W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-interest@w3.org > February 2004

Re: RE : Real World Semantic Web Tools?

From: Mansur Darlington <ensmjd@bath.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 10:48:43 +0000
Message-ID: <402CAB8B.1000502@bath.ac.uk>
To: info@oilit.com
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org, semanticweb@yahoogroups.com

Neil McNaughton wrote:

>My 2 cents
>I must admit to being very much in the same boat as Mansur. I 'discovered'
>the semweb through RSS and wrote an editorial (http://www.oilit.com) on this
>'quick win' for RDF (I know - it is and it isn't but that's another story).
>I think that the case for using RDF to link metadata across different XML
>schemas is fairly compelling. This would involve stuff like catalogues and
>taxonomies into RDF. Things get a little harder (putting it mindly) when you
>try to get your head around the notion of imbricated RDF triples from
>different schemas allowing 'agents' to 'discover' things about documents
>themselves. Not saying that this is wrong - but seems like the quick wins
>will be in having a simple and standardized way of storing metadata value
>lists. The rest - semantics and the AI aspects of semweb are a bit harder to
>'sell' but it's probably the 'way to go'.
>But one issue I have with much of
>what is presnted by the W3C rdf interest list is the contrast between the
>mindboggling complexity of the concepts and the mindnumbing dumbness of the
>exapmles used. It would be nicer to have simple concepts applied to
>(moderately) tough problems. 
Interesting comments, and you certainly strike a chord with your last 
paragraph. We are trying to develop a set of practical examples of 
document/information search queries (of progressively greater 
difficulty/interest)  and matching search results together with 
explanations of how the technology solves the reasoning problem. Of 
course, to do this easily, we need the tools!

Mansur Darlington

>Neil McNaughton
>Editor - Oil IT Journal
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: www-rdf-interest-request@w3.org [mailto:www-rdf-interest-
>>request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Mansur Darlington
>>Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 3:42 PM
>>To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
>>Cc: semanticweb@yahoogroups.com; kaw@swi.psy.uva.nl; www-rdf-
>>Subject: Real World Semantic Web Tools?
>>First, an apology for cross-posting this.
>>This is a plea for help, from some fairly non-techy information users,
>>but we feel it might strike a chord of recognition across interest groups!
>>We are trying to explore the practical benefits that developing Semantic
>>Web technologies might have to offer for improving access to information
>>for engineering designers. As part of this effort we wish to demonstrate
>>the advantages of SW technologies over conventional information search
>>and retrieval approaches (assuming there really are any!).
>>Using a document test-bed and a couple of ontologies developed weve
>>demonstrated some of the potential benefits that can be achieved (akin
>>to those found in any basic RDF primer or the like). We now wish to
>>provide a more realistic practical demonstration of the benefits (and
>>the associated costs and difficulties associated with the
>>semantification process) using a range of tools that have been
>>developed by the SW community.
>>These would include:
>>1) Ontology creation and lifecycle management (e.g. Protégé, OilED,
>>OntoEdit, etc.)
>>2) An annotator for constructing mark-up documents from the corpus, or
>>marked-up proxy documents (e.g. OntoMat, MnM, etc.).
>>3) A means for capturing and representing axioms or rules which
>>formalize useful inferences in the domain (e.g. using the above).
>>4) An interface that invites the construction of queries (e.g. plugins
>>for the above).
>>5) An accessible query engine which will handle querying and inferencing
>>(using the axioms/rules) and present the result in a useful way.
>>We have done our best to identify - from the hundreds of applications
>>available  those which: (i) work reliably (ii) have compatible inputs
>>and outputs (iii) can be *used* and understood by end information
>>users (we are not programmers!).
>>Despite our efforts we are having remarkably little success. On the one
>>hand we are overwhelmed by the amount of information that is available
>>on Semantic Web topics, on the other we have found that much of the
>>information is completely inscrutable.
>>Fundamentally our questions are: Is it that the tools which we require
>>are simply too immature (or dont yet exist) or that substantially more
>>technical expertise is needed to use what is available than can be
>>reasonably expected from information users?
>>Comments or help in answering these questions from the Semantic Web
>>community would be much appreciated.
>>Thank you,
>>Mansur Darlington and Al Lowe
>>Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
>>Department of Mechanical Engineering
>>University of Bath

Dr Mansur Darlington
Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Bath
01225 386131
Received on Friday, 13 February 2004 05:48:32 UTC

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