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Re: Evidence of Significance of Semantic Web for Life Sciences

From: Alexander Garcia Castro <alexgarciac@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2011 16:36:55 +0100
Message-ID: <CALAe=OJns3SP25ynnr0oFEk64MTg3O97E_G9MGPFth4F4QJvqA@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Andrea Splendiani (RRes-Roth)" <andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk>
Cc: Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>, public-semweb-lifesci <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Olivier, this is similar to the Ontolog forum main topic for 2011 "making
the case for ontologies"; a bit closer to those discussions we had the OCAS
(Ontologies Come of Age in the Semantic Web) workshop. I have found it
difficult to make the case for semantic technologies with mainstream tech
people. the bottom line, also true for bioinformaticians, is summarized in
a simple question "what can I do with SPARLQ that I could not do
otherwise?". the idea of a federation does not make a good case, existing
technology supports federations far better than most semantic technologies
do. i2b2 in the biomedical domain makes a somewhat not so strong case for
semantic web technology. Some publishers, I think Elsevier, have used RDF
tech, I am not sure how far are they, and so far I am not aware of the
benefits they have had (how is this technology delivering something unique
that other technology cant deliver), also I dont know the Elsevier SPARQL
endpoint so that one could say I am delivering this functionality thanks to
the use of RDF tech, such functionality could not otherwise be delivered.

not bio related, I find that Deborah L. McGuinness has interesting work
that illustrates with simple functional features how could the case for
semantic tech be made. her work is usable, simple and delivers more than
just a toy query; interesting examples are also available in the domain of
e-government. Some people argue that IBMs Watson may make a case for
semantic web technology, but bear in mind that Watson is more a cleaver
example of NLP.

An interesting question, how to make the case for semantic web technology.

On Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 4:09 PM, Andrea Splendiani (RRes-Roth) <
andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk> wrote:

> Hi Oliver,
> I think it's hard to find this form of "breakthrough evidence" and this
> may even be counterproductive to convince people.
> If you present a high-level, breakthrough result (say, we save lives),
> than you leave two open questions:
> - how much of this is dependent on the computational support ?
> - ok, they used semantic web technologies, could we use something else ?
> Another way to go would be to measure results over resources (benefits is
> economic) or adoption (benefit is potential for economies of scale).
> There is a wide range of sources to cite about this out of the biomedical
> world, from companies to governments.
> Look for "Biomedical Semantics in the Semantic Web" in JBS, we write
> something about adoption, you may find some link/inspiration there.
> ciao,
> Andrea
> Il giorno 21/dic/2011, alle ore 16.39, Oliver Ruebenacker ha scritto:
> >     Hello,
> >
> >  I am looking for evidence I can quote to convince non-experts of the
> > significance of applying Semantic Web to biomedical research,
> > especially computational cell biology.
> >
> >  I need a recorded public statement from a source recognizable as
> > authoritative to a non-expert: e.g. could be from a relevant
> > government agency, a well-known research institution (including major
> > grad schools and companies), a well-known (i.e. well-known outside the
> > field) expert, some one where a brief look at the biography
> > immediately suggests he or she is an authority, some one quoted in
> > major media, etc.
> >
> >  Significance could mean abstract things like advancing science and
> > health care, but even better would be tangible things like: saves
> > lives, saves money, cures cancer/malaria/AIDS, creates jobs, etc.
> >
> >  Thanks a lot!
> >
> >     Take care
> >     Oliver
> >
> > --
> > Oliver Ruebenacker, Computational Cell Biologist
> > Virtual Cell (http://vcell.org)
> > SBPAX: Turning Bio Knowledge into Math Models (http://www.sbpax.org)
> > http://www.oliver.curiousworld.org
> >

Alexander Garcia
Florida State University Guest Professor
Received on Thursday, 22 December 2011 15:37:49 UTC

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