can revolutionize the search experience,” Berkowitz said, a capability Ramp’s technology supports with its MediaCloud technology that generates time-coded text transcripts and metadata from video content, providing a time-coded transcript and tag set.

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Enterprise Search Doesn’t Have To Stink

reamyimgaeThere’s one thing that Tom Reamy, chief knowledge architect at KAPS Group, says is a continual refrain among enterprise business users: Search sucks. IT regularly attempts to make things better by buying new search engines and for awhile, everything’s good – until content grows and things start to go downhill again.

Enterprise search, he explained to an audience at this week’s Enterprise Search & Discovery summit, “is never going to be solved by search engine technology” alone. It needs a helping hand from a number of different corners to improve the experience. Good governance and taxonomies can help, for example. But there are challenges in their use, such as the fact that the people who write documents for enterprise repositories can be very creative at avoiding tasks they don’t consider their jobs, such as categorizing documents for others to find during their searches, and even if they’re willing to do it, figuring out what a document is about is a very complex decision.

And, as beautiful a structure as a taxonomy may be to behold, marrying it to millions of documents is itself complex in scale and purpose for both authors and librarians who may have had nothing to do with its creation and so can’t be counted on to apply it well.

Less recognized for the role it can play in rescuing enterprise search is text analytics.

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MindMeld Makes Context Count In Search

mmapiMindMeld – you may know the term best from StarTrek and those fun-loving Vulcan practices. But it lives too at Expect Labs, as an app that listens to and understands conversations and finds relevant information within them, and as an API that lets developers create apps that leverage contextually-driven search and discovery – and may even find the information users need before they explicitly look for it.

Anticipatory computing is the term Expect Labs uses for that. “This is truly a shift in the way that search occurs,” says director of research Marsal Gavaldà. “Anticipatory computing is the most general term in the sense that we have so much information about what users are doing online that we can create accurate models to predict what a user might need based on long-ranging history of that user profile, but also about the context.”

The more specific set of functionality that contributes to the overarching theme of anticipatory computing, he explains, “means that you can create intelligent assistants that have contextual search capabilities, because our API makes it very easy to provide a very continuous stream of updates about what a user is doing or where a user is.”

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Crisis in the Ukraine Could Impact Outsourced Semantic Projects

ukraineThe last few months have been witness to the Ukraine crisis, with antigovernment demonstrations in the wake of former President Viktor Yanukovych tightening ties with the Kremlin, his fleeing the country following a rebellion against him, and the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Tensions continue between Ukraine, which plans new presidential elections for May 25, and Russia. Just today, the mayor of Kharkiv, reportedly an opponent of the pro-West protests, was shot in the back, while the U.S. is imposing new sanctions on Russian government officials, including two members of President Putin’s inner circle and 17 companies linked to that inner circle.

Obviously, there are big issues at stake here about sovereignty and nation destabilization, but the situation also has implications for the IT sector. That includes the advancement of semantic projects around the world.

The Semantic Web Blog, for example, recently heard from a contractor working on a semantic project for a website that the effort has fallen a bit behind schedule due to, among other things, geopolitical events. One of its developers was a Russian national working in Ukraine who left the country when Putin annexed Crimea, he said.

Another source who preferred to remain anonymous, and whose semantic technology and IT outsourcing company is located in another Eastern European country, said that his company has already been contacted by a few businesses in the U.S. that had been securing services from software companies in both the Ukraine and Russia. Because of the situation, he said, these companies told him that they are now exploring their options in Eastern European countries that are members of the European Union. In such locations, including his home country, they can find great engineers and still quite competitive rates on the labor side, he noted.

That said, it was clear that that wasn’t the road to new business that this semantic tech executive prefers to travel down, as he noted that World War II and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe is still within the living memory of people in these countries.

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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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