Wednesday, September 24, 2008

W3C-Day, Berlin, 2008 (at XInnovations 2008)

Today, I'm going to visit the annual W3C-Day being connected with the XInnovations 2008 in Berlin. According to the program the sessions were supposed to start at 9 am (For this reason I got up rather early thismorning....) but also the first speaker seemd to think that 9 am is a little bit early ;-) So we started with a 20 minutes delay. In the introducing talk, Klaus Birkenbihl from W3C Semantic Web Activity Group is giving an introductory talk on the Semantic Web, solving the question, how to explain Semantic Web to an (more or less' ordinary web user. Not a simple task, but the best you can do ist to explain it via examples, showing that integrating information in the web today is a rather tedious and extensive manual work. Of course, with semantic web technologies, automated integration of heterogeneous data might soon be possible...

Unfortunately, the speaker for the second talk did not show up. Moreover, it should have been a presentation about the semantic search engine ConWeaver, which I know very well and I was rather curious about its progress. Therefore, the session continues with some kind of RDF tutorial being presented by Lars Bröker from Fraunhofer IAIS. Next, a short introduction in SPARQL is given by Thomas Tikwinski from Fraunhofer IAIS und W3C DE/AT.

[to be continued]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

XInnovations 2008, Berlin, Day 02 - Sept. 23, 2008

Today, I'm going to visit the 'Corporate Semantic Web' workshop at XInnovations 2008 in Berlin. At least it seams that semantic technology has reached industry and corporations. "There is no market for semantic technology", as Christoph Tempich from Detecom Int. quotes a former oracle statement in his talk "Analytics drive the Corporate Semantic Web". Therefore, you just have to provide another label, which is 'Enterprise Information Management' with semantic web technology as underlying technology.

During the coffee break I followed a discussion on the planning of an 'Asocial Semantic Web Workshop' for the next WWW conference or ESWC conference. The goal o fthe workshop should be to show in which way the semantic web is vulnerble by SPAM or other offensive techniques, as e.g. denial of service by providing a deadly RDF-sequence that causes temporary data to grow exponentially.....sounds rather intriguing. I'm looking forward wo contribute ;-)

The 2nd session this morning starts with a presentation from Markus Luczak-Rösch from FU Berlin on 'Corporate Ontology Engineering'. Next, Holger Seubert from IBM is presenting 'Enriched Content Browsing', i.e. during page load in the traditional web, the web page is enriched with additional content. The text of the web page is analysed and terms of interest (info spots) are selected and linked with additional contextual information (from the web, from corporate data bases, etc. in another frame of the same window) without leaving the current context.

We had lunch in a small cafe underneath the nearby public railway with russian dishes (Cafe Chagall, Georgenstr. 4, 10117 Berlin). The pelmeni was really delicious!

The afternoon session starts with Thomas Hoppe from Ontonym with a presentation on 'Corporate Semantic Web'. According to his interpretation, the general 'Semantic Web' concept of Tim Berners Lee cannot be simply transported into the corporation as it is. Inside the corporation, it's a different world compared to the outside. All users are employees, vocabulary is (most times) strictly controlled, there are strict access restrictions, services have to be integrated in portals and corporations have to support corporate processes. The session continues with a presentation by Ralf Heese from FU Berlin on 'Corporate Semantic Collaboration'. He introduces the simple text-annotation tool loomp which has the purpose to enable nonexpert users to provide semantic annotations.

[to be continued tomorrow, W3C-Day, XInnovations 2008, Berlin, Day 03...]

Monday, September 22, 2008

XInnovations 2008, Berlin, Day 01, Sept. 22, 2008

For the third time, I'm attending the XInnovations (formerly known as XML-Days) 2008 in Berlin. Although I was often rather dissapointed about the quality of the conference program (you might refer to my previous posts about XML-Tage Berlin here), I decided to give it another try (simply because I can reach Humboldt University in Berlin with local public transportation in about 45 minutes). Also this time, there seemes to be some emphasis on semantic web technology (at least considering the program, there are Semantic Wikis in the Corporate Wiki track and anoteher Corporate Semantic Web Workshop, not to forget the Semantic Web topic in the PhD-Forum).

I started the first day of the coference with participating the Coprporate Wiki Infotag. Denny Vrandecic is talking about the "Semantic Media Wiki" from AIFB Karlsruhe. Denny is starting his talk with some historical facts about WIkipedia. Interesting thing to mention, according to a study from Aaron Swartz, only 2% of all Wikipedia users (it come up to 1.400 people) are primarily responsible for all article changes. This contradicts the commonly assumed opinion that wikipedia is written by millions of users. Then he was introducing the semantic web in general, by stating that the semantic web is nothing but things (nodes, concepts) being connected by certain relationships, forming graphlike structures that can again be related to each other. According to his definition, a semantic wiki is nothing but graphs being created from wiki data.

The next talk I'm attending is in the Ph.D workshop. Olaf Hartig is talking about 'Trustworthiness of Data on the Web'. With the Semantic Web more and more software agents are taking decisions based on (RDF-based) data on the web. But how can we trust those data? Olaf is developing an RDF trust model as a basis for trust assesment and trust-aware data acces. He suggests a scale from [1-;1], where -1 represents 'absolute distrust' and +1 'absolute trust' for a statement. Now, all relationships in an RDF-graph can be weighted with according trust values ranging from [-1] to [+1]. Trust into a set of statements can be expressed with aggregated trust functions ranging from a cautious (conservative) minimum to a slightly optimistic median. The formal trust vocabulary can be found here. Next, criteria for trust assessment are collected and three different trust assessment strategies are defined: user-based (ask the user on his/her opinion about the trustworthiness), provenance-based (taking into account the trustworthiness of the referring users), and opinion-based (recommendations by other users according to their own trustworthiness).

The afternoon session started with Nils Barnickel from Fraunhofer IOCS with a talk on 'Semantic Mediation between Loosely-Coupled Information Models in Service Oriented Architectures'. Semantic descriptions of Web Services are supposed to enable data and service interoperability. One problem being addresses ist the lack of efficient ontology mapping options in current existing onlology languages (although OWL does have a differentFrom or sameAs operator, complex mappings deploying concepts with totally different subgraphs or 1:n, n:m mappings are missing).

Ok, now it's definitely time for a coffee break. after that, I will be joining the 'World Cafe' session, where I will participate in the discussions instead of writing blog.

[to be continued tomorrow, XInnovations Day 02, Corporate Semantic Web Workshop]