Workpackage description: 5: Integration with XML Technology

Workpackage number: 5

Start date or starting event: Month 1

Lead Partner: W3C-ERCIM (2)

Participant short name: ILRT W3C-ERCIM CCLRC HP STILO
Participant number: 1 2 3 4 5
Person-months per participant: 0 15 3 0 15

Total number of deliverables: 3


Description of Work

This workpackage addresses the need for W3C Semantic Web technology to be well integrated with the XML family of technologies that underpin it. Specifically, the relationship between the RDF and Web Ontology layers of Web architecture and technologies such as XML Schema and XML Query remains unclear. This topic has caused some confusion amongst Web developers and industrial implementers, as well as content producers and consumers. The goal of this workpackage is to articulate through worked examples some of the tools and techniques that can be adopted by implementations that need to process both "XML" and "Semantic Web" content. The work carried out in this package will draw on technical direction effort allocated in WP1 (architectural and technical coordination) to ensure consistency within the project and with external efforts such as those at W3C. Specific areas of work include:

Schema Language Pluralism: XML Schema, RDF Schema and Web Ontology

XML developers have a number of Schema technologies at their disposal. In addition to the DTD mechanism built into XML itself, and the W3C XML Schema 1.0 Recommendation, there are a variety of other Schema languages targeted at the definition, structure and validation of XML data formats. These include Schematron, RELAX, TREX and now RELAX-NG, which combines the RELAX and TREX approaches. The Semantic Web takes XML as a foundational technology, and introduces still further RDF and Ontology-based mechanisms for vocabulary definition, validation and data structuring. Since the Cambridge Communique meeting (1999) it has been understood by both the XML and RDF communities that a better account of the relationship between these various approaches is needed. Technology adopters are currently faced with a potentially bewildering range of specifications, techniques and tools. While there has been significant progress in the research and standardisation community since 1997 on understanding the relationship between XML and RDF schema technology, and on mapping from XML syntactic structures into conceptual or so-called "semantic" models, so far there has been no comprehensive survey or summary for a mainstream developer audience. This workpackage includes tasks designed to fill this gap.

RDF, Web Ontology, Logic and Mathematics

W3C has produced MathML, a recommendation that describes how to represent mathematical content in XML. Related W3C work on Semantic Web technology has begun to address the representation not only of simple factual data (basic RDF) but now the need to represent complex logical formulae. These work items address the need to provide a consistent account to content and tool developers that minimises the differences amongst related technologies. As the W3C Semantic Web Activity is starting to investigate possible new work in the area of query and logic languages for RDF / Semantic Web, implementation and research work on the relationship between this work and MathML is needed.

Business / use cases showing MathML and RDF / Semantic Web content integration will be provided as part of the Technology Implementation Plan.