Social Semantics, Hybrid Ontologies and the Tri-Sortal Internet


During the Semantic Data Management workshop at the European Semantic Web Conference 2010 in Crete, my former supervisor and lab director Robert Meersman gave a talk with a fresh vision on how we should tackle the mass of (meta)data about communities (enterprises, business webs), people, and systems (incl. documents and media) and the links in between them with real-world (business) semantics. This vision is also perfectly in line with the principles of IT democracy implemented by Collibra.

Here are the slides: MeersmanSemDataESWC.pdf

Business Semantics (a.k.a. ontologies) are indeed crucial to make sense out of this tri-sortal relationship. The Linked Open Data (LOD) initiative is an important first step to set free hidden data, and make access to it scalable. SPRQL endpoints however do not bring much human-driven sense to it. First visual analysis of the linked data cloud reveals the same non-linear graph structure as found in social networks. Hence there is indeed a tri-sortal dynamics.

Mash-ups  and other kinds of services based on LOD should not happen ad-hoc, but should serve the needs and goals of a community/business (Web). These include needs to interact socially between people (beyond Web 2.0), and computationally between information systems. Moreover, these services should not be only computationally consistent, trustworthy, and scalable (topics on which a large deal of the SemWeb is focusing), but also economically feasibly and profitable (an underestimated topic uniquely covered in our e3value research programme in our Business, Web and Media group at VU).

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