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Thesauri, Terminologies and the Semantic Web

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  1. Thesauri, Terminologies and the Semantic Web

  2. CCLRC • Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) • Big Science • Synchrotron Radiation Sources • Lasers • Pulsed Neutron Source • Large-scale IT demands: tera-scale data, computation • Strong IT R&D programme • BITD: Business and Information Technology Department

  3. SWAD-E • Semantic Web Advanced Development for Europe (SWAD-E) • EU Project • W3C Semantic Web Activity • R&D • Demos & Apps • Guidelines & Best Practises • Partners: HP Labs, ILRT, Stilo, ERCIM (INRIA), CCLRC

  4. Semantic Web • Current Web: • Web of information for humans • Semantic Web: • Web of data for computers • Why? • Automation, organisation, search • Enabling technologies: • RDF: Resource Description Framework • Data linking, low-level semantics • OWL: Web Ontology Language • High-level semantics, inference

  5. SWAD-E Thesaurus Activity • Why is SWAD-E interested in thesauri? • Large body of well-engineered knowledge • Enrich & bootstrap semantic web • SWAD-E Thesaurus Activity • Design Schemas for thesaurus data • Guidelines for use and migration • Supporting technologies and demos

  6. Exploiting the Semantic Web • What can you get out of the semantic web? • Integration & Connectivity • Data Interoperability • Application Interoperability • N.B. The Semantic Web is a Tool.

  7. Integration & Connectivity • Recurring use-case: high/low-level thesauri • E.g. GCL & Cultural Heritage thesauri • E.g. Gerry’s macro/micro thesauri • RDF => Data linking • Can create large linked thesaurus structures – super-thesauri • Linking solves problem of concurrent versions

  8. Data Interoperability • Interoperability is a major goal • Move to XML technologies is a step in the right direction • But … • XML does not equal Interoperability • [N.B. plethora of XML formats for thesauri]

  9. SKOS-Core: RDF Schema for Thesauri • Introducing: SKOS-Core 1.0 • RDF Schema for Thesauri • SKOS: Simple Knowledge Organisation Systems • The First Challenge: coping with variety in thesaurus design and structure • Allow unique features • Support interoperability • The Second Challenge: interoperating with/migrating to ontologies, taxonomies, classification schemes etc. • N.B. The semantic web is where data collide

  10. SKOS Meta-Model • SKOS Meta-Model: Concept-orientation • Concepts (given URIs) • Labels (pref, alt) (symbols) • Concept Schemes • Semantic Relations (extensible set) • Broader, narrower, related … • Semantic Mappings (extensible set) • Exact, inexact … • Scope notes, definitions, depictions • Infer meaning of concept from labels, scope notes, definitions, depictions & neighbours. skos:semanticRelation sub-property of skos:broader sub-property of skos:broaderInstantive

  11. SKOS Meta-Model

  12. Example: GEMET • Non-Standard Features: • Groups & Super-Groups • Themes • Solution: Extend SKOS-Core: • Class gemet:Group • Sub-class of skos:Concept • Class gemet:Theme • Sub-class of skos:Concept • Property gemet:broaderTheme • Sub-property of skos:broader • Property gemet:broaderGroup • Sub-propery of skos:broader skos:semanticRelation sub-property of skos:broader sub-property of gemet:broaderGroup

  13. Approach to Non-Standard Thesauri • Design schema as extension to SKOS-Core • Preserve unique features • Can interoperate with anything based on SKOS-Core • Have your cake and eat it!

  14. Example: MeSH • Medical Subject Headings • Thesaurus features: • Semantically ambiguous concept hierarchy • Ontology features: • Semantic typing of concepts, e.g. Calcymycin type Antibiotic • Use combination of SKOS and OWL to represent this hybrid structure • RDF, SKOS & OWL means you can migrate a thesaurus to ontology merely by adding statements • (No re-engineering or transformation is required)

  15. Interoperability: Thesaurus Mapping • Common use-case: overlapping thesauri • Mappings support interchangeable use of overlapping thesauri • Introducing: SKOS-Mapping • RDF Schema for inter-thesaurus mapping

  16. Exact Inexact Major Minor Partial Broad Narrow Ordered Combinators: AND, OR, NOT SKOS-Mapping Sets of Resources in which Concept Occurs

  17. Data Interop Summary • SKOS-Core supports interoperability of KOS with variable structures • SKOS-Mapping supports interoperability of overlapping KOS

  18. Multilinguality • Analyse multilingual thesaurus into language components • Multilingual Labelling • Use SKOS-Core • E.g. GEMET • Inter-lingual Mapping • Use SKOS-Core + SKOS-Mapping • E.g. AAT, Merimee

  19. Multilinguality (2) Analyse each language component Multilingual Labelling Interlingual Mapping

  20. Application Interoperability • Move to modularisation and distribution via web services is step in the right direction • But … • Web services does not equal application interoperability • Web service API • Community driven design • Endorsed by wider community

  21. SKOS API • SKOS API • Interface to terminology web service • Under development (pre-release is online) • Participate on public mailing list: public-esw-thes@w3.org

  22. Web Service Implementation • Reference Implementation of SKOS API • Leverage power of sem-web tools • E.g. RDF Query • E.g. transitive closure of broader concepts • SOAP Service • Back end: Sesame RDF Store • Modular design • Semantic Web Services

  23. Future Issues • Social aspects • Semantic web technology supports community driven development of thesauri • But … validation? • Change Management • Versioning • Evolution

  24. Summary • Semantic Web Technologies are tools • SKOS-Core & SKOS-Mapping support data interoperability • SKOS API supports application interoperability • W3C Semantic Web Best Practises Working Group • Thesaurus Task Force

  25. SWAD-E & Eco-informatics • Work with thesaurus developers and managers • Publish RDF encodings of current thesauri • Test design and coverage of SKOS-Core • Community building for development of web service API

  26. Thank You • Links: SWAD-Europe Thesaurus Activity http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/reports/thes/ SKOS-Core 1.0 Guide http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/reports/thes/1.0/guide/ SKOS API http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/reports/thes/skosapi.html SKOS-Core 1.0 Guidelines for Migration http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/reports/thes/1.0/migrate/ Public Thesaurus Mailing list public-esw-thes@w3.org W3C Semantic Web Activity http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/ SWAD-E Project http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/