Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The State of the Semantic Web

In the DERI blog I have found a rather interesting presentation from Ivan Herman, (W3C) Semantic Web Activity Leader, about the current state of the semantic web, given at the International Conference on Semantic Web & Digital Libraries in Bangalore, India.

He also gives some insight in what has been achieved concerning language standardization (RDF, OWL, SPARQL, etc.), already existing vocabularies, current implementations and available knowledge databases (ontologies).

Besides all the achievments of the recent years, Ivan also points out where the deficiencies are:

  • how to bind to different communities (e.g., the “digital library world”)

  • how (and where from) to get RDF data

  • several stil missing functionalitiessuch as rules, “light” ontologies, fuzzy reasoning, necessity to review RDF and OWL,…

  • different misconceptions, existing messaging problems

  • and of course the need for more applications, more deployment, and also acceptance

To get more working applications the porting of alreay existing knowledge resources (as already existing classification schemes, lexicons, htesauri, etc.) into the context of the semantic web is mandatory. SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) is one of the W3C activities that has exactely this purpose. SKOS is built on top of RDF and serves as a formal language for representing structured well defined vocabularies.