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Re: College Senior Project To Make A Web Search Project

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 19:40:59 +0000
To: virgo091085 <virgo091085@hotmail.com>, "semantic-web@w3.org" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C3B9544B.181D1%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>

On 19/1/08 23:37, "virgo091085" <virgo091085@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> I am at a Senior at Xavier University.
>
> I am working on creating a web site that will be well-designed and helpful
> to students for searching
> through classes available for next semester in creating their schedules.
>
> I have read a few articles on the semantic web, and I thought it would be
> cool the idea of searches that can
> return results based on more than just keywords but also through the
> understanding of terms with defined meaning. For example, find "theology"
> classes that "Start" in the "afternoon", or find "English" "honor" classes.
>
> General question I have for experts on this forum is would the things that
> are involved with the Semantic Web like RDF language be helpful to my
> project?
Good question.
It should do.
>
> What things would you recommend to look into to create this project?

One way to view this is that you will need a Data/Knowledge Base to keep the
information you gather.
You might have chosen SQL, but instead you are thinking of using this
exciting new technology of RDF and triplestores.
To do this, you will need a triplestore implementation; you can find out
about these at
http://esw.w3.org/topic/SemanticWebTools#head-805c63479c854babe4657d5184de60
5910f6d3e2
along with other stuff on implementation.
To make it simple, you can just think of what you are doing as replacing the
querying of an SQL DB using SQL by the querying of an RDF store (the
triplestore) using SPARQL (the query language), see for example
http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-rdf-sparql-query-20041012/

So you want to choose yourself a suitable triplestore; for example, if you
are a Java user, you might want to pick Jena, from
http://jena.sourceforge.net/ where you will find quite a lot of tutorial
material as well.

The other thing you will want is an ontology, which roughly corresponds to a
schema in your DB. This will probably be written in a cousin of RDF, the Web
Ontology Language (OWL). The best thing to do is find one that exists
already. For your subject, some others here may be able to suggest a
suitable ontology. An obvious choice is the Learning Objects Model (LOM) at
http://ltsc.ieee.org/wg12 .
I have to say that we found it not really right for a similar activity to
yours; it seemed to be primarily concerned with computer-aided learning and
teaching. So we did what you are not meant to do, and used a new one; you
can find it at http://resist.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ontology/courseware.owl if you
like. You can view the semantics of courses using this at
http://resist.ecs.soton.ac.uk/courseware/ . You will not be able to edit
them, but there is an editor that you can have if that helps.

Possibly what you will want to do is use the de facto standard RDF and
ontology editor, Protégé, to develop and edit your material:
http://protege.stanford.edu/

And that is it, as far as your question is concerned.

But to be a good citizen of the Semantic Web, you have not really finished
yet.
What you need to do is make sure that others can access your hard-won
knowledge in a convenient way. To do this, you need to make the SPARQL
endpoint available to the web. You also need to conform to the modern linked
data conventions.
You can find out all about this at http://esw.w3.org/topic/LinkedData

Good luck!
Hugh

PS If you have some RDF that you want published as linked data, with a
public SPARQL endpoint that you can access, if you send it to me there is a
good chance I can just bring it up at http://rkbexplorer.com/ as a new
sub-domain.
--
Hugh Glaser,  Reader
              Dependable Systems & Software Engineering
              School of Electronics and Computer Science,
              University of Southampton,
              Southampton SO17 1BJ
Work: +44 (0)23 8059 3670, Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 3045
Mobile: +44 (0)78 9422 3822, Home: +44 (0)23 8061 5652
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~hg/

"If we have a correct theory but merely prate about it, pigeonhole it, and
do not put it into practice, then the theory, however good, is of no
significance."
Received on Sunday, 20 January 2008 19:41:24 GMT

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