How The Semantic Web Helps

< Back | Top

The Problem As It Stands

Whilst the Example Situation outlines a problem for a biological researcher, one can think of any number of similar examples: * A "National" database for the National Health Service in the UK is frequently proposed * To solve this requires integrating regional databases into a single consolidated view * Car insurance websites * Users frequently want to compare car insurance deals from a variety of different providers

The nature of the problem is ubiquitous today, with usage of data resources from across the web. Unfortunately, these resources all use different standards and schema, whereas a user normally wants to look at some sort of data in a common way - imagine using Amazon if the page for every book was laid out differently! To provide a unified view of data and concepts to the worldwide web is a major goal of projects working with the Semantic Web.

Making Metadata Explicit

Semantic web languages like OWL and RDF aim to take both data AND metadata and make it available to client tools. Whereas the WWW at the moment takes lots of data - text and embedded links - and makes it available to any browser that can understand the syntax (i.e. the html tags), the semantic web gives you a way to describe the type of "concept" the data represents. If you got to here, you probably know what the semantic web is for already, but if not there is a primer here.

How Fluxion Helps

It is all very well having a "semantic web" but without resources it is useless. Fluxion is designed to take data that already exists and is being used on the web, and capture as much metadata as possible. This is not easy - relational database and other sources expose a limited amount of metadata, but not enough to automate the process of conversion to the semantic web. As such, we have designed Fluxion, an architecture that allows as much of this conversion to be done automatically as possible, and we provide tools that help data providers to "map" their data to ontologies that exist already. In this way, existing data can be marked up with comprehensive metadata in a common way with other similar resources, and this data all becomes available to the semantic web. Once this has happened, you can use Pussycat to visualise the data in new, more informative ways, and data from distinct sources can be seamlessly integrated. There is more information about this happens on the Fluxion Framework pages.

< Back | Top

2010 ©