First day at SemTech 2008

May 19, 2008

SemTech 2008 fired off today in Fairmont San Jose with an Introduction to Semantic Technology and the State of Semantic Web. Both the speakers were elegant and packed with an au fait in the Semantic Technology subject matter. It was Dave McComb for the first topic and Ivan Herman for the latter. Dave ignited the conference with the latest on Semantic Technology and greeted the audience with the notion of Boiled Frog as an analogy to how we are being boiled in data – the massive amount of data we are drowning in. He jumped right into the topic and introduced the T-Box and A-Box theories pertaining to Semantic Web. He mentioned that these theories can be related approximately to classes and instances, but not quite. T-Box is transitive box and A-Box is assertive.

Then, he went on to explain something very descriptive that I was longing to hear an explanation on for a while. He mentioned about the components involved in creating the entire Semantic Web solution. He showed a simple diagram to the audience mentioning the Data Extraction (DE) and Entity Extraction (EE) as the source to Semantic Web data. Data extraction can be something mapped from other data sources to RDF or OWL where as Entity Extraction is to create structured data from other data sources using NLP or similar tool. Then the RDF or OWL can be stored in a Triple Store. The data in the Triple Store can be referred to using Description Logic which then can be Inferred using Rules or analyzed using complex algorithms. These set of components were shown in the diagram to help the audience visualize the complete flow. Finally, he showed the same Boiled Frog as a disclaimer to prove that no frogs were harmed during the creation of his slides.

Right after Dave McComb was done, there was a 15 minute break and then started Ivan Herman’s talk. He started off with the tools and current state of the art in the Semantic Web technology. He showed several tools available in specific areas of Semantic Web and how far we have come with the tools, open source or commercial, in the current market.

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