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Elsevier Sponsors 2008 Semantic Web Challenge

The winners have been announced for the Semantic Web Challenge which took place at the International Semantic Web Conference in Karlsruhe, Germany, from October 26-30, 2008.

Determined by a jury consisting of leading experts from both academia and industry, the three highest ranked applications in each category were awarded cash prizes of 3500 Euro in total, sponsored by Elsevier.

The Semantic Web Challenge has been set up with the goal of showcasing the latest in semantic web technologies by having ground-breaking demos compete with each other for the Semantic Web Challenge Awards. Jocularly referred to as “web 3.0” the technologies aim to extract meaning from the web. The event is organized by Jim Hendler, a world renowned web pioneer and currently the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and Peter Mika of Yahoo! Research.

The Semantic Web Challenge consists of 2 categories, “Open Track” and “Billion Triples Track.” Open Track requires that the applications utilize the semantics (meaning) of data and that they have been designed to operate in an open web environment, whilst the Billion Triples Track focuses on dealing with very large data sets of low quality.

“The new Billion Triples Challenge succeeded beyond our expectations,” said Jim Hendler. “We saw everything from a demonstration of 250,000,000 triples kept locally in an iPhone to SPARQL queries performed against 11 billion RDF triples in real time. The winning projects showed that Semantic Web technology is rapidly growing in its ability to process very large amounts of heterogeneous data and to perform interesting inferences at a Web scale.”

Supported by presentations and written documentation the winners were rated on, amongst other things, technical prowess, user interface, the novelty of their idea and mobile readiness. Commenting on the awards, Peter Mika said, “This year's winners showed how one can mash up and query data sources by simple drag-and-drop operations (paggr) or by roaming around in a city with a mobile phone (DBpedia Mobile). In the Billion Triples competition, we have seen a triple store (Virtuoso) that has reached up to 10 Billion triples, how to store part of the data set on an iPhone (i-Moco) and how to carry out complex tasks such as distributing the data across servers (Semaplorer) and answering keyword-based queries (SearchWebDB). Even applications developed by a single developer achieved a very compelling user experience thanks to ever more sophisticated tools and APIs that simplify Semantic Web development. "

The 2008 Semantic Web Challenge Open Track and Billion Triples Track prizes were awarded to:

Open Track
1st Prize: paggr - semsol, Germany
2nd Prize: DBpedia Mobile - Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
3rd Prize: HealthFinland - Semantic Computing Research Group (SeCo), Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and University of Helsinki
IYOUIT - DOCOMO Euro-Labs, Telematica Instituut
xOperator - University of Leipzig
Billion Triples Track
1st Prize: SemaPlorer - University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
2nd Prize: SearchWebDB - Apex Data & Knowledge Management Lab, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Institute AIFB, Universität Karlsruhe, Germany

3rd Prize: MaRVIN - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

i-MoCo - University of Zurich
Honorable mention
Virtuoso - OpenLink Software
More information on the 2008 Semantic Web Challenge Awards can be found online at:

Sweitze Roffel | alfa
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