What are the Benefits of the Semantic Web? A list based on Case Studies

We need some facts about what the Semantic Web can be used for. The SWEO case studies provide a great start, listing deployed corporate Semantic Web applications. I added them up, identifying some key benefits: profit, data integration, querying, and taxonomies.

Read my notes.

At ISWC2005, one talk presented a slide about “what are the key reasons to use Semantic Web”. Sadly, I lost the reference and the paper did not list them (do you know which paper this was? It was presented in the industry track).
Interestingly, there is not much data available about the actual benefits of deploying Semantic Web technology. To create such overviews, we can either do interviews and questionnaires or look at documented case studies.

The Semantic Web Education and Outreach SWEO Interest Group of the W3C did collect and publish 27 case studies and 10 use cases (numbers as of 22.4.2008). The case studies report of deployed systems, therefore I concentrate of them. As methodology, I copy/pasted all key benefits into a spreadsheet and mapped them to classifications I made up on the run. I added explanatory text about the categories by copy/pasting statements by the authors. Then I sorted the results, showing the top-named benefits first. One argument from a use case could map to multiple of my categories (i.e. when a benefit touches both a business profit and is about data integration, it will be added to both categories).

Read the whole report with the data.

The correct scientific method to do such study would be to use questionnaires and to check if the statements given by the authors are true, so the scientific value of this note is questionable, but I love controversy.

POSCCaesar Semantic Days 2008 Stavanger

Du er nå på Internett.

I am currently attending the Semantic Days 2008 in Stavanger. From the speakers, you recognize it’s a melting pot of Defence (Rear Admiral Morten Jacobsen and Major General Arnvid Løvbukten), Oil&Gas (StatoilHydro, DNV, NOV, Epsis) and Semantic Web. For the last subject, amongst others, Ora Lassila and Ian Horrocks presented. I also fall in the last subject.

Presentation Michael Ross, Lockheed Martin

The conference is located at Clarion Hotel Stavanger, in the city center. From my room I have a great view of the sourrounding sea and town, but there is not much time to go there.

Presentation Ian Horrocks

My presentation contains some new data about the use of semantic web technologies, but I will blog that extra, as it deserves some more space.

Download my slides here.

Join us at the Semantic Web Days 2008 in Stavanger

semantic days 2008The Semantic Days 2008 Conference will be next week, Stavanger, 21-23 April 2008. From Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 April 2008 at the Clarion Hotel, Stavanger.

Official website

In the words of the organizers:

Semantic Days is an annual conference that has become a meeting place for industrial use of Semantic Web technologies with significant contribution also from research institutions and universities.

My talk will be on Semantic Web in use on the first day.

Some Social Math Numbers

For the interested social researcher:
I let xing.com check if people from my desktop address book are on xing, and if I am connected with them (a feature that linkedin had before them, I think).

  • 623 contacts in my address book have email addresses and can be compared
  • 105 (17%) of them are Xing members
  • I am already connected with 52 (8%) of them

Does this say anything scientifically? Hm….

and, you 53 people, expect to get mass-mailed soon…

Glowing Tape Sculpture for Nowhere2008

What participatory Art project do you bring into the desert to Nowhere2008 festival? It has to glow, it has to look amazing, it has to be less than 5kg and 5 liter space to fit in the luggage in the airplane?

You have to bring an idea. The idea is combining Led lights with TapeSculpture.org, a form of street art developed and perfected by Mark Jenkins.

The core of the idea is that the ingredients are cheap and can be bought virtually everywhere:

  • clear packing tape
  • plastic wrap
  • scissors or a knife
  • and an object you’d like to cast

Read the tutorial or watch the video by Mark Jenkins:

An technique that can be easily tought and copied. Excellent. Mash it up with LED Throwies (I use AA batteries) and we have lighted art.

Here is my first real piece, the Rabe:

Its a great piece of DJ art to give light to your labels:

And a second one, appearing magically today in Kaiserslautern:
arm with heart

Triplify to let users creatively work with your data (and win a MacBook Air)

Why should you provide the data of your website in RDF? To let the users use it! If you got news on your page, you may already have an RSS feed, but if you got calendar items, people, friend networks, tags – triplify them! Then the users can mashup the data they created.

triplify logoAnd you can win a MacBook Air 🙂


I-Semantics Conference
includes a Linking Open Data Triplification Challenge which will award three prizes to the most promising triplifications of existing Web applications, Websites and data sets. The prizes are:

For the success of the Semantic Web it is from our point of view crucial to overcome the chicken-and-egg problem of missing semantic representations on the Web and the lack of their evaluation by standard search engines. One way to tackle this problem (some might say the only one) is to reveal and expose existing structured (relational) representations, which are already backing most of the existing Web sites. The Triplification challenge aims to expedite this process by raising awareness and showcasing best practices.

Semantic Search Against Animal Experiments

Imagine you could avoid an animal experiment if you would find the result of the experiment online?

the experiment rat

Press Release/Transinsight:
the knowledge-based semantic search engine www.Go3R.org is now available online. It enables information transparency for the prevention of animal testing.

In only four months development time, Transinsight from Dresden, Germany, succeeded in making available online Go3R, the worldwide first knowledge-based search engine for alternative methods to animal experiments. Via www.Go3R.org, scientists from all over the world can take advantage of the benefits of semantic searches for the area of alternative methods in accordance with the 3Rs principle. The Search engine can from now on used as Beta version.

The so-called 3Rs principle developed by Russell and Burch in 1959 stands for Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. It describes scientific methods that can either replace animal experiments, or reduce animal numbers or refine the suffering of the animals during the procedures. In the European Union, compliance with the 3Rs principle is legally required. In accordance with the EU Laboratory Animal Directive, just as with the German Animal Welfare Act, animal experiments may only be performed if the scientific goal pursued cannot be achieved by any other means, i.e. in totally non-animal procedures, or in methods using fewer animals or entailing less animal suffering.

In practice, however, this legal requirement oftentimes is not met, because the scientists and the responsible authorities are unaware of 3Rs alternatives that would exist to the respective foreseen animal experiment. Queries for alternative methods are time consuming and cumbersome, and this situation has possibly even become worse in the era of the internet. Additionally, at the end of a search, it remains unclear whether all relevant information sought for was indeed retrieved. This is where the search engine Go3R sets in.