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Semantic Web - EU perspectives W3C Semantic Web Tour June 2003 Franco Mastroddi DG Information Society Investing in ICT research and development “The computer age is everywhere except in the productivity statistics” (Solow, 1987)

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semantic web eu perspectives

Semantic Web - EU perspectives

W3C Semantic Web Tour

June 2003

Franco MastroddiDG Information Society

investing in ict research and development
Investing in ICT research and development

“The computer age is everywhere except in the productivity statistics” (Solow, 1987)

  • Productivity growth in US since 1995 coincides with ICT growth. Not same growth rate in Europe:
    • the characteristics of European economy
    • the “” shake-outs
  • It is a long-term haul before ICT becomes a general utility comparable with energy or transport networks.
longer term ict trends
Longer-term ICT trends

“The world produces between one and two exabytes of unique information per year, which is roughly 250 megabytes for every man, woman, and child on earth”.(SIMS/ Berkeley, 2000)

  • ICT today
  • shrink-wrapped PC configs
  • Narrow bandwidth
  • Objects are just objects
  • Web “dumb, boring and isolated”
  • Applications “islands” eWork/eGov
  • Internet users “only” in millions
  • Tomorrow: Ambient Intelligence?
  • Self-aware devices, sensors, etc
  • Broadband, wireless multimedia
  • Billions of tagged objects
  • “adaptable, executable, X-Internet”
  • Seamless interoperability
  • Internet parallels mass media

Sources: Forrester Ceo*, BTExact, NUAInternet, Gartner

some market drivers
Some market drivers
  • Technology:
    • broadband is taking off (incl. mobile)
    • more integration between digital devices - new forms of content processing
  • Markets
    • information value chain becoming less linear, more “just-in-time”, more distributed
    • increasing blur between content providers and users (e.g. P2P)
  • User pull
    • information overload now at individual level.
    • systems to be more user-centric / ambient.
evolving from data and syntax to semantics
Evolving from data and syntax to semantics
  • Semantic Web roadmap
  • Web services initiatives worldwide
  • advanced multimedia processing - e.g. scene analysis
  • knowledge lifecycle: creating knowledge bases, maintaining them, reasoning on them (in Web environment)
  • scaleable natural language processing / linguistic analysis to help in annotation
  • agents, multi-agent frameworks, etc

Involves several scientific disciplines, developing new communities of interest.


Main challenges

  • Help overcome information overload
    • better integrate content and services across different platforms
    • more advanced querying, searching etc
  • seek industrial / socio-economic benefits
    • help promising content technologies to mature: scaleable, robust, cost-effective etc
    • address issues like cost-benefits and usability
  • support ever-more complex work processes
    • be time-critical, collaborative, dynamic
    • add intelligence e.g. inferencing, reasoning

eEurope 2005

  • Policy aims for 2005:
    • modern online public services
      • e-government, health, learning etc
    • a dynamic business environment

enabled by

    • widespread availability of broadband access at competitive prices
    • a secure information infrastructure

through e.g. :

    • policy measures (eg review legislation on e-business)
    • good practice, benchmarking.

IST FP5 Semantic Web technologies (2001)


Focus European RTD on Semantic Web, including on ontology best practice, semantic indexing and analysis, resource and services discovery, semantic-based interfaces / visualisation.

Today: over 30 projects involving over 250 research and industry organisations, including:

  • SWAD-Europe W3C-based outreach project
  • OntoWeb Thematic Network on ontologies with ca 130 members
  • pilot applications e.g. on hidden Web, web-based KM, scientific discovery, etc
  • “extensions” of SWT e.g. towards multimedia, P2P, GRID etc,
fp6 semantic based knowledge systems 2002
FP6 - Semantic-based knowledge systems (2002)


RTD should aim to :

  • develop semantic-based and context-aware systems which can acquire, organise, process, share and use the knowledgeembedded in multimedia content
  • maximise automation of the complete knowledge lifecycle
  • achieve semantic interoperability between Web resources and services.

Also found in other IST areas such as cross-media content, networked businesses and governments, eLearning, digital culture, cognitive systems...

semantic enabled systems and services

Virtual Information and Knowledge Environments:

Semantic Web, Mobile Web, X-Internet etc








Semantic-enabled systems and services




Knowledge representation

and reasoning

Knowledge rendering

and sharing etc

Knowledge extraction

example of application area adaptive information systems
Example of application area: adaptive information systems

Smart product development. 2000-2002 DecisionCraft Analytics Ltd.

Modern DS systems: intelligent, distributed, time-critical, personal...

Urban planning

Accurately predicting arrival times for aircraft. - NASA - CTAS.

Guidelines support

rtd approach
RTD approach
  • Foundational research
    • mainly via Networks of Excellence
    • ontology methods, formal languages (eg OWL), models
  • Component research
    • mainly through STREPS
    • annotation, indexing, search engines, visualisation etc
    • performance, robustness, costs...
  • System-level research
    • integration of above, mainly via Integrated Projects
    • demonstrations and pilot applications
    • user / market acceptance / impact
call 1 results preliminary
Call 1 results - preliminary!
  • Over 120 proposals received for this sector alone, requesting over 450 Meuros
    • ca 40 Integrated Projects / Networks of Excellence,
    • involving some 1500 participants from 45 countries
    • NoEs 30-40 partners 2/3 persons each
    • on topics including:
      • Semantic Web technology and applications
      • advanced multimedia content annotation / data mining e.g. using machine learning
      • context-aware (mobile) services
      • semantic search engines (QA dialogue, multimedia)
      • agent technology, inferencing and reasoning methods.
  • Certain number of ground conditions to be met before the vision can be realised
  • E.U. can support through:
    • policy actions e.g. e-Europe
    • RTD to explore applications, complement W3C
  • FP5 projects ongoing and FP6 in pipeline
  • Next steps:
    • Prepare for Call 2 - now open.
    • Prepare for 2004-2005 workprogramme.
  • Further contacts: