Thomas Thurner

SEMANTiCS – the emergence of a European Marketplace for the Semantic Web

SEMANTiCS conference celebrated its 10th anniversary this September in Leipzig. And this year’s venue has been capable of opening a new age for the Semantic Web in Europe - a marketplace for the next generation of semantic technologies was born.

semantics-2014-leipzig

As Phil Archer stated in his key note, the Semantic Web is now mature, and academia and industry can be proud of the achievements so far. And exactly that fact gave the thread for the conference: Real world use cases demonstrated by industry representatives, new and already running applied projects presented by the leading consortia in the field and a vivid academia showing the next ideas and developments in the field. So this years SEMANTiCS conference brought together the European Community in Semantic Web Technology – both from academia and industry.

  • Papers and Presentations: 45 (50% of them industry talks)
  • Posters: 10 (out of 22)
  • A marketplace with 11 permanent booths
  • Presented Vocabularies at the 1st Vocabulary Carnival: 24
  • Attendance: 225
  • Geographic Coverage: 21 countries

This year’s SEMANTiCS was co-located and connected with a couple of other related events, like the German ISKO, the Multilingual Linked Open Data for Enterprises (MLODE 2014) and the 2nd DBpedia Community Meeting 2014. This wisely connected gatherings brought people together and allowed transdisciplinary exchange.

Recapitulatory speaking: This SEMANTiCS has opened up new sights on Semantic Technologies, when it comes to

  • industry use
  • problem solving capacity
  • next generation development
  • knowledge about top companies, institutes and people in the sector

Thomas Thurner

Energy Buildings Performance Scenarios as Linked Open Data

The reduction of green house gas emissions is one of the big global challenges for the next decades. (Linked) Open Data on this multi-domain challenge is key for addressing the issues in policy, construction, energy efficiency, production a like. Today – on the World Environment Day 2014 – a new (linked open) data initiative contributes to this effort: GBPN’s Data Endpoint for Building Energy Performance Scenarios.

gbpn-scenariosGBPN (The Global Buildings Performance Network) provides the full data set on a recently made global scenario analysis for saving energy in the building sector worldwide, projected from 2005 to 2050. The multidimensional dataset includes parameters like housing types, building vintages and energy uses  - for various climate zones and regions and is freely available for full use and re-use as open data under CC-BY 3.0 France license.

To explore this easily, the Semantic Web Company has developed an interactive query / filtering tool which allows to create graphs and tables in slicing this multidimensional data cube. Chosen results can be exported as open data in the open formats: RDF and CSV and also queried via a provided SPARQL endpoint (a semantic web based data API). A built-in query-builder makes the use as well as the learning and understanding of SPARQL easy – for advanced users as well as also for non-experts or beginners.

gbn-filter

The LOD based information- & data system is part of Semantic Web Companies’ recent Poolparty Semantic Drupal developments and is based on OpenLinks Virtuoso 7 QuadStore holding and calculating ~235 million triples as well as it makes use of the RDF ETL Tool: UnifiedViews as well as D2R Server for RDF conversion. The underlying GBPN ontology runs on PoolParty 4.2 and serves also a powerful domain-specific news aggregator realized with SWC’s sOnr webminer.

reegle.info-trusted-linksTogether with other Energy Efficiency related Linked Open Data Initiatives like REEEP, NREL, BPIE and others, GBPNs recent initative is a contribution towards a broader availability of data supporting action agains global warming - as also Dr. Peter Graham, Executive Director of GBPN emphasized “…data and modelling of building energy use has long been difficult or expensive to access – yet it is critical to policy development and investment in low-energy buildings. With the release of the BEPS open data model, GBPN are providing free access to the world’s best aggregated data analyses on building energy performance.”

The Linked Open Data (LOD) is modelled using the RDF Data Cube Vocabulary (that is a W3C recommendation) including 17 dimensions in the cube. In total there are 235 million triples available in RDF including links to DBpedia and Geonames – linking the indicators: years – climate zones – regions and building types as well as user scenarios….

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Thomas Thurner

Linked Data at the BBC: Connecting Content around the Things that matter to Audiences

cache_23146737This year SEMANTiCS conference presents some brilliant speakers. As there is Sofia Angeletou with her keynote on the 2nd generation Linked Data Strategy at the BBC.

Quote: “The vision of semantic publishing in the BBC has shifted from supporting high profile events to connecting the BBC’s content around things that matter to the audience. To this end, we have increased the application of linked data to domains other than sports such as news, education and music with the intention that the content we produce can be reused and discovered through a multitude of channels.”

In her keynote, Sofia will outline the technological and cultural factors that have influenced the BBC’s adoption of linked data. A talk reflecting the early assumptions BBC made their effects on the development of the platform and they way BBC are addressing them now.
A talk people who are working in the media and publishing industry should not miss and one of several highlights the completely re-brushed SEMANTiCS conference will provide to you.

Register for SEMANTiCS 2014 in Leipzig / Germany.

 

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Thomas Thurner

American Physical Society Taxonomy – Case Study

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Joseph A Busch

Taxonomy Strategies has been working with the American Physical Society (APS) to develop a new faceted classification scheme.

The proposed scheme includes several discrete sets of categories called facets whose values can be combined to express concepts such as existing Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) codes, as well as new concepts that have not yet emerged, or have been difficult to express with the existing PACS.

PACS codes formed a single-hierarchy classification scheme, designed to assign the “one best” category that an item will be classified under. Classification schemes come from the need to physically locate objects in one dimension, for example in a library where a book will be shelved in one and only one location, among an ordered set of other books. Traditional journal tables of contents similarly place each article in a given issue in a specific location among an ordered set of other articles, certainly a necessary constraint with paper journals and still useful online as a comfortable and familiar context for readers.

However, the real world of concepts is multi-dimensional. In collapsing to one dimension, a classification scheme makes essentially arbitrary choices that have the effect of placing some related items close together while leaving other related items in very distant bins. It also has the effect of repeating the terms associated with the last dimension in many different contexts, leading to an appearance of significant redundancy and complexity in locating terms.

A faceted taxonomy attempts to identify each stand-alone concept through the term or terms commonly associated with it, and have it mean the same thing whenever used. Hierarchy in a taxonomy is useful to group related terms together; however the intention is not to attempt to identify an item such as an article or book by a single concept, but rather to assign multiple concepts to represent the meaning. In that way, related items can be closely associated along multiple dimensions corresponding to each assigned concept. Where previously a single PACS code was used to indicate the research area, now two, three, or more of the new concepts may be needed (although often a single new concept will be sufficient). This requires a different mindset and approach in applying the new taxonomy to the way APS has been accustomed to working with PACS; however it also enables significant new capabilities for publishing and working with all types of content including articles, papers and websites.

To build and maintain the faceted taxonomy, APS has acquired the PoolParty taxonomy management tool. PoolParty will enable APS editorial staff to create, retrieve, update and delete taxonomy term records. The tool will support the various thesaurus, knowledge organization system and ontology standards for concepts, relationships, alternate terms etc. It will also provide methods for:

  • Associating taxonomy terms with content items, and storing that association in a content index record.
  • Automated indexing to suggest taxonomy terms that should be associated with content items, and text mining to suggest terms to potentially be added to the taxonomy.
  • Integrating taxonomy term look-up, browse and navigation in a selection user interface that, for example, authors and the general public could use.
  • Implementing a feedback user interface allowing authors and the general public to suggest terms, record the source of the suggestion, and inform the user on the disposition of their suggestion.

Arthur Smith, project manager for the new APS taxonomy notes “PoolParty allows our subject matter experts to immediately visualize the layout of the taxonomy, to add new concepts, suggest alternatives, and to map out the relationships and mappings to other concept schemes that we need. While our project is still in an early stage, the software tool is already proving very useful.”

About

Taxonomy Strategies (www.taxonomystrategies.com) is an information management consultancy that specializes in applying taxonomies, metadata, automatic classification, and other information retrieval technologies to the needs of business and other organizations.

The American Physical Society (www.aps.org) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.

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