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Semantic Web

ESWC 2016, the Semantic Web returns to the international chessboard

ESWC 2016Hello,

Next year, one of the most important international conferences about Semantic Web, the ESWC 2016, will take place in Anissaras, Crete, Greece, from May 29th to June 2nd, 2016.

ESWC (Extended Semantic Web Conference), formerly known as the European Semantic Web Conference, is a yearly international academic conference on the topic of the Semantic Web. This conference series started its life as the European Semantic Web Symposium (ESWS), which was held in Heraklion, Greece in May of 2004.

The goal of the event is "to bring together researchers and practitioners dealing with different aspects of semantics on the Web". To achieve this goal, organizers always put particular emphasis on inter-disciplinary of topics and research, including but not limited to: Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Database and Information Systems, Information Retrieval, Machine Learning Multimedia, Distributed Systems, Social Networks, Web Engineering, and Web Science.

As a reflection of this inter-disciplinarity, ESWC 2016 includes twelve Main Research Tracksof a great subject range:

  • Vocabularies, Schemas, Ontologies
  • Reasoning
  • Linked Data
  • Social Web and Web Science
  • Semantic Data Management, Big data, Scalability
  • Natural Language Processing and Information Retrieval
  • Machine Learning
  • Mobile Web, Sensors and Semantic Streams
  • Services, APIs, Processes and Cloud Computing
  • In-use & Industrial Track
  • Trust and Privacy
  • Smart Cities, Urban and Geospatial Data

Special mention to the PhD Symposium Call, a forum where PhD students can present its work on Semantic Web, share them with peers and experienced researchers, and obtain feedback and learn from each other’s experiences. An excellent initiative to promote the PhD students’ research.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Automatic Entity Linking methods

Automatic entity linking methodsHello,

As a part of our research about the application of Semantic Web technologies in digital collections of libraries, archives and museums in Spain, we are working on methods to link automatically entities to knowledge bases (VIAF, DBpedia, etc.).

Tim Berners-Lee established at 2006 four rules to build the Semantic Web. The fourth rule is “Include links to other URIs so that they can discover more things”.  When we talk about digital collections of libraries, archives and museums, this fourth rule is one of the most difficult to implement (the other three rules can be managed automatically from bibliographic records markup in Dublin Core, MARC21,etc.).

Unlike unstructured text, the entity linking applied to bibliographic records has the advantage that entities are semantically well defined by properties (ex. dc: creator, dc:subject, etc.). This means that the first step of identifying, disambiguating and categorizing named entities is solved. Thus, the main issue is how to search and match in VIAF, DBpedia, etc. the persons, organizations, subjects, locations, etc. included in bibliographic records. And this is a problem because a) sometimes the entity surface form in the bibliographic record is not the same that the knowledge base surface form, and b) some surface forms in the bibliographic record has more than one match in the knowledge base (ambiguity).

Nowadays, we are experimenting with OpenRefine to trying to solve these problems. We are defining several algorithms that would have to allow to obtain the exact match between bibliographic entities and knowledge base entities.

We will keep you update of our progresses…

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

Two torpedoes to line of flotation of the library cataloguing!

Metadata creation – Down and dirty (Updated)Hello,

This week I read in a listserv message the reference to a James Weinheimer’s post entitled Metadata creation – Down and dirty (Updated). I began to read it because the title suggested me the post could be useful to my students on Information Retrieval System Design.

Actually, the post was originally written in 1999 but, as Wienheimer explains, its content needs relatively few updates. Its first part is more traditional. Wienheimer explains the importance of consistency and standardized terminology in the metadata creation. The main aim of these techniques is “to bring similar items together”.

But, in my opinion, the most interesting parts are "updates". Here, Wienheimer expresses their scepticism “about the superiority of library methods” of cataloguing in a (web) world where all information is connected and library user expectations have changed. Let's see two Wienheimer’s pearls of wisdom:

“The unavoidable fact is, that world has almost disappeared already and the cataloging community must accept it. The cataloging goal of making our records into “linked data” means that our records can literally be sliced and diced and will wind up anywhere–not only in union catalogs that follow the same rules, not only in other library catalogs that may follow other rules, but quite literally anywhere. That is what linked data is all about and it has many, many consequences, not least of all for our “consistency”.”

“I have discovered that the idea of searching for authors or titles or subjects is being forgotten by many young people and they think only in terms of keywords. Even the notion that searching for information can actually be hard work is difficult for many to grasp when, in other spheres, they can find a new app or find reviews for a nearby restaurant in just a few seconds. When they have trouble finding information for a paper for class, they often think it is a problem not with themselves, but with the systems—especially library systems.”

Touché! Two torpedoes to line of flotation of the library cataloguing!

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona

A developer's guide to the semantic web

Liyang Yu’s book A developer's guide to the semantic webHello,

There are many excellent books explain Semantic web from a theoretical point of view, but no so many afford this subject in a practical way, and even less that do it in a clear and educational way. This is the case of Liyang Yu’s book A developer's guide to the semantic web (Springer, 2011). As the author explains in the preface, “From this book, you will not only obtain a solid understanding about the Semantic Web but also learn how to combine all the pieces together to build new applications on the Semantic Web”.

And is this How-To-Do-It approach that makes Liyang Yu’s book a leading resource for those who wish to be initiated in real Semantic Web development work. Specifically chapters 12 to 15 are referred to fundamentals of development on the Semantic Web, Jena (a free and open source Java framework for building Semantic Web and Linked Data applications), and two Semantic Web developments samples.

Enjoy it!

Andreu Sulé

University of Barcelona