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Sergey Brin about Wikipedia, the Semantic Web and everything 

April 5th, 2006

A colleague from New York sent me a link yesterday about a guest lecture by Sergey Brin at Berkeley. It was really interesting and entertaining. It’s more Q & A than a real lecture - which makes it even more alive. Look for Sergeys — admittably short — statements about the SemWeb, and what it needs to happen.



March 13th, 2006

We integrated the well-known blogging software WordPress into OntoWorld! Hence, all bloggers can simply blog as the do since ever …

The content is fully integrated within in OntoWorld and can be searched and exported.


The OntoWorld Team

Bye Daniel, Bye Marc! 

February 27th, 2006

Another two leaving the sacred halls of the AIFB: Marc Ehrig is moving on to Reuters, leaving the world of research behind and turning to real business, whereas Daniel Oberle is moving to SAP Research and will continue to co-operate with us on projects like DIP.

Doctor Ehrig, Doctor Oberle — all the best! We’ll stay in touch.


Congratulation Marc! 

February 14th, 2006

Marc Ehrig has defended his thesis: Ontology Alignment - Bridging the Semantic Gap. One of the promises of the Semantic Web is, that everybody defines his own vocabulary and the tools and application can still make sense out of it all. Your addressbook talks about adresses, your website has a FOAF-file and your ICQ reminds you of birthdays — and all of them store their data in their own ontology? And they still have to interoperate? And sure they can — with mappings and alignments.

Marc concentrated on creating a framework for ontology alignment and mapping, FOAM, and has brought us a few steps closer in realizing a real up and running Semantic Web. Thanks Marc, and congratulations, Dr. Ehrig!


Goodbye Siggi, Goodbye Boris! 

January 26th, 2006

Siggi Handschuh has left Semantic Karlsruhe and is moving to DERI Galway. Congratulations to DERI! Boris Motik has also left for the British Isles, he is now at the University of Manchester. Congratulations UMan! They both finished their Ph.D. theses in Semantic Karlsruhe and now stay faithful to research and the Semantic Web.

We are looking forward to the further cooperation with them, and deepening the cooperation with their new homes.


Semantic Management of Middleware 

January 13th, 2006

There’s a new book in the stores. We think this is wrong — it should be on your shelves! Change that as soon as possible. Daniel Oberle, who just became a PhD, has turned his thesis into a book and Springer published it: Semantic Management of Middleware, with a foreword by Steffen Staab and a Preface by Amit P. Sheth. It is the first book of the new series on Semantic Web and Beyond.

Here’s the backcover: “Current middleware solutions, such as application servers and Web services, are very complex software products that are hard to tame because of the intricacies of distributed systems. So far, their functionalities have mostly been developed and managed with the help of administration tools and corresponding configuration files, recently in XML. Though this constitutes a very flexible way of developing and administrating a distributed application, the disadvantage is that the conceptual model underlying the different configurations is only implicit. Hence, its bits and pieces are difficult to retrieve, survey, check for validity and maintain.

“To remedy such problems, Semantic Management of Middleware contributes an ontology-based approach to support the development and administration of middleware-based applications. The ontology is an explicit conceptual model with formal logic-based semantics. Therefore, its descriptions may be queried, may foresight required actions, or may be checked to avoid inconsistent system configurations. Semantic Management of Middleware builds a rigorous approach towards giving the declarative descriptions of components and services a well-defined meaning by specifying ontological foundations and by showing how such foundations may be realized in practical, up-and-running systems.

“Semantic Management of Middleware is an excellent training companion for active practitioners seeking to incorporate advanced and leading edge ontology-based approach and technologies. It is a necessary preparation manual for researchers in distributed computing who see semantics as an important enabler for the next generation. This book is also suitable for graduate-level students in computer science.”

Take a look at the Table of Contents, and then head straight to Springer or Amazon and buy it! (Amazon Germany/Amazon UK)

Two more doctors 

January 13th, 2006

Congratulations! Daniel Oberle of the AIFB and Boris Motik of the FZI finished defended their dissertations and now we can call them doctors. Both passed with distinction.

Daniel wrote his thesis on the Semantic Management of Middleware. Daniel’s work shows perfectly how to apply ontologies in a field outside of the Semantic Web, and still take advantage of all this fancy technologies developed for the Semantic Web. By using an explicit conceptual model he helps middleware administrators in their daily task. He engineered the Core Software Ontology and some related ontologies in order to build a running system, the KAON Server (look at that architecture picture!).

Boris wrote about Reasoning in Description Logics using Resolution and Deductive Databases, which is the theoretical foundation of the KAON2 reasoning system. Instead of reasoning with the well-known tableau algorithms, his approach translates a Description Logic knowledge base to a disjunctive datalog program, where the usual datalog optimsations may be applied. He did not only master the theoretical foundations and provide algorithms and proofs, he also managed to handle the enormous engineering task of creating the KAON2 system to evaluate his approach.

As said, congratulations! Enjoy your doctoral hats, and thanks for the food and the fun celebrating your dissertations.


Welcome, Holger Lewen 

January 13th, 2006

A new colleague at the AIFB: Holger Lewen. He studied at the AIFB and then in Stanford, where he wrote his master thesis on topic-specific trust in Open Rating Systems. Based on Guha’s work on the propagation of trust and distrust, Holger introduced a new Open Rating System model allowing very specific trust statements like a user saying “Hey, sure, I trust this guy’s opinion on cars, but heck, his taste in movies is just awful!” - Guha’s model did not allow for this. Now he will continue his work at the AIFB, trust me on that!

Welcome, Holger!


Venia Legendi 

January 12th, 2006

Pascal Hitzler recently got his Habilitation — or, postdoctoral lecture qualification. This is a step usually not available in english speaking countries: after you made your Ph.D., or rather Doctor, in Germany you still have the right to continue pursuing even higher goals. In earlier time, or, in some fields of research still today, it was necessary first to become habilitated before you were allowed to become a professor. The honor was bestowed upon him by the Department of Computer Science, Technical University of Dresden.

Pascal’s work was on Knowledge Representation and Reasoning of which his thesis covered several aspects, including common-sense knowledge, mathematical foundations, and neural-symbolic integration. The latter means integrating neural networks with symbolic approaches like first-order logic, or description logics. There are some things better solved with a neural network, others were better handled with an ontology or with logic programming — but what about the problems which seem to need both approaches at the same time? Such that they are partially amenable to neural networks, partially to the rigidness of a logic system? How do we let ontologies talk to neural networks? How do we let them share their results?

Pitily (or luckily, depends on your position), Pascal didn’t solve those problems, but he managed to lay the path for many a future scientist to travel there. If you’re interested into his topic, don’t miss the NeSy workshop!


Google nonsense revealed 

December 15th, 2005

Rank 8 for our friends at Kassel University. See the previous blog on this topic.

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