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Archive for April, 2008

Towards RDFS 3.0 (or OWL 2 R Full)

April 16th, 2008

Summary — there is a new “profile” of OWL Full that might be of great interest to the RDF/Data Web community — read on:

To those who follow W3C happenings, you know that I’ve had some problems with, and resigned from, the new OWL Working Group. The problems have mainly been related to the philosophy of what this is all about, more than the details of specific language features, and maybe I’ll blog about that some other time. However, in this entry I want to say something positive about one small piece of what the working group has done, and direct the RDF community to take a look at it– I believe it may be close to something we’ve needed for a long time.

In the “OWL 2 Web Ontology Language: Profiles” document (http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-owl2-profiles-20080411/) the group has created a new set of OWL profiles (formerly called fragments) so instead of OWL Lite, DL, and Full, we now have (probably to be renamed at a later date) OWL 2 Full and a number of profiles OWL 2 DL, OWL 2 EL++, OWL 2 DL-Lite, OWL 2 R DL, and OWL 2 R Full (there are also be the unnamed RDF equivalents of the EL++ and OWL DL-Lite, but the group refuses to acknolwedge that, a primary reason for my leaving — but that’s another story again).

Anyway, it is to the last of these “OWL 2 R Full” that I would like to direct the attention of the RDF community — it is a bit hard to tell from the relatively cryptic document, but this fragment is an extension to RDFS that adds a small amount of useful OWL vocabulary, without requiring commitment to some of the strong restrictions needed for the various DL dialects. The specification includes an axiomatic specification of the language (i.e. rules) and starting to circulate, but not in the OWL group’s document, is an N3 version of the language making it very easy to see the relation to RDF. A couple of the larger members of the Working Group have stated that they will support this language (I’m not sure whether in public or not, so I’ll let them speak for themselves) which bodes well.

For those people looking at the “Data Web” or at “Web 3.0″ applications, I think this profile of OWL may be worth looking at — it would definitely be improved by some comments from serious Web 3.0 application developers – as it may well be a good target of opportunity for further RDF development. In the famous Semantic Web layercake, this profile (which I would like to see renamed RDFS 3.0) would be able to sit under the Rules and Ontology fragments, where RDFS is now, without derailing RDF(S) into the peculiarities of description logics, yet allowing some useful constructs to be added. For example, FOAF, DOAP and other of the most used RDF-based ontologies would be within (or close to) this new profile

So if you’re not interested, or are studiously ignoring, the OWL drafts, let me suggest you take a look at Table 2 of section 4 of the Profiles document (and section 4.2.3 if you want to see the rules). I also suggest that one does not have to understand anything else in that section (much of which seems to me to be written for those with PhDs in AI or similar background) to be able to see there’s something useful in here.

So take a look at OWL 2 R Full – the name is awful, but the language might be a really powerful new tool on the RDF Web.

-Jim Hendler

p.s. Let me also suggest taking a look at the public email by Michael Schneider at http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-owl-wg/2008Apr/0171.html – one of the few RDF proponents in the working group, he gives a great example of using OWL R Full in an RDFS context…

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wiki bots – one key to the success of wikipedia

April 4th, 2008

Wikipedia has gain such a big success under massive human administration. One amazing feature coming with wikipedia is fairly fast response by the administrators – they continuously track the changes and keep the content in good shape.

One interesting helper in wikipedia is Wiki bot, who can be automate repetitive tedious jobs (source types of wiki bots) :

  • tagging/categorizing wiki articles, e.g. alai bot
  • importing content from outside wiki, e.g. history of wikibots
  • detecting spam and vandalism in wiki page, e.g. voAbotII
  • checking for spell errors, e.g. cmdObot

I just went to wikipedia and randomly selected 10 pages, and there are 7 edited by bots (find “bot” in the editor’s name), and the rest 3 has fairly short history (no more than 20 revisions). Dodge, Nebraska is one of my favorite example which was massively edited by bots.

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OWL Experiences and Directions Meeting

April 2nd, 2008

The OWL Experiences and Directions meeting concluded today. Info on it is up at: http://www.webont.org/owled/2008dc/ .

One talk I found interesting was a controlled English interface. It is too early to consider robust but is interesting to explore for one kind of interface to our applications – http://www.webont.org/owled/2008dc/papers/owled2008dc_paper_5.pdf

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An Questionnaire for OWL Experience

April 2nd, 2008

A lot of interesting experiences on OWL and new OWL features has been intensively discussed in OWL: Experiences and Directions(OWLED 2008). But (potential) users, for adoption purposes, still need some clarification on the lessons learned from past. Therefore, I’m hoping the following questionnaire be answered the OWL community.

  1. OWL constructs
    1. What have been used?
    2. What are still missing?
  2. OWL inference
    1. What inference has been used to solve problem?
    2. What other inference is used together with OWL inference, e.g. sparql, swrl?
  3. OWL user experience
    1. How hard is it to build/reuse OWL ontology?
    2. How hard is it to build/reuse OWL instance data?
    3. How does OWL help web users, and how does the Web impact OWL ?
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