Trailblazing a Semantic Interoperability Alliance

On 7th February 2005 KMi played a host to representatives from a number of leading institutions active in the area of Semantic Web research. This workshop was the first in what is hoped to become a series of regular meetings aiming to make a significant push towards “the second generation Web” (as Semantic Web is also known). An initial goal is to achieve interoperability among so-far separate semantically enriched web sites and portals from the participating institutions, thus achieving a “network effect” for web-accessible knowledge repositories.

While the overall goal of the workshop was to agree realistic steps to improve interoperability between semantic web sites, the discussion was stimulating both conceptually as well as operationally. Conceptually, the participants (The Open University and the University of Southampton from the UK, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid from Spain, DERI from Ireland, Vrije Universteit from The Netherlands, the University of Karlsruhe from Germany and the University of Maryland from the US) agreed to create “an alliance of semantic providers analogous to the efforts of world-wide airlines, such as Star Alliance or Skyteam”.

In terms of technological first steps of the newly launched “Interoperability Alliance” it was agreed to pursue a federated approach with fully distributed knowledge repositories that would however, be aware of each other&#39s content and functionalities.

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