A semantic Web primer

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Whilst this doesn't make me any more capable of actually using many of the tools and techniques described it does mean that I have a better idea of why and how they could be used and how they would contribute to the development of the semantic Web.

A Semantic Web Primer - Garfixia

In short, I now have the tools to be a bit of a semantic Web bore, and can be one with a new-found level of confidence and aplomb. The reason for this new found confidence is the book which is the subject of the review. A semantic Web Primer takes the reader for a fast canter round the key concepts which underlie the area and then goes on to help the reader to develop an understanding of the key tools and applications which make this actually work. The book sets out its stall clearly and sets out the premises which predicate the need for work in this area equally clearly - and in itself this is a valuable and very useful thing to have done.

Chapter One of the book sets out the basic concepts clearly. It explains the need for semantic Web technologies and also explains, with useful examples, exactly how this could work and what we could gain from it in terms of access to relevant, timely and accurate information. The authors set out the role of ontologies in the development of the semantic Web and also emphasise a very practical and evolutionary view of the potential future for the semantic Web.

This chapter makes it very clear that we are not dealing with a single technology but with a set of tools and technologies, that these need to be actively taken forward and that they will require integration and development over time to realise the potential that the authors describe. Chapters Two to Five deal with the specific tools and technologies that can take the semantic Web from an abstract idea to a functioning tool, providing a guide to XML, RDF, OWL and rules in the context of the development of the semantic Web.

Articles on semantic technologies and KBAI (knowledge-based artificial intelligence)

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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Frank van Harmelen. The development of the Semantic Web, with machine-readable content, has the potential to revolutionise the World Wide Web and its use. A Semantic Web Primer provides an introduction and guide to this emerging field, describing its key ideas, languages and technologies.

The Semantic Web presentation

Suitable for use as a textbook or for self-study by professionals, it concentrates on undergraduate-level The development of the Semantic Web, with machine-readable content, has the potential to revolutionise the World Wide Web and its use. Suitable for use as a textbook or for self-study by professionals, it concentrates on undergraduate-level fundamental concepts and techniques that will enable readers to proceed with building applications on their own.


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It includes exercises, project descriptions and annotated references to relevant online materials. The book also examines such crucial related topics as ontology engineering and application scenarios. Get A Copy.

Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Yet there are more powerful, granular techniques available too. Although largely unused by web authors, XHTML offers several facilities for introducing semantic hints into markup to allow machines to infer more about the web page content than just the text. These tools include the "class" attribute, used most often with CSS stylesheets.

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A strict application of these can allow data to be extracted by a machine from a document intended for human consumption. For instance, consider the example:. A program could easily construct from such a XHTML snippet a "Contact" object identified by the ID "edumbill" with properties "name", "role" and "organization.

Techniques similar to this, known colloquially as "screen scraping," have been used for some time on the Web.

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Common applications include the extraction of data from search engines for use in Perl scripts or the extraction of headline information from news sources. For these applications the problem has been the shifting nature of the design of HTML pages and, thus, the need to readjust the scrapers whenever the design changes. A page marked up using the technique showed above would enable reliable scripts to interface with the HTML. As web application providers consider adding SOAP and similar interfaces to their systems to allow remote-application access, they could actually be saved the effort of maintaining twin APIs browser and SOAP by embedding machine-readable information in the HTML itself.

There is still a lot of value and utility in simpler web technologies. Once the richer information has been embedded in a page, a program still needs to transform it into the format it requires. Few people want to learn RDF, and so it presents a barrier to the creation of semantically rich web pages.

Using XSLT provides a way for web developers to add semantic information with minimal extra effort. While its somewhat unwieldy syntax often attracts negative attention from XML developers, the real value of RDF is the data model. It defines a very simple data model of triples subject, predicate, object , where subject and predicate are URIs, and the object is either a URI or a literal.

With this simple model, objects and their properties may be represented. It is in this simple data model where the power of RDF truly lies. As long as information on the web can be reduced to triples like this, it doesn't really matter which XML serialization format is used. What isn't negotiable here though is the role of the URI as a universal identifier. Once we have the data model, there's a need to describe the characteristics of the objects being modeled. For instance, we want to say that a "Contact" must have a name, role, and organization property.

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This allows all users of a resource of type "Contact" to have an agreed expectation of its properties and relationship to other resource types. RDF schemas differ somewhat from XML schemas such as DTDs or W3C XML Schemas in that they do not define a permissible syntax but instead classes, properties, and their interrelation: they operate directly at the data model level, rather than the syntax level.

Scaled up over the Web, RDF schemas are a key technology, as they allow machines to make inferences about the data collected from the web. In fact, work is now underway to take RDF Schemas one step further in the description of ontologies. An ontology is essentially a formal description of objects and their interrelationships.

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