Rhizome Position Paper

1st Workshop on Friend of a Friend, Social Networking, and the Semantic Web

Adam Souzis


There are several technical challenges to building decentralized Semantic Web-based social networks, especially if the goal is a network that enables the kind of widely accessible, autonomous, and uncoordinated activity that was crucial to the phenomenal success of the World Wide Web. An obvious example of a social network with these characteristics is the one formed today by diverse individuals independently publishing FOAF content on their HTTP servers.

Rhizome[7] is an experimental, open-source application stack for developing Semantic Web applications with unique capabilities to address many of the technical challenges that arise from a network with the above characteristics. After a brief description of the Rhizome architecture, this position paper will discuss how Rhizome addresses the following challenges:

Architectural Overview

Rhizome architecture

Rhizome is an application stack for building (primarily Web-based) applications. Starting from the bottom of the stack (see above figure):


The Rhizome architecture addresses the technical challenges listed above in the following ways:

Note that each of these two sets of technologies can be used independently from each other and from the rest of the Rhizome architecture.