The Semantic Web

Tim Berners-Lee and Eric Miller

W3C World Wide Web Consortium

Slides available at:

The Semantic Web

Background - Pre Web

Pre web

The Current Web

identified by URI's

exciting world - meaning of the documents clear from content
very little information available - significance of the links only evident from the context around the anchor.

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The Semantic Web: The original web realized

Information Management: A Proposal, Tim Berners-Lee, CERN, March 1989, May 1990,

Web of relationships amongst named objects ->
unified information management tasks.

image of timbl original web proposal

The Semantic Web - A Simple Extension to the Current Web

Resources and Links:
identified by URI's
may be strongly typed

even more exciting world
more information available
Computers and people:
work, learn and exchange knowledge effectively

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W3C SW Activity - Goals

"The bane of my existence is doing things that I know the computer could do for me."

-- Dan Connolly, The XML Revolution

computer refuses to do tasks

Semantic links - "Joining the Web"

 Links between column headings

W3C SW Activity - Structure

W3C SW Activity - Approach to Deployment

A lot of hard work - and a bit of luck

SW Principles 1: Everything Identifiable is on SW

  • All resources have identity
  • People, places, and things in the physical world have online representations identified by URI's.
  • URI's support participation, effective integration and are contextualized in SW.

Helsinki with http://www.helsin

SW Principles 2: Partial Information

  • The current Web is unbounded.
    • Sacrifices link integrity for scalability.
  • The Semantic Web it unbounded.
    • Anyone can say anything about anything.
  • There will always be more to discover.

404 error

SW Principles 3: Web of Trust

SW Principles 3: Web of Trust

example of trust processing

SW Principles 4: Evolution

SW Principles 5: Minimalist Design

Enabling Standards & Technologies - Layer Cake

architectural layers

Entities and Relations

a set of circles and arrows


more circles and arrows superim

RDF+Schema layer

Very wide interoperability

Ontology layer

Wide interoperability & interconversion

Rules Layer

Logic layer

Semantic Web bus

Data interworking feeds logic b

Where we are at currently

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