Linked Open Data

Tim Berners-Lee, <>

The Fractal Web

Tim Berners-Lee

MIT Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

University of Southampton School of Electronics and Computer Science

This talk

Shapes of data

Cultures, Groups and boundaries

Cultures, Groups and boundaries

Tradeoffs between harmony and diversity

Extreme 1: Monoculture

Extreme 2: Extreme diversity

The shape of the web

Society includes communities on many scales

Universal WWW must include communities on many scales

Applications connected by concepts

Its like a metro, the way the lines of common concepts
connect the stations of different applications

For example in biopax

Venn diagram showing ontologies overlapping by certain common terms

[Diagram: Joanne Luciano, Predictive Medicine Drug discovery demo using RDF, Siderian Seamark and Oracle 10g]

The fractal tangle

Total Cost of Ontologies (TCO)

Assume :-) ontologies evenly spread across orders of magnitude; committee size as log(community), time as committee^2, cost shared across community.
Scale Eg Committee size Cost per ontology (weeks) My share of cost
0 Me 1 1 1
10 My team 4 16 1.6
100 Group 7 49 0.49
1000 10 100 0.10
10k Enterprise 13 169 0.017
100k Business area 16 256 0.0026
1M 19 361 0.00036
10M 22 484 0.000048
100M National, State 25 625 0.000006
1G EU, US 28 784 0.000001
10G Planet 31 961 0.000000

Total cost of 10 ontologies: 3.2 weeks. Serious project: 30 ontologies, TCO = 10 weeks.
Lesson: Do your bit. Others will do theirs.
Thank those who do working groups!

Engineering for scale-free systems

Allow groups to form

User interface for adding data

  1. Prompt for well-known terms
  2. Allows discovery and selection of local group terms
  3. Allow creation of new terms

Message mixes vocabulary from many cultures

Data mixing: Term by term

dc:titleData Integration and Transparency
cc:license <>
foaf:nameTim Berners-Lee
dt:summaryW3C-WSRI eGovernment workshop

One item may involve data from many ontologies

The tradeoff

Local reuse onlyWider reuse
Local termsGlobal or shared terms
FastTakes effort

Semantic Web optimizes the tradeoff

Data owners should

  1. Take inventory
  2. Decide priorities, most likely benefits
  3. Look for existing ontologies
  4. Don't change the way data is crrently managed
  5. Set up standard (RDF, SPARQL) portals onto existing data
  6. Where necessary, adapt or write new ontology bits

Thank You

Thank you for your attention