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W3C Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe

Deliverables

This area of the SWAD-Europe project encompasses several different strands, and includes - Ten developer workshops held by the project; - Online presence and scheduled IRC discussions; - T-shirt and postcard distribution. The work has been focussed around the Semantic Web Interest Group at W3C, which is chaired by Dan Brickley, who is also the Director of SWAD-Europe. One lesson from the project is that it is both important and rewarding to provide an environment where members of the larger community that surrounds W3C can interact and collaboratively explore the practical issues around Web technology. The formal work of the W3C is based on small, highly focussed Working Groups where individuals commit a lot of time to creating new Web standards. SWAD-Europe's primary contribution was to help create a supportive background environment for such work, by allowing a much larger number of geographically-dispersed individuals to participate (through email, IRC, workshops and the Web) in the Semantic Web initiative. The project was, in the Semantic Web scene, unique in its emphasis of the practical and Web aspects of "Semantic Web" for a Web developer audience. The support that SWAD-Europe provided to the RDF and Semantic Web Interest Group was an important exploratory step towards a model for wider participation in Web standardisation work, showing that W3C's successful Working Group-led approach can be complimented by a broader participation model which allows individual researchers and implementors to make real contributions to the deployment of existing standards and to the creation of new ones. The challenge for the future is to work towards a Web in which all European research efforts contribute to the communities, which underpin the evolution of Web standards. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/
These results consist of a Framework and OWL ontology to address trust between parties in the Semantic Web. As the World Wide Web adopts a service oriented architecture for service, data and knowledge access it becomes more common and crucial to users’ peer to peer services to be able to know which parties they can trust to provide the service, data or knowledge that they require. The Semantic Web allows quality of service and properties of the required service to be defined for a role in a user’s business process model - so a user can state what they want, when by, for how much money etc... However, before entering into any contract with a supplier, the user wishes to know if the supplier will meet their contractual obligations. The framework defined can be used to access trusted third parties who can provide recommendations about potential providers based on fourth party recommendations or the potential provider’s reputation based on experience - answering the question: was this provider reliable before in providing to others, what I want now? The Trust ontology allows such questions to be stated during peer to peer communication for different aspects of business processes, and the answers provided to be understood within the wider context of contract establishment. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/
This area of the SWAD-Europe project encompasses several different strands, including software development, surveys of existing work, and input into standards track work in the RDF Core and Data Access Working Groups at W3C. The aim was to build on existing work and experience in the Semantic Web community and within the project to help get various data access methods for RDF (APIs and query languages) to the stage where they could be standardized. To do this, the project undertook surveys of existing APIs and query languages, implementations of RDF query languages, including testcases; and demonstrators showing scalability of the technologies. The focus was on near-term practical goals and grounding in running code. This work has contributed directly to the work of the W3C's Data Access working group. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/
This part of the project aimed to show how Semantic web technologies and XML could be used within and between different parts of business enterprises. Many organisations struggle to capture many forms of information such that is suitable for re-use and can be used in the automation of business processes. Software developments were undertaken to illustrate how information may be captured and used to address these needs. A browser-based forms interface was built to allow users with no knowledge of RDF and XML to enter data and create granular, tightly linked data sets including mathematical formula and store it in an RDF repository. As organisations strive for Enterprise Information Integration (EII), information exchange becomes more complex. A prototype was constructed to illustrate how elements of XML Schema may be mapped to an ontology, to link data instances in a document to their definition, thus aiding developers and applications to process that data more accurately, through the understanding of what the data represents. The browser interface work is already being integrated into a commercial product produced by Stilo and its development continues. The ontology to schema linking may lead the way to accurate, automatic transformation of message-based data between XML-based web service interfaces. It is intended that the partners involved in its development continue this work. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/
The result provides working demonstrations and open source software for the publication, aggregation and browsing of information items expressed in RDF (Resource Description Framework). The publication demonstrator (semantic blogging) permits information items expressed in RDF to be embedded within web-log or ¿blog¿ entries to support richer navigation and query. The aggregation and browsing demonstrator (semantic portals) permits information published in RDF to be collected from multiple sources, cached in a web portal and browsed using a faceted-browse interface. The two components can be used together to provide a flexible information publication and viewing infrastructure. The demonstrators are being taken forward by a number of groups: - For semantic blogging, a number of related projects are known to be underway and one SME is planning a product release in this area and has contacted us concerning licensing terms for the demonstrator software. - The semantic portals demonstrator and related applications are likely to be pursed by consortia led by the UK Environment Council and by the Natural History Museum. - HP is planning internal pilot applications of the technology to knowledge management and has already won one external contract on the basis of this demonstrator and associated tools. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/
SKOS Core supports the RDF description of language-oriented knowledge organisation systems (KOS) such as thesauri, glossaries, controlled vocabularies, taxonomies and classification schemes. SKOS can be used as an interchange format throughout the digital library and information retrieval world. The representation is based on the existing international standards for thesauri and uses the RDF language recommended by W3C for use on the World Wide Web for vocabulary related information aimed at the interchange and interaction of knowledge throughout the semantic web. Because SKOS representations of a thesaurus are in RDF they can be manipulated, transformed, stored and searched using the standard RDF tools available from many public domain and commercial vendors. The use of RDF as the representation language also allows SKOS thesauri to easily interact with tools and other representations used throughout the Semantic Web. The definition of SKOS is maintained by the W3C and is expected to be available for free public access and use for the indefinite future. SKOS is currently passing through the W3C standardisation process in the Semantic Web Best practices work group with the intention that it become a W3C recommendation. Tools to operate on SKOS thesauri using high level operations appropriate to thesauri and digital library applications are also available from the W3C site, although these may not be free for public access. These include an API to access a SKOS service as a Web Service and a demonstrator service - the DREFT SKOS Thesaurus API Demonstrator. Guidelines are available for migrating thesauri stored in other formats into SKOS, as is a Guide to the SKOS definition itself. More information on the SWAD-Europe project can be found at: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/