Tabulator: Exploring and Analyzing linked data on the Semantic Web

2006.

Cited by: 532|Bibtex|Views46|
Keywords:
semantic webgeneric programmingpower generationreal timelinked data
Weibo:
Perhaps the past lack of development of linked data is due to the fact that a harvester following links in general will attempt to load an unbounded set of data

Abstract:

A web of linked RDF data may be enabled by standards specifying how links should be made in RDF and under what conditions they should be followed as well as powerful generic RDF browsers that can traverse an open web of RDF resources. The Tabulator is an RDF browser, which is designed both for new users to provoke interest in the Semantic...More

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Introduction
  • The Semantic Web[1] is a technology for sharing data, just as the hypertext Web is for sharing documents.
  • By linking to other chosen resources, he could add immediate value to his page
  • This has not been true to the same extent with RDF data on the Web. While URIs are used for identifying things, the practice of supporting them with servers that would return relevant data, and links to other data, has been confined to use of URIs for properties and classes.
  • There could be several reasons for this : (i) the emphasis during the development of OWL [3] on inference over fixed datasets, the chicken-and-egg problem with all network effects, that a lack of linked data is self-sustaining in that without things to link to, there is no incentive for putting one’s own data on the web, and the lack of a straightforward generic data browser, which would give an immediate feedback and gratification to the creator of online linked data
Highlights
  • The Semantic Web[1] is a technology for sharing data, just as the hypertext Web is for sharing documents
  • Though we did not carry out extensive usability testing, we did encourage W3C staff members to use and evaluate Tabulator. Their feedback helped us understand the problems and requirements of technical users. Several of their comments were incorporated into the new release of Tabulator such as their request for a dense representation of information
  • Perhaps the past lack of development of linked data is due to the fact that a harvester following links in general will attempt to load an unbounded set of data
  • In both tabulator modes, exploration and analysis, this is not the case, as information is loaded to met the curiosity of the user
  • The technique rests on the use of existing, impending, and putative standards to determine the algorithms for serving and retrieving data
  • These standards will mature with time, but the experience presented here indicates that the overall algorithm, and the GRDDL specification that forms part of it, would benefit from documented consensus
Methods
  • The intent of the project is to stimulate use of linked data but to further thought and development in the field of generic data interfaces as well.
  • It was considered essential to have the Tabulator run on the user’s machine, so that that machine performs linked data protocols
  • While this raises difficulties, the intent was to explore and tackle those difficulties, so that protocols could be verified running across the net as opposed to being an HTML portal such as FOAF Explorer [15].
  • Though an HTML server side application is a tempting alternative design, this would not have been a decentralized design, not scaled with wide adoption, nor have allowed a growth in competitive and exchangeable data browsers
Results
  • Though the authors did not carry out extensive usability testing, the authors did encourage W3C staff members to use and evaluate Tabulator.
  • Their feedback helped them understand the problems and requirements of technical users.
  • Several of their comments were incorporated into the new release of Tabulator such as their request for a dense representation of information.
  • : (i) no way to undo or go back to a certain previous state, lack of cognitive map, and requirement of spreadsheet like navigation
Conclusion
  • The architecture of linked data proves to be a powerful one, and it is possible to build a generic data browser that provides sufficient functionality to make new data on the Semantic Web immediately viewable.
  • The technique rests on the use of existing, impending, and putative standards to determine the algorithms for serving and retrieving data.
  • These standards will mature with time, but the experience presented here indicates that the overall algorithm, and the GRDDL specification that forms part of it, would benefit from documented consensus
Summary
  • Introduction:

    The Semantic Web[1] is a technology for sharing data, just as the hypertext Web is for sharing documents.
  • By linking to other chosen resources, he could add immediate value to his page
  • This has not been true to the same extent with RDF data on the Web. While URIs are used for identifying things, the practice of supporting them with servers that would return relevant data, and links to other data, has been confined to use of URIs for properties and classes.
  • There could be several reasons for this : (i) the emphasis during the development of OWL [3] on inference over fixed datasets, the chicken-and-egg problem with all network effects, that a lack of linked data is self-sustaining in that without things to link to, there is no incentive for putting one’s own data on the web, and the lack of a straightforward generic data browser, which would give an immediate feedback and gratification to the creator of online linked data
  • Methods:

    The intent of the project is to stimulate use of linked data but to further thought and development in the field of generic data interfaces as well.
  • It was considered essential to have the Tabulator run on the user’s machine, so that that machine performs linked data protocols
  • While this raises difficulties, the intent was to explore and tackle those difficulties, so that protocols could be verified running across the net as opposed to being an HTML portal such as FOAF Explorer [15].
  • Though an HTML server side application is a tempting alternative design, this would not have been a decentralized design, not scaled with wide adoption, nor have allowed a growth in competitive and exchangeable data browsers
  • Results:

    Though the authors did not carry out extensive usability testing, the authors did encourage W3C staff members to use and evaluate Tabulator.
  • Their feedback helped them understand the problems and requirements of technical users.
  • Several of their comments were incorporated into the new release of Tabulator such as their request for a dense representation of information.
  • : (i) no way to undo or go back to a certain previous state, lack of cognitive map, and requirement of spreadsheet like navigation
  • Conclusion:

    The architecture of linked data proves to be a powerful one, and it is possible to build a generic data browser that provides sufficient functionality to make new data on the Semantic Web immediately viewable.
  • The technique rests on the use of existing, impending, and putative standards to determine the algorithms for serving and retrieving data.
  • These standards will mature with time, but the experience presented here indicates that the overall algorithm, and the GRDDL specification that forms part of it, would benefit from documented consensus
Related work
  • The Tabulator builds on a long tradition on data presentation programs. Popular among them are applications which are domain-specific semantic data browsers. Such applications are basically a front end tailored specifically for a particular RDF database. mSpace has a database of classical music detailing classical music pieces, composers. Users can sort by era, time, composer, type of composition etc and then listen to there selections. It doesn’t have links to any outside database but it does have a window that will display google.com search results relevant to the user’s music selections.

    [33] is the website for the all the art museums in Finland collectively. It has all the museums’ inventories cataloged in RDF and a website through which users can link to similar inventory items based on parameters such as time, artist, country, and other typical fields.
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