Research Area of The Semantic Web

The Semantic Web - A New ETAI Area

"The Semantic Web" was established as a new ETAI area in August, 2000. We are still in the startup phase, and the present web-page structure is incomplete; additional structure for e.g. a newsletter and a list of members are forthcoming. Anyway, contributions of articles are welcome, as are suggestions concerning the scope and the modes of operation of this ETAI research area.

Definition of the area

The area is concerned with Modeling Semantics of Web Information: Theory, Methods, and Applications.

Currently, the web is an incredible large, mainly static information source. The heavy burden in information access, extraction and interpretation is left to the human user. Tim Berners-Lee coined the vision of a "semantic web" in which background knowledge is stored on the meaning or content of web resources through the use of machine-processable metadata. The semantic web should be able to support automated services based on these descriptions of semantics. The semantic or "knowledge" web is seen as a key factor in finding a way out of the growing problems of traversing the expanding web space, where currently most web resources can only be found through syntactic matches (e.g., keyword search).

This ETAI area is targeted at all research efforts aimed at constructing, maintaining and using such a knowledge-intensive information and service web. Not surprisingly, our field is interdisciplinary in its very nature covering various aspects dealt with in various communities of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science. It covers aspects from knowledge engineering, databases and information systems, knowledge representation, information retrieval, digital libraries, multi-agent systems, natural-language processing, and machine learning.

We envisage paper submissions falling within at least one of the following categories:

  • Metadata, knowledge markup, and formal annotations of web information;
  • Information extraction, automatic and semi-automatic generation of meta data for web information.
  • Knowledge representation for the web.
  • Generic and heuristic reasoning methods for the web.
  • Integration of databases in the knowledge web.
  • Interoperability of web services at the semantic and pragmatic levels.
  • Standard ontologies for content description of web information.
  • Distributed ontologies, knowledge composition and transformation,
  • Scalability of knowledge-intensive web services,
  • Content-based information retrieval.
  • Knowledge retrieval.
  • Tool environments, development methodologies, case studies and applications for and of the knowledge web,
  • Web-based knowledge management and electronic commerce.
The general guideline is that papers should have a clear relevance for the the area of web semantics. For example, a general paper on ontologies is only acceptable if the author makes explicit it what way this particular work is relevant for the semantic web area.

Latest update: 11.9.2000; Position code: C.etai.seweb.scope.