Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Adding semantics to the Web

15.02.2005


"The Web will become more than what we see on our computer screens, it will become a place where computers interact with each other and where meaning is attached to information.” That is the vision behind a cutting-edge Semantic Web project.

For Richard Benjamins, the coordinator of the IST project ESPERONTO, the future of the Semantic Web lies in it becoming “something akin to ambient intelligence” with the meaning of digital information understandable not only by humans but by any computer-embedded device. “This will reduce information overload, and make information more easily accessible to more people at lower cost,” Dr Benjamins, Director of R&D at ISOCO in Spain, notes.

The ESPERONTO toolkit



The ESPERONTO project is due to end in February having developed tools to allow anyone to upgrade normal Web content into Semantic content by making data machine-readable, while providing applications for end-users to be able to use this enhanced content.

“In essence we take non-structured digital information and turn it into structured information,” Benjamins says. “We developed a knowledge parser that reads texts and finds out what they mean. For example it can read an article on CORDIS and see a person’s name and then automatically link that name to information about the person, projects they have worked on, or articles they have published…”

At the infrastructure level, the project also developed a unified query interface that acts as an intermediate layer between different ontologies to ensure that content presented in any format can be interpreted and used, including multimedia and multilingual information. It also developed a tool to allow semantic data to be continuously and automatically updated – “one of only five or six such commercial systems in the world,” according to the coordinator.

Effective use of data

ESPERONTO has gone much further than just creating semantic content, however, it has also provided tools to use that data effectively in a wide range of scenarios.

“From the user point of view one result is semantic search with a natural language interface that allows users to search for content based on meaning and not on keywords - it is a question and answer system that provides you with an answer rather than a list of documents,” Benjamins explains. “If you ask the search engine what is the gross domestic product of this country, it will come back to you with the answer to that question rather than documents containing those words.”

A similar technique has also been employed by the project to create a Semantic Web portal where the content is not just a group of interlinked Web pages but a structured collection of data that users can navigate semantically, something that is particularly useful in the case of large portals and databases with vast amounts of information.

ESPERONTO in action

The ESPERONTO tools were validated in three test cases, covering a broad sample of application areas, which the project partners see as key markets for Semantic Web technology.

“One involved deploying the system at the Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid, a cultural institution with a lot of historical information dating from the time when artists and authors stayed there. Much of this content has not been available to the public and has only recently been digitalised,” Benjamins explains. “We created a 3D visualisation portal that allows users to navigate between the content based on the authors and artists’ relationships with each other. It lets users determine who wrote or painted what and when, and who inspired whom. The Residencia has included this technology in their three-year strategic plan and has committed itself to disclosing its cultural content through this method.”

The two other case studies focused on enhancing information about research funding opportunities available on a portal run by the Catalan regional government, and on providing information gathering services in the pharmaceutical industry to identify possible new applications of existing drugs and therapies as well as hypothesise about new treatments for unmet medical needs. In both cases the trials proved the advantages of using Semantic Web technology as a way to save time and money.

“By enriching existing content and keeping it updated automatically, we are providing a money saving solution because companies and institutes do not need to have employees working full time to search for information and keep content up to date,” the coordinator says. “Semantic Web technology in this regard is not so much about adding new features - even though it does that – it is about reducing the time and money spent on acquiring and finding the data you are looking for.”

For Benjamins those advantages will be the major incentive for Semantic Web technology to be adopted on a broad scale, on a short to mid term.

“I believe it will evolve along the lines that the existing World Wide Web has,” the coordinator says. “First with researchers using and developing it; then early adopters being pioneers in employing the technology - I expect we may have at least one success story in that area within a year - and then, once they have proven its value, it will become mainstream.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans
16.01.2017 | University of Southern California

nachricht Fraunhofer FIT announces CloudTeams collaborative software development platform – join it for free
10.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>