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RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Kashyap, Vipul <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 22:54:41 -0500
Message-ID: <2BF18EC866AF0448816CDB62ADF65381033C325A@PHSXMB11.partners.org>
To: "Jim Hendler" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, "deWaard, Anita \(ELS\)" <A.dewaard@elsevier.com>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>


I think RDFS and RDFS+a few OWL constructs are as much (if not more) Semantic
Web than a standalone ontology even if it is in OWL...


[VK] This is an interesting discussion which we have been having in the BIORDF
group and I approach this issue from the perspective

of what is the value proposition of SW technologies.


If we take a relational table, an XML schema or a thesaurus and just move it
over to RDF as-it-is, then 

we haven't added "new" semantics to the information... all we have is the
original information in the relational table/XML/thesaurus now

represented in RDF..


When you try to sell the concept of RDF, etc. to an IT shop, they will ask: what
do we gain

by moving to RDF, when what you are representing is already represented using
existing data formats/models?


So representing something RDF+RDF(S) may be technically viewed as the Semantic
Web, but unless we are clearly able to demonstrate

the value proposition of doing so in terms what is the "extra semantics" being
added, it will be a tough task to convince IT folks to

adopt SW technologies..


 THat said, the benefit of having vocabularies in SKOS, and using the linking of
the Semantic Web is that then richer models (in OWL) can be tied to terms in the
ontology, and that will provide a lot of new functionality... 

 but the key is that ontologies published on the Semantic Web (i.e. in RDF so
that there is a URI for each term) have a lot of power as yet unexplored, and
provide a way to incrementally add the power of OWL, without having to take the
whole thing into OWL in one fell swoop (if you'll pardon the pun).  A thesaurus
of the size of the one that Anita describes would be very expensive to port to
OWL in one shot - but the port to SKOS is easy, and then in the same, or
different, document richer semantics can be added - and that is new to KR, since
incrementality of this kind (via multiple rich subsets linked to a a single
thesaurus) has not been explored in the traditional KR&R space, certainly not
"in the wild" where search engines and the like can also b involved... but then,
I guess I have a vision for this stuff that isn't quite the same as many
people's these days -- my blog entry at [1] is a short description of some of


[VK] As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I actually agree with the value
proposition mentioned above. However, URI-based linking is IMHO achieved by
deploying a web infrastructure. The value

proposition of a semantic web infrastructure is in the ability to introduce new
semantics into the picture.


Another point of agreement is introducing these things incrementally is the
right approach. Having a clear idea of how or what kind of richer semantics can
be added and what value it brings needs to be

characterized clearly to get buy in....





[1] https://www.mindswap.org/blog/2006/01/26/thnking-about-the-semantic-web/


Professor James Hendler                   Director
Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery                 301-405-2696
UMIACS, Univ of Maryland                    301-314-9734 (Fax)
College Park, MD 20742                        http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler 
Web Log: http://www.mindswap.org/blog/author/hendler
Received on Friday, 31 March 2006 03:54:51 UTC

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