Emergent Semantic Web

Emergent Semantic Web

Mahesh S. Raisinghani (Texas Woman’s University, USA) and Tapas R. Sahoo (University of Dallas, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-799-7.ch069
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In less than a decade, the World Wide Web has become popular because of the depth of information it provides and the simplicity of its usage by simple clicks through related and interlinked pages. However, the amount of information and the numerous formats in which it is presented are simply overwhelming, and it is not uncommon to get overloaded with irrelevant or unrelated information. For example, a simple search task of finding books written by an author named David Flower would fetch hundreds of pages that merely contain the words David and/or Flower. The Web contains information on millions of Web pages interwoven by the use of hyperlinks and presented in rich HTML (hypertext markup language) formats, such as images, graphics, audio, and video. This rich presentation capability makes the Web highly readable for humans, but adds no meaning to the information when read by computers. The Semantic Web, which is considered to be the next evolution of the current Web, would qualify information with well-defined meaning. This added meaning to data, called metadata, would enable computers and people to work in cooperation (Hendler, Berners-Lee, & Miller, 2002). In addition to having hyperlinked pages containing media objects, the Semantic Web will also contain resources pointing to real-world objects such as people, places, organizations, and events. These objects will be linked based on their real-world relationships. Another goal of the Semantic Web is to develop enabling standards and technologies designed to help machines understand more information on the Web so that they can support richer discovery, data integration, navigation, and automation of tasks (Berners-Lee, Hendler, & Lassila, 2001). The current Web has the potential of becoming the largest database system, but it suffers from its foundation as a presentation media. This article addresses issues involved in effectively storing and managing data on the Web and focuses on various research activities in this direction. The Semantic Web is a vision that will extend the current Web to give well-defined meaning to information, enabling computers and people to work in better cooperation. A collaborative effort between the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and a large number of researchers and industrial partners is defining standards and technologies required for building the Semantic Web. This effort will enable data to be understood by machines and will be used for effective discovery, automation, integration, and reuse across applications.

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