Mankind has been trying to understand the nature of time since, well, since forever. How time works is a big question, with many different facets being explored by scientists, philosophers, even social-psychologists. Semantic technologists, however, are focusing a little more strategically, considering temporal data management for semantic data.
At the Semantic Technology and Business Conference in NYC, coming up in early October, Dean Allemang, principal consultant at Working Ontologist LLC will be hosting a panel on the topic of managing time in Linked Data. Relational database systems long have been tuned into dealing with bi-temporal data, which changes over two dimensions of time independently – that is, valid (real world) and transactional (database) time. Not so with RDF databases. But many institutions, in fields ranging from finance to health care, have no desire to go back.
“They’ll lose all the RDF powers they’re familiar with, all the semantic linkages,” says Allemang. “And if you want that kind of distributed data understood in your enterprise, a relational solution isn’t going to help.”