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RDF tools: FramerD http://www.framerd.org/

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 5 Jul 2000 13:54:48 -0400 (EDT)
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.0007051337360.6969-100000@tux.w3.org>

Hi all,

Latest find in my never-ending trawl for database/query tools that might
be useful with RDF is something called 'FramerD'. I stumbled across this
the MIT site but it seems now to have an independent (and GPL
licensed) existence. I've only skimmed the online docs but it looks
promising, if complex. Note that there's an RPM bundle for Linux 
(http://www.framerd.org/docs/users-guide.html#installation) and the
tarball installation also looks pretty straightforward. The online demos,
include a datatbase called the 'BRICO Ontology' which combines WordNet,
Roget's thesaurus and the public CYC upper ontology; some of you might
find this of interest in addition to the database system itself.

Could anyone be persuaded to take a look at this with RDF in mind and
report back to www-rdf-interest?

Blurb from homepage and why-use pages copied below...



From http://www.framerd.org/


   FramerD is a portable distributed object-oriented database designed to
support the
   maintenance and sharing of knowledge bases. Unlike other
object-oriented databases,
   FramerD is optimized for the sort of pointer-intensive data structures
used by semantic
   networks, frame systems, and many intelligent agent
applications. FramerD databases
   readily include millions of searchable frames and may be distributed
over multiple
   networked machines. FramerD includes an extensive scripting language
based on Scheme
   with special support for web-based interfaces.

FramerD is designed for incremental and collaborative data and knowledge

development. One primary cause of brittleness, incompatability, and
obsolesence in

advanced applications is the premature codification of structures,
protocols, and semantics.

FramerD was designed to provide robust and efficient data management
without extensive

up-front specification of data and operations. Developed at MIT's Media

FramerD has been used for four years in developing information access and

understanding applications.
   FramerD is implemented in ANSI C and has been compiled for a wide range
of platforms,
   including many varieties of Unix and WIn32. In addition, experimental
Java and Lisp
   libraries exist for accessing FramerD databases and services.

FramerD sources and platform releases are available free of charge under
the GNU GPL.

Inquiries about less restrictive commercial licenses should be directed to
MIT's Technology Licensing Office.

From http://www.framerd.org/docs/why.html

Why Should I Use FramerD?

manages descriptions and systems of description

                              FramerD allows the computer to create,
access, and manipulate descriptions and systems of description. Most
                              applications work by manipulating
descriptions in some systematic way. A system of description is the set of
                              expectations, and procedures used to
manipulate descriptions in a particular application area. For example, in
a scheduling
                              application, the system of description might

                              classes of entities, like events,
individuals, locations, resources, and times; 
                              relationships between these entities, like
attendance at events or reservation of resources 
                              constraints and inferences about these

                              Descriptive systems can be programmed by
people or generated by machines. In either event, when users or programs
add new
                              descriptions or extend existing systems,
FramerD automatically generates consequences from the additions or

FramerD is a database for intelligent systems

                              FramerD was developed to support research in
artificial intelligence (AI) involving the construction of artifacts which
                              demonstrate something like human
understanding and intelligence. For example, in our current research we
use FramerD to
                              encode a text database where relations and
meanings are used in retrieval and matching. Each natural language phrase
in the
                              original text database is described by a
different frame in FramerD; relations between these frames descibe both
the structure of
                              sentences (e.g. "Bush" is the subject of
"flew") and possible meanings ("flew" might mean "drove the plane" or
"rode in the
                              plane"). Taking ideas from past work in
artificial intelligence, FramerD is built to describe conceptual objects
and their
                              relationships to one another. Unlike this
past work, however, FramerD is designed to scale to millions or tens of
millions of

FramerD simplifies development and sharing

                              FramerD was designed to simplify: 

                              incremental development of systems of
                              sharing descriptions and systems of
                              distributing data and computation over a
network of clients and servers, 
                              access to descriptions and databases through
World Wide Web 

                              If you need to describe complicated and
interconnected structures and want to be able to store and share these
structures, it's
                              worthwhile looking at FramerD. In
particular, if your work is currently (or constitutionally) in
"development mode" and
                              incremental changes to your database are
common, FramerD may be what you are looking for.

FramerD descriptions can be richly interconnected

                              FramerD is optimized for descriptions
consisting primarily of relations to other descriptions. Relations between
descriptions can
                              be either structural relations or semantic
relations. Structural relations connect elements within a particular
context, for example

                              'this lintel is above that support' or 
                              'the name "Clinton" (in some context) is the
subject of the verb "nominated" (in the same context)'. 

                              Semantic relations, on the other hand,
connect a description to some "meaning" description elsewhere in the
database, for

                              `the lintel is a vertical rectangular blob'
                              'the verb "nominated" may denote a kind of

                              Descriptions can also include simple
attributes whose values are numbers or strings, but FramerD is optimized
for the kinds of
                              complicated relational structures common in
artificial intelligence systems. In particular, FramerD has special
operations for
                              delayed loading and caching of objects which
make it inexpensive to load objects which refer to other objects.

Received on Wednesday, 5 July 2000 13:54:50 UTC

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