Semantic Web Days




Semantic Web Days@EBRC 2007



press release


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Keynote: The New Rules of Business: Semantic Web as Disruptive Innovation

Benjamin Grosof (MIT Business)
This presentation roadmaps the near future of semantic/declarative/web business rules technology and standards, and its disruptive innovation implications for industry structure and profitability.
We begin by surveying highlights from the recent rapid advances in fundamental capabilities for interoperability, expressive features, and exploitation of web markup. These include several important extensions of logic programs knowledge representation, powerful new
techniques for translating and sharing rules between different rule systems, and approaches that significantly simplify rule authoring and lifecycle management. We discuss several major relevant industry standards efforts including RuleML, W3C RIF, OMG PRR and SBVR, and
JSR-94. We delineate several emerging wide sectors of applications and markets for business rules. We then give a strategic analysis of the resulting near future impact of all these developments on the business rules industry. This includes a pattern of disruptive innovation
affecting software vendors, customers, and providers of system integration and consulting services. We analyze the prospective radical changes in profitability, industry structure, and market dynamics.

Tutorial: Rule Modeling and Rule Interchange

Gerd Wagner, Adrian Giurca (University of Cottbus, NoE REWERSE)
Rules are becoming increasingly important in business modeling and requirements engineering, and as a high level programming paradigm especially in the engineering of e-business applications and of Semantic Web applications. In each of these fields different rule languages and tools are being used. Since a business rule is the same rule no matter in which language it is formalized, it is important to support the interchange of rules between different systems and tools.
The main goal of this tutorial is to give an introduction into the state-of-the-art of (platform-independent) rule modeling and rule interchange. Starting from the basics of rule languages and the Semantic Web, the tutorial will discuss the various issues of rule interchange, and will then present the approaches of REWERSE and W3C-RIF to rule modeling and rule interchange.

Presentation: Rule Interchange on the Web

Paula-Lavinia Pătrânjan (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, NoE REWERSE), Axel Polleres (DERI Galway)
Rules play a role in a variety of (Semantic) Web applications but also in IT systems not (yet) conntected to the Web. As the Web, by technologies such as Web Services, promises to enable interoperation of such
systems, semantics preserving interchange of rules will play a key role for connecting existing applications over the Web and open new possiblities for future Web applications. The W3C Rule Interchange Format
Working Group (RIF WG) was chartered to develop an interchange format for rules, building up from and in alignment with the standards in the Semantic Web architecture stack. As it turns out, finding agreement on a generally accepted interchange format is by no means a trivial task. First, there are different understandings of what "rules'' are, depending whether you ask e.g. a production rule vendor or a Semantic Web researcher.
In this talk we provide a snapshot of the current work of the W3C RIF WG towards a format for rules that should enable rules to be exchanged between different rule languages and systems.

Presentation: Semantic Technology for Business Intelligence

Thierry Declerck (DFKI)
One of the goals of the EU funded project MUSING ( is to enhance the technological foundations of knowledge acquisition and reasoning in financial management applications. For this, the project has defined a number of Pilot applications and services that will demonstrate and validate next generation (Basel II and beyond) semantic-based Business Intelligence solutions, with particular reference to credit risk Management and access to credit for enterprises, especially SMEs.
In one of the pilots, MUSING shows how an ontology infrastructure can guide the automated process of extracting and merging relevant information from both structured and unstructured (financial) documents. This process allows inclusion of qualitative information, typically contained in unstructured documents, like news articles, in systems that are designed for rating and / or scoring companies, thus adding a high-level of semantics and transparency to decision procedures towards credit accordance to companies.
In another pilot application, MUSING is developing semantic-based update procedures for information portals on companies, in order to keep track of any modifications occurring in company structures but also to monitor additional events that may play a role in changing the general opinion of a company. This pilot is particularly relevant for the process of searching potential economic partners (also in other countries) or monitoring the evolution of potential competitors.
Michael Alvers (Transinsight)
The next generation search engines are intelligent assistants. With the help of background knowledge Transinsight’s search technologies speeds up the search (for answers) significantly and gives an overview over large query results.
When people search, they have questions in mind. For example when writing a report about Investments in Biotechnology in Germany in 2006 relevant information about the keywords in the right context are needed in order to compile the report. Today’s search technologies are by far not elaborated enough to cope with the complexity of such topics. Although texts hold answers to most questions it is very difficult to obtain them with classical search engines, as they merely present possibly long lists of search results and leave it up to the user to find the answer to his/her question. This problem is amplified by the exponential growth of material buried on the internet and in databases. Thus, to find answers rather than to just search for them, our next-generation search engines are intelligent and use background knowledge and boost search to a next level of intelligence.
Key to this new search paradigm is background knowledge, which is used to categorize documents. With efforts such as creating the GeneOntology in the biomedical domain, the needed knowledge bases today are available. Therefore the remaining problem of ontology-based search is the intelligent mapping of textual material to ontology terms. This problem is difficult, as authors do not write having a certain ontology in mind. The mapping must therefore be flexible and match the texts to the right ontology term even though the term does not appear in the text literally.
The biomedical Web 2.0 search engines and are online. In the talk we give examples of how knowledge can improve searching significantly.

Presentation: Protune: Rule Based Policies on the Semantic Web

Daniel Olmedilla (L3S Hannover, NoE REWERSE)
Nowadays, policy is an overloaded term which refer differently to security and privacy policies, business rules, trust management policies, quality of service specification, ... Many of existing policy languages and frameworks
focus on a small subset of these and not on a broader notion of policy.
However, within a company they are typically all interleaved. A company may authorize access to a resource (security & privacy policy) to any client paying for it while at the same time provide a discount (business policy) to any student (trust management policy). In addition, integration with legacy systems which are already existing in most companies must be provided under a low cost. Finally, specification of policies is as hard as developing code.
Therefore, proper tools must be provided not only for policy developers but also for normal users to be able to understand those policies.
This talk will present the Protune policy framework which is being developed within the EU REWERSE Network of Excellence. Protune offers a high flexibility for specifying any kind of policy, integrate external systems at
the policy level and provide facilities for increasing user awareness, like for example, explanations of the policies in natural language.


last update 22-feb-08