The semantic Web indicates a whole of technologies aiming at returning the contents of the resources of the World Wide Web accessible and usable by the programs and software agents, thanks to a system of formal Métadonnées, in particular using the family of languages developed by W3C.
The notion of Métadonnée S usable by the machines was proposed rather early in the history of the Web, as of 1994 by its inventor Tim Berners-Lee, at the time of the conference WWW 94 where the creation of W3C was announced. These Métadonnée S formal is then presented like a necessary representation usable by the machines of the contained information in the documents, for example the fact that person X is employed by an organization Y.
The development of this idea will lead to the publication in 1999 of the first version of RDF (Resource Framework Description), language which defines a general framework for the standardization of the Métadonnée S of the Ressources Web. On the basis of RDF then will develop specific vocabularies intended for particular applications, such as for example FOAF intended to describe the relations between people, then languages intended to structure these vocabularies, like RDFS and the language of ontology OWL, published in their final form in February 2004.
During this evolution, the concept of resource extends from its original direction from “document published on the Web” with more general and more abstract directions. In the languages of ontology or the language SKOS, under development, the described resources are concepts like classes, properties, or concepts used for the indexing. For this reason the languages and technologies of the semantic Web are sometimes presented like tools of Représentation of the knowledge adapted to the Web environment, making it possible automatically to transform the given into information, and information in knowing .
The semantic Web is entirely founded on the Web and does not call into question this last. The semantic Web is thus based on the basic function of the “traditional” Web: a means of publishing and of consulting documents. But the documents treated by the semantic Web not contain texts in natural Language (French, Spanish, Chinese, etc) but of information formalized to be treated automatically. These documents are generated, treated, exchanged by Logiciel S. This software often allow, without data-processing knowledge, of:
- to generate semantic Given S starting from the seizure of information by the users;
- to incorporate semantic data in order to be published or treated;
- to publish semantic data with a personalized or specialized working;
- to exchange automatically Given S according to their semantic relations;
- to generate semantic data automatically, without human seizure, starting from rules of Inference S.
Tally of reference
The semantic Web is founded on the protocols and standard languages of the Web:
- the protocol HTTP.
- URI (Uniform Identifiers Resource).
- the language XML (in the case, majority, where RDF is serialized in XML).
To these standards those are added who are specific to the semantic Web:
- RDF : conceptual model allowing to describe all Given.
- RDF Diagram: language allowing to create vocabularies, whole of terms used to describe things.
- OWL : language allowing to create more complex ontologies, vocabularies being used as support with the logic processings (inférences, automatic classification…).
- SPARQL : query language to obtain information starting from graphs RDF.
Architecture, the tools and the concepts even of the semantic Web were often criticized. Certain analysts think that the principles of organization on which they rest are applicable to the scale of a closed information system, like a company or a library, but will not function or badly on a larger scale of the Web, for reasons as much technical than sociales, . Others critical reproached W3C for devoting too many means to the development of the semantic Web, with the detriment of other technologies like the services Web.
These new communication protocols and standard languages allow the development of new Usage S which return concretes the concept of collective Intelligence. It is in particular the case of the “social bookmarking”, of the social research (see for example Lycos IQ).
Advance in Europe
The advance of the semantic Web in the world is followed by W3C within the framework of a project Semantic Web Advanced Deployment (SWAD). The SWAD-Europe project proceeded of May 2002 in October 2004.
The European organization host of the projects W3C, and who follows the advance of the semantic Web is ERCIM (European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics).
See: Official site of the ERCIM
It is the INRIA which represents France in ERCIM.
http://websemantique.org: French-speaking Wiki accommodating all the public ones interested by the semantic Web.
- the semantic Web - translation by Elisabeth Lacombe and OJ Link-Pezet of the article of Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler, Ora Lassile.
- WebSémantique.com for the company and referencing.
- Semantic Web: official gate of the semantic Web on the site of the W3C.
- Canadian Semantic Web Interest Group and Canadian Semantic Web Working Symposium
- Search for Semantic Web
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