Semantic Web Technologies course part 2: start of an experiment

At the start of the Semantic Web Technologies (SWT) course, Jos de Bruijn has introduced you to Web 2.0, among other things, which we are going to put to use. In addition to the fairly common static SWT course syllabus page and the Moodle course page (which is not being used interactively although it has this functionality, once logged in), I will use my blog to add some general lecture comments. Perhaps they may not turn out to be as detailed and well-visited as the extensive lecture notes of Fields Medal winner Terry Tao’s lecture notes, but I will give it a try, also because Semantic Web course blogs are few and far between (see also a list of Semantic Weblogs).

All posts written for this course will have the category “72010-SemWebTech”, so if you do not wish to be informed about other things I write about, you can subscribe to that category only (information on subscribing can be found here).

You are welcome to add questions and comments, including links to other sources you come across and think may be relevant for the lecture topic, add links to other Semantic Web blogs or blog posts you come across, and so forth.

Outline of the course

The second part of the SWT course consists of three blocks.

The first block (next week) is a ‘leftover’ of the first part where we will go through yet another language—well, set of languages—of the layer cake: OWL.

As any cake, it is to be eaten. Put differently: the various, relatively isolated, aspects of the languages you have learned in the first part are to be put together to make the technologies work so as to realize the Semantic Web. The second and third block aim to provide more theory, integrative approaches, several applications, and issues applying Semantic Web Technologies to get you on the way to do that.

The second block looks into ontology engineering: having, and knowing about, several ontology languages is one thing, developing an ontology is quite a different story. We will go though various extant approaches—paradigms, formalisms, tools, methods, and methodologies—and three ‘gaps’ where much remains to be done to bring the research outcomes into the mainstream implementation stage of SWT, being parts, temporal aspects, and managing uncertainty & vagueness.

The third block is application-oriented, where we look into the Semantic Web for the Life Sciences. Researchers and practitioners in Life Sciences and Health Care are, to date, the most active and prolific adopters of SWT—by a large margin. Why do they use SWT, to achieve which goals? What do they do with it, and how are successful solutions that use SWT realised? The five lectures dedicated to this topic will give you a general overview and a few implementations in detail.

Last, but not least

There is only so much (little) material one can cram into a course, and you are advised to read as much as possible. At the moment there are only few books that cover the course topics, which are not textbooks. The disadvantage is that you will have to read quite broadly and critically; the advantages are that you will become acquainted with some of the most recent research in the area and be at the forefront of SWT developments.


p.s.: In case you are not enrolled at FUB and thus have missed the first part, you can download last year’s slides of the 4 ECTS-course version—what is now mostly the first part of this new 8 ECTS credit course—here.

p.p.s: Slides will be made available online after the lecture.


One response to “Semantic Web Technologies course part 2: start of an experiment

  1. Pingback: Failure of the experiment for the SemWebTech course « Keet blog

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