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Classification of Semantic Web Technologies

Classification of Semantic Web Technologies
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Author(s): Rui G. Pereira (University of Beira Interior, Portugal) and Mário M. Freire (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 11
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch089


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Semantic Web is the name of the next generation World Wide Web, that has been recently proposed by Tim Berners-Lee and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)1. In this new Web architecture, information and Web services will be easily understandable and usable by both humans and computers. The objective is not to make computers understand the human language, but to define a universal model for the expression of the information and a set of inference rules that machines can easily use in order to process and relate the information as if they really understood it (Berners-Lee, 1998). Though, as the current Web provided sharing of documents among previously incompatible computers, the Semantic Web intends to go beyond, allowing stovepipe systems, hardwired computers, and other devices to share contents embedded in different documents. The most known architecture for Semantic Web is based on a stack of related technologies, each one being a whole research area by itself (Berners-Lee, Hendler, & Lassila. 2001; Pereira & Freire, 2005). Accomplishment of the Semantic Web is considered a great challenge, not only due to the complexity of implementation but also because of the vast applicability in several areas. In spite of this, Semantic Web is still one of the most promising research areas among those which aim to define a new architecture for the Web. Semantic Web goes far beyond previous information retrieval and knowledge representation projects, presenting a non-centralized way to represent and contextualize real-world concepts, unambiguously, for several areas of knowledge. Semantic Web-enabled machines will handle information at our communication level. It is clear that the ability to interpret reality is still very primitive, however, Semantic Web points a way towards machine interaction and learning (Pereira et al., 2005). Semantic Web will integrate, interact with, and bring benefits to most human activities. Its full potential will go beyond the Web to real-world machines, providing increased interaction between machines and with humans—smarter phones, radios, and other electronic devices. Semantic Web will bring a different kind of approach in the understanding of reality by the machines and will constitute a mark in the evolution of human knowledge (Pereira et al., 2005).

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