The Semantic Web: A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities

Scientific American, 2001.

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Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencyweb stheem a n t icjames hendlerora lassilavolume controlMore(12+)
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The challenge of the Semantic Web, is to provide a language that expresses both data and rules for reasoning about the data and that allows rules from any existing knowledge-representation system to be exported onto the Web

Abstract:

The entertainment system was belting out the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” when the phone rang. When Pete answered, his phone turned the sound down by sending a message to all the other local devices that had a volume control. His sister, Lucy, was on the line from the doctor’s office: “Mom needs to see a specialist and then has to have a...More

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Introduction
  • The entertainment system was belting out the Beatles’ “The authors Can Work It Out” when the phone rang.
  • Expressing Meaning pete and lucy could use their agents to carry out all these tasks thanks not to the World Wide Web of today but rather the Semantic Web that it will evolve into tomorrow.
  • Knowledge Representation for the semantic web to function, computers must have access to structured collections of information and sets of inference rules that they can use to conduct automated reasoning.
Highlights
  • The entertainment system was belting out the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” when the phone rang
  • The challenge of the Semantic Web, is to provide a language that expresses both data and rules for reasoning about the data and that allows rules from any existing knowledge-representation system to be exported onto the Web
  • Resource Description Framework provides the technology for expressing the meaning of terms and concepts in a form that computers can readily process
  • A solution to this problem is provided by the third basic component of the Semantic Web, collections of information called ontologies
  • Many automated Web-based services already exist without semantics, but other programs such as agents have no way to locate one that will perform a specific function
  • Ontologies that define the meaning of semantic data play a key role in enabling the agent to understand what is on the Semantic Web, interact with sites and employ other automated services
Results
  • The challenge of the Semantic Web, is to provide a language that expresses both data and rules for reasoning about the data and that allows rules from any existing knowledge-representation system to be exported onto the Web. Adding logic to the Web—the means to use rules to make inferences, choose courses of action and answer questions—
  • Two important technologies for developing the Semantic Web are already in place: eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the Resource Description Framework (RDF).
  • A scheme for defining information on the Web. RDF provides the technology for expressing the meaning of terms and concepts in a form that computers can readily process.
  • Computers will “understand” the meaning of semantic data on a Web page by following links to specified ontologies.
  • A solution to this problem is provided by the third basic component of the Semantic Web, collections of information called ontologies.
  • Agents the real power of the Semantic Web will be realized when people create many programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs.
  • Many automated Web-based services already exist without semantics, but other programs such as agents have no way to locate one that will perform a specific function.
Conclusion
  • Ontologies that define the meaning of semantic data play a key role in enabling the agent to understand what is on the Semantic Web, interact with sites and employ other automated services.
  • Its unifying logical language will enable these concepts to be progressively linked into a universal Web. This structure will open up the knowledge and workings of humankind to meaningful analysis by software agents, providing a new class of tools by which the authors can live, work and learn together.
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): www.w3.org/ W3C Semantic Web Activity: www.w3.org/2001/sw/ An introduction to ontologies: www.SemanticWeb.org/knowmarkup.html Simple HTML Ontology Extensions Frequently Asked Questions (SHOE FAQ): www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/SHOE/faq.html DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) home page: www.daml.org/
Summary
  • The entertainment system was belting out the Beatles’ “The authors Can Work It Out” when the phone rang.
  • Expressing Meaning pete and lucy could use their agents to carry out all these tasks thanks not to the World Wide Web of today but rather the Semantic Web that it will evolve into tomorrow.
  • Knowledge Representation for the semantic web to function, computers must have access to structured collections of information and sets of inference rules that they can use to conduct automated reasoning.
  • The challenge of the Semantic Web, is to provide a language that expresses both data and rules for reasoning about the data and that allows rules from any existing knowledge-representation system to be exported onto the Web. Adding logic to the Web—the means to use rules to make inferences, choose courses of action and answer questions—
  • Two important technologies for developing the Semantic Web are already in place: eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and the Resource Description Framework (RDF).
  • A scheme for defining information on the Web. RDF provides the technology for expressing the meaning of terms and concepts in a form that computers can readily process.
  • Computers will “understand” the meaning of semantic data on a Web page by following links to specified ontologies.
  • A solution to this problem is provided by the third basic component of the Semantic Web, collections of information called ontologies.
  • Agents the real power of the Semantic Web will be realized when people create many programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs.
  • Many automated Web-based services already exist without semantics, but other programs such as agents have no way to locate one that will perform a specific function.
  • Ontologies that define the meaning of semantic data play a key role in enabling the agent to understand what is on the Semantic Web, interact with sites and employ other automated services.
  • Its unifying logical language will enable these concepts to be progressively linked into a universal Web. This structure will open up the knowledge and workings of humankind to meaningful analysis by software agents, providing a new class of tools by which the authors can live, work and learn together.
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): www.w3.org/ W3C Semantic Web Activity: www.w3.org/2001/sw/ An introduction to ontologies: www.SemanticWeb.org/knowmarkup.html Simple HTML Ontology Extensions Frequently Asked Questions (SHOE FAQ): www.cs.umd.edu/projects/plus/SHOE/faq.html DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) home page: www.daml.org/
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