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OntoWiki – Semantic Collaboration for Enterprise Knowledge Management, E-Learning and E-Tourism

Final Report Summary - ONTOWIKI (Semantic collaboration for enterprise knowledge management, e-learning and e-tourism)

The aim of the ONTOWIKI project was to substantially advance and adapt the semantic collaboration software Ontowiki for the three different target domains enterprise knowledge management, e-learning and e-tourism.

Ontowiki was originally developed by the research group AKSW at Universität Leipzig. Ontowiki is open-source software and a web application, which can be installed at any web space and accessed by an ordinary web browser. Ontowiki facilitates the visual presentation of a knowledge base as an information map, with different views on instance data. It enables intuitive authoring of semantic content, with an inline editing mode for editing semantic content, similar to 'what you see is what you get' (Wysiwig) for text documents. In the spirit of the wiki idea, ONTOWIKI's central aim is to establish an architecture of participation, where interested people can contribute information as easy as possible and which al-lows users to add value to the system as they use it. However, different than classic wikis Ontowiki's fundamental artefacts are not texts, but semantic representations based on the resource description framework (RDF) statement paradigm. In addition to that, Ontowiki fosters social collaboration aspects by keeping track of changes, allowing commenting and discussing every single part of a knowledge base, enabling to rate and measuring the popularity of content and honouring the activity of users. Ontowiki enhances the browsing and retrieval by offering semantic enhanced search strategies. All these techniques are applied with the ultimate goal of decreasing the entrance barrier for projects and domain experts to collaborate using semantic technologies. The main challenges addressed by the project were:

1. extending the Virtuoso triple store into a versatile knowledge store component supporting the distribution and federation;
2. implementing of a strategy for social semantic collaboration based on knowledge structuring, enrichment and provenance;
3. integration of Ontowiki with the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) partners software products for enterprise knowledge management;
4. advancement of Ontowiki as a platform for the creation and management of semantic e-learning as well as e-tourism content.

In addition to extending and integrating software products of the SME partners with ONTOWIKI, the consortium was releasing a number of additional software components as open-source to the wider-public. This includes various Virtuoso and ONTOWIKI releases as well as releases of the Erfurt semantic web application programming interface (API), the Leipzig Semantic Syndication (LESS), the SPARQL adaptive query cache, the linked data authoring library RDF author, the notification service 'semantic pingback' as well as the evolution patterns (EvoPatt) engine. The source code as well as installation archives are available at major open-source repositories such as http://sourceforge.net and Google code.

In the course of the project, the consortium has published more than 30 scientific publications in renowned journals and at major international conferences. The ONTOWIKI consortium members re-leased a large number of informal publications (such as blog posts etc.) through their web dissemination channels as well as presentations and videos on platforms such as 'Slideshare' and 'Videolectures'. To facilitate the dissemination of the results the ONTOWIKI consortium co-organised a number of events such as Leipziger Semantic web Tag 2009 and 2010, International Conference on Semantic Systems (I-Semantics) 2009 and 2010, Triplification Challenge 2009 and 2010, Workshop on Scripting for the Semantic web 2009 and 2010, Vienna Semantic web Meetups, LinkedDataCamps and others. An important aspect of disseminating expertise and knowledge gained within the project is through the curricula of students studying at the academic institutions participating in the project.