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Re: How to integrate semantic web in a real application

From: NJ Rogers, Learning and Research Technology <Nikki.Rogers@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2005 10:48:43 -0000
To: Lyle Johnson <lyle.johnson@gmail.com>, Fabien Schwob <skink@evhr.net>
cc: semantic-web@w3.org
Message-ID: <7055044.1133520523@82-46-6-140.stb.ubr04.azte.blueyonder.co.uk>


>> The project is a small web site which make a list of video games players
>> and allow the user to search them with various criteria. How can I do
>> that ? I've tried to think about it but it's not very clear in my mind.
>> Here is some of the ideas I've found :
>> - Modeling the domain using OWL : what is a constructor, what is a game,
>> what is a game type, etc. But what can I do with this file ? Making
>> query : it's really like a DB, so what's the advantage of using OWL ?
>> - Using FOAF to publish the link between the users? It's a little simple.
>> So, have you some ideas to resolve my problem?
> Well, for me, the allure of the semantic web has to do with the
> sharing of information so that different applications and Web sites
> can collaborate.
And for me also the data inferencing opportunities are clearly handy for 
some cases of data modelling. E.g. if you want to make your database deduce 
that some things are of type game, some of a specific sort of game (like 
for kids/adults/certain sectors of the population - sorry this games area 
is not really one I know much about!). i.e. you use sub-property'ing and 
sub-classing to support more 'intelligent' (or narrowed, or expanded) 
search and retrieval over your data.

For e.g. we did this on a UK HE/FE project 
(<http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/projects/iemsr/> - just for reference) where we 
wanted to aggregate schema data from two very distinct communities (with 
two significantly different data models) and to present it by a single, 
harmonised user interface, as a "shared service" for both those 
communities.  We used an RDF database and produced RDF schemas for the two 
datasets, effectively linking them as a graph by specifying an overarching 
schema for their class types.

All this is less easy to do with relational databases, and so, even in a 
vertical application you may find some gains by using a semantic web 
approach. And then as others have said, serendipitous gains really kick in 
when possibly further down the line you decide to link your semantic web 
data with external datasets and vice versa.


> You are correct that if your site models its information using OWL,
> but does nothing with it other than allowing users to do simple
> queries on that data, there's not much advantage for you (or your
> users) over using a regular database. But by modeling (and publishing)
> the information using OWL, you open up the possibility of combining
> that information with other information on the Semantic Web (i.e. from
> other sites) that could enrich the search results that you present to
> your site's users. Likewise, those other applications and Web sites
> are potentially enhanced thanks to this new information source that
> you'll be providing.

NJ Rogers, Technical Researcher
(Senior Technical Developer and Coordinator of Web Futures)
Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT)
Tel: +44(0)117 9287113 (Direct)
Tel: +44(0)117 9287193 (Office)
Received on Friday, 2 December 2005 10:44:04 UTC

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