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Re: Poll: RDF Use Cases

From: Graham Klyne <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Date: Mon, 01 Jan 2001 16:31:24 +0000
Message-Id: <>
To: "McBride, Brian" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "RDF Interest (E-mail)" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>

I concur with your two use-cases (especially the first, though one might 
say it's rather widely drawn).  Some more I'll offer:

* Message archive mining (this is a particular use for your first 
case):  creating a metadata store linked to an email archive, with metadata 
obtained from protocol elements (RFC822 message headers and SMTP envelope), 
content scanning (e.g. keywords, file types) and other sources (e.g. 
retention policy).  This might be used for many things, including assisting 
retrieval of old messages from the archive.

* Security and trust modelling;  risk assessment.  Current computer 
security approaches are very black-and-white (e.g. is the password correct, 
or not), unlike the human processes that they mimic.  When a person decides 
"would I buy a used car from this man", they are weighing up a far wider 
range of information than is typically used for typical computer access 
scenarios.  I see RDF can be used as a tool for modelling and describing 
more detailed security and trust frameworks.  (In some cases, this may 
involve combining data from multiple repositories, so the universal, 
open-world, scalable approach of RDF is very important.)

* Capturing information about "real world" systems;  a colleague is looking 
into an environment-sensitive help system for computer systems, that can 
provide information about how to perform a task based on information about 
the installed hardware and software.  Descriptions of installed components 
can be accessed as RDF descriptions from anywhere on the web.


At 02:54 PM 12/19/00 +0000, McBride, Brian wrote:
>One of the things which struck me lately during one of
>our lengthier discussions was the idea that many of our
>disagreements may be based on different assumptions
>about the applications we have in mind RDF being used
>It might be helpful therefore, to have a list of
>canonical use cases so we can say, "well, if you
>are trying to do X, then we want ..., but if you
>are trying to do Y, then ..."
>So what are you're favourite use cases for RDF?
>I'll kick off with two:
>o Flexible metadata storage.  We have projects
>   here with a need to store large amounts of meta
>   data, but we can't predict in advance what that
>   meta data will be.  The stuff we need to store
>   changes over time, and we don't want to go
>   updating a database schema each time it does.
>   RDF looks good for this.
>o Data merging.  My current example of this is
>   creating a web page listing the names, email
>   addresses, organisational affiliations etc of
>   folks on a mailing list.  The mailing list
>   server can return an RDF model of the members
>   of the list, which in effect just lists their
>   email addresses.  This model can be annotated
>   by the RDF front end on an LDAP server which
>   can add in the other information like phone
>   numbers etc.
>Brian McBride

Graham Klyne
Received on Monday, 1 January 2001 14:00:48 UTC

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