G's story

What’s semantic technology & how it can help me?
December 12, 2009, 9:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is a reply to question from a friend of mine, from AXON, in LinkedIn which goes like this: “What’s semantic technology & how it can help me?”

LinkedIn’s Question & Answer link…

And the following was my answer (I replied in private so no one can see it, but then I thought that it should be available to all.. hence it is here.. )


Hi Nantha,

I am gonna provide the answer from my experience point of view in the subject matter and based on a number of lecture of which I have attended in the past 2 years.

I was first introduced to Semantic at MIMOS conference in early 2007. And in the same year, I started a project with Malaysian government GLC to design and implement a expert system technology (different technology – using DROOLS and JAVA). But recently have just attended a workshop (with Dr. Wu http://www.mimos.my/mjcai2009/keynote.html)  to learn about SEMANTIC again. And I have just realized that Semantic is the way to go. Here is why:

Semantic is about building a knowledge ontology of a particular subject matter.
The only different is with the normal RDBMS is that, Semantic technology has the ability to create relationship between data  or objects on its own with its Inference Engine. (provided that all the data are defined in the ontology database by using the “triple” format – read
about this on the web.)

For example, in a typical RDBMS, when you defined as A = B and B = C. Thats all the Oracle DB knows, it will not have a understanding OR intelligence to compute that A = C, unless this is done by the Application.

But in a Ontology database, the Inference Engine (which is apart of the Semantic technology) will always be monitoring the database’s data definition and will always try to link data and create new understanding of its data.
This is a huge impact of the ability of the application to get new information OR the ability of your “database” to grow.

Another great benefit of using Semantic’s ontology database feature is that its also possible to add new data entry into your ontology database at any time, without worrying about the structure, relationship.

What this also means is that you can now start developing an application WITHOUT worrying so much of the database design upfront. You can concentrate to design the app without worrying about SQL Queries will does table joins and unions!

These features are great for systems which constantly changes OR constantly has addition in terms of data and new TYPES of data.

From my lectures, I got to know that NASA is building a semantic system to understand why space programs fail. FBI has completed building a semantic system which learns criminals mindset, pattern, profile and next course of action. UN is also building a system on keeping database and understanding nature, bio-diversity of eco system and many others.

NOTE: A tool which I was introduced to is SPARQL. (http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2005/11/16/introducing-sparql-querying-semantic-web-tutorial.html)


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