Semantic Web – Part 1

I told my self that I would write a bit about each topic I was interested in as I went along in my education career, so here it goes. Out of curiosity I was told to write up a 50 page report on the Semantic Web. Weird huh.

So looking at my previous entry about how the semantic web was based on glorified XML I can see I wasn’t that informed. So what’s this semantic web? Well there are a lot of definitions but in a nutshell the semantic web is an idea that a set of technologies will one day allow computers to use ALL the data on the net to solve human problems or questions.

Here is a scenario. Say we have a small program always running in cyber space that takes data from different sources, these sources can be news web pages, online bogs, online publications (pdfs, excel sheets etc etc). Since I like football we tell the small program to always get up to the minute information about my favorite team and display them on my laptop. So once someone publishes something online the agent (small program) alerts me of this and displays the new content on my laptop.

At this point your thinking, “wait the web already does that with google”. Not really. The agents are not smart enough, yet to crawl of the web and distinguish what context the text can be used in. If a person searches for the best chair the results can be varied. We can have results with the best chair to sit on and also have results for the best chair of a department at school. See?

So how to we categories the content? We use RDF, a language largely based off of XML. With RDF we can categories any web content into sets of 3. I’m still reading up on this section so ill get back to you on this. But basically RDF is part of the below picture which is a graphical representation of what the semantic web is built on.

Armando Padilla

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