KMi’s Semantic Web Technologies at EUROLAN 2007

Last Friday, Enrico Motta and Mathieu d’Aquin were in Iasi, Romania, for a one-day tutorial at the EUROLAN summer school. The topic of this year’s edition of the summer school was “semantics, opinion and sentiments in text” and the school attracted more than 60 participants, working mainly in the fields of computational linguistics, natural language processing and sentiment analysis. After a general introduction to the Semantic Web, Enrico’s presentation rapidly focused on the main topic of the tutorial: next generation Semantic Web applications, or how to dynamically exploit and combine the knowledge published on the Semantic Web to solve real life problems. The afternoon was dedicated to a practical session, during which students were asked to build an ontology in a real life scenario (enhancing picture annotations with semantics). Besides the use of classical tools (the Protégé ontology editor) and resources (wikipedia, google), the EUROLAN students were the first to experience large scale knowledge reuse thanks to the Watson Semantic Web gateway and to the newly developed Watson plugin for Protégé.

Needless to say our participation to the school was a great success. The students showed a lot of interest in the ideas and technologies presented during the sessions and the questions continued well after the tutorial had ended. Indeed, although most of the students were originally unfamiliar with the principles of the Semantic Web, more than 75% of them have declared to be interested in using the elements overviewed during the tutorial for their research, thus confirming the increasing interest for the Semantic Web, in areas such as computational linguistic.

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