Skip to main content

Semantically-Enable Knowledge Technologies

Project description

Semantic-based knowledge systems
From data to knowledge: the semantic web

New services developed by European researchers could help turn the World Wide Web into a vast relational database allowing surfers to extract relevant data for any topic imaginable.

The researchers are in the process of helping develop what is called the ‘semantic web’, which promises to give users access to actionable or useable knowledge instead of just vast quantities of information.

The internet is the greatest store of information assembled in human history. But its very size can prevent it from becoming a truly useful tool. There is so much information that users find it difficult to filter out the inaccurate and irrelevant.

We cannot see the wood for the trees. We have lots of data, but we must exclude most of it. Call it the knowledge gap, the distance between what we can access and what we need.

That gap is closing. Researchers at the Semantic Knowledge Technologies (SEKT) project have developed a robust and comprehensive system to identify the content, relevance and quality of information contained on your computer, your local network or the World Wide Web.

The age of knowledge

Essentially, the SEKT system can identify the meaning and significance of data and the semantic content, and can thus help users extract quality information rather than just quantity.

For example, take John. He is a stockbroker with 200 clients. He is familiar with six of them. With the SEKT suite working in the background, John's information technology (IT) systems can scan his incoming email to highlight relevant text and phrases, supporting him in servicing his clients.

If clients want to shift their strategy from capital growth to income earning, John's IT system can start presenting useful options to him, so he can best advise his clients. Or the system could scan incoming newsfeeds, highlighting stories that impact his clients’ stock portfolio.

The computer is analysing the data faster than John could sort it, giving him access to vast resources.

The example is simple, and it is difficult to guess which services will be available when the technologies become widespread. But the potential is limitless.

How it works

Any computer can identify, with a fair probability of success, the content of a file by name. But computers are not equipped to understand what the content means, the context or the data’s relevance to other pieces of data.

Semantic technologies fill this gap. They typically define what a piece of data actually means. They are based on ontologies, or dictionaries, of metadata.

Metadata is simply information about a piece of information. Metadata describes content in a way that is machine-readable, allowing computers to identify the context of data. Machines can then search for relevant and timely knowledge.

The metadata defines what a piece of information means. The ontologies list the definitions and typically they are organised by domain, subjects like health, business organisation, or government and so on.

When you combine ontologies and metadata with computers and networking, you get the semantic web, a machine-readable internet.

Semi-automatic process

SEKT’s researchers have also developed a way to generate ontologies semi-automatically, and to manage ontologies that already exist. They have produced tools to use these ontologies in standard IT systems, and created an open source application to tie everything together.

To validate their work, SEKT’s researchers tested the system in such areas as law, digital library management and IT consultancy. These are all areas that deal with vast quantities of qualitative information. The tests were done in Spanish, German and English, respectively.

Call for proposal

FP6-2002-IST-1
See other projects for this call

Coordinator

BRITISH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PUBLIC LIMITED COMPANY
Address
Newgate Street 81
EC1A 7AJ London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 1 712 000

Participants (12)

UNIVERSITAET INNSBRUCK
Austria
EU contribution
€ 672 000
Address
Innrain 52
6020 Innsbruck
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SIRMA SOLUTIONS JSC
Bulgaria
EU contribution
€ 270 000
Address
Tsarigradsko Shosse Blvd 135
1784 Sofia
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
KEA-PRO GMBH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Tal
6464 Spiringen
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
UNIVERSITAET KARLSRUHE (TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE)
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 382 000
Address
Kaiserstrasse
76131 Karlsruhe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
SIEMENS BUSINESS SERVICES GMBH & CO. OHG
Germany
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Otto-hahn-ring 6
81739 Muenchen
Activity type
Other
ONTOPRISE GMBH INTELLIGENTE LOESUNGEN FUER DAS WISSENSMANAGEMENT
Germany
EU contribution
€ 395 500
Address
Amalienbadstrasse 36
76227 Karlsruhe
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EMPOLIS GMBH
Germany
EU contribution
€ 639 000
Address
An Der Autobahn 2
33311 Guetersloh
Activity type
Other
UNIVERSIDAD AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA
Spain
EU contribution
€ 283 000
Address
Calle Campus Universitario Sn Cerdanyola V
08290 Cerdanyola Del Valles
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INTELLIGENT SOFTWARE COMPONENTS S.A.
Spain
EU contribution
€ 505 000
Address
Avenida Torre Blanca
08172 Sant Cugat Del Valles
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
VERENIGING VOOR CHRISTELIJK HOGER ONDERWIJS WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK EN PATIENTENZORG
Netherlands
EU contribution
€ 582 000
Address
De Boelelaan
1081 HV Amsterdam
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
INSTITUT JOZEF STEFAN
Slovenia
EU contribution
€ 900 191,04
Address
Jamova 39
1000 Ljubljana
Activity type
Research Organisations
THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 991 500
Address
Firth Court Western Bank
S10 2TN Sheffield
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments