Category Archives: DERI

Tales From the SIOC-O-Sphere #10

siocapps_medium

SIOC is a Social Semantic Web project that originated at DERI, NUI Galway (funded by SFI) and which aims to interlink online communities with semantic technologies. You can read more about SIOC on the Wikipedia page for SIOC or in this paper. But in brief, SIOC provides a set of terms that describe the main concepts in social websites: posts, user accounts, thread structures, reply counts, blogs and microblogs, forums, etc. It can be used for interoperability between social websites, for augmenting search results, for data exchange, for enhanced feed readers, and more. It’s also one of the metadata formats used in the forthcoming Drupal 7 content management system, and has been deployed on hundreds of websites including Newsweek.com.

As part of our dissemination activities, I’ve tried to regularly summarise recent developments in the project so as to give an overview of what’s going on and also to help in connecting interested parties. It’s been much too long (over a year) since my last report, so this will be a long one! In reverse chronological order, here’s a list of recent applications and websites that are using SIOC:

  • SMOB Version 2. As you may have read on Y Combinator Hacker News yesterday, a re-architected and re-coded version of SMOB (Semantic Microblogging) has been created by Alex Passant. As with our original SMOB design, a user’s SMOB site stores and shares tweets and user information using SIOC and FOAF, but the new version also exposes data via RDFa and additional vocabularies (including the Online Presence Ontology, MOAT, Common Tag). The new SMOB suggests relevant URIs from DBpedia and Sindice when #hashtags are entered, and has moved from a client-server model to a set of distributed hubs. Contact @terraces.
  • on-the-wave. This script creates an enhanced browsing experience (that is SIOC-enabled) for the popular PTT bulletin board system. Contact kennyluck@csail.mit.edu.
  • Newsweek.com. American news magazine Newsweek are now publishing RDFa on their main site, including DC, CommonTag, FOAF and SIOC. Contact @markcatalano.
  • Linked Data from Picasa. OpenLink Software’s URI Burner can now provide Linked Data views of Google Picasa photo albums. See an example hereContact @kidehen.
  • Facebook Open Graph Protocol. Facebook recently announced its Open Graph Protocol (OGP), which allows any web page to become a rich object in their social graph. While OGP defines its own set of classes and properties, the RDF schema contains direct mappings to existing concepts in FOAF, DBpedia and BIBO, and indirect mappings to concepts in Geo, vCard, SIOC and GoodRelations. OpenLink also have a data dictionary meshup of some OGP and SIOC terms (ogp:Blog is mapped to sioct:Weblog). Contact @daveman692.
  • Linked Data from Slideshare. A service to produce Linked Data from the popular Slideshare presentation sharing service has been created, and is available here. Data is represented in SIOC and DC. Contact @pgroth.
  • Fanhubz. FanHubz supports community building and discovery around BBC content items such as TV shows and radio programmes. It reuses the sioct:MicroblogPost term and also has some interesting additional annotation terms for in-show tweets (e.g. twitterSubtitles). Contact @ldodds.
  • RDFa-enhanced FusionForge. An RDFa-enhanced version of FusionForge, a software project management and collaboration system, has been created that generates metadata about projects, users and groups using SIOC, DOAP and FOAF. You can look at the Forge ontology proposal, and also view a demo site. Contact @olberger.
  • Falconer. Falconer is a Semantic Web search engine application enhanced with SIOC. It allows newly-created Social Web content to be represented in SIOC, but it also allows this content to be annotated with any semantic statements available from Falcons, and all of this data can then be indexed by the search engine to form an ecosystem of semantic data. Contact wu@seu.edu.cn.
  • Django to RDF. A script is available here to turn Django data into SIOC RDF and JSON. View the full repository of related scripts on github. Contact @niklasl.
  • SIOC Actions Module. A new SIOC module has been created to describe actions, with potential applications ranging from modelling actions in a developer community to tracing interactions in large-scale wikis. There is a SIOC Actions translator site for converting Activity Streams, Wikipedia interactions and Subversion actions into RDF. Contact @pchampin.
  • SIOC Quotes Module. Another SIOC module has been developed for representing quotes in e-mail conversations and other social media content. You can view a presentation on this topic. Contact @terraces.
  • Siocwave. Siocwave is a desktop tool for viewing and exploring SIOC data, and is based on Python, RDFLib and wxWidgets. Contact vfaronov@gmail.com.
  • RDFa in Drupal 7. Following the Drupal RDF code sprint in DERI last year, RDFa support (FOAF, SIOC, SKOS, DC) in Drupal core was committed to version 7 in October, and work has been apace on refining this module. Drupal 7 is currently on its fifth alpha version, and a full release candidate is expected later this summer. Find out more about the RDFa in Drupal initiative at semantic-drupal.com. Contact @scorlosquet.
  • Omeka Linked Data Plugin (Forthcoming). A plugin to produce Linked Data from the Omeka web publishing platform is in progress that will generate data using SIOC, FOAF, DOAP and other formats. Contact @patrickgmj.
  • Boeing inSite. inSite is an internal social media platform for Boeing employees that provides SIOC and FOAF data services as part of its architecture. Contact @adamboyet.
  • Virtuoso Sponger. Virtuoso Sponger is a middleware component of Virtuoso that generates RDF Linked Data from a variety of data sources (working as an “RDFizer”). It supports SIOC as an input format, and also uses SIOC as its data space “glue” ontology (view the slides). Contact @kidehen.
  • SuRF. SuRF is a Python library for working with RDF data in an object-oriented way, with SIOC being one of the default namespaces. Contact basca@ifi.uzh.ch.
  • Triplify phpBB 3. A Triplify configuration file for phpBB 3 has been created that allows RDF data (including SIOC) to be generated from this popular bulletin board system. Various other Triplify configurations are also available. Contact auer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de.
  • SiocLog. SiocLog is an IRC logging application that provides discussion channels and chat user profiles as Linked Data, using SIOC and FOAF respectively. You can see a deployment and view our slides. Contact @tuukkah.
  • myExperiment Ontology. myExperiment is a collaborative environment where scientists can publish their workflows and experiment plans, share them with groups and find those of others. In their model, myExperiment reuses ontologies like DC, FOAF, SIOC, CC and OAI-ORE. Contact drn@ecs.soton.ac.uk.
  • aTag. The aTag generator produces snippets of HTML enriched with SIOC RDFa and DBpedia-linked tags about highlighted items of interest on any web page, but aiming at the biomedical domain. Contact @matthiassamwald.
  • ELGG SID Module. A Semantically-Interlinked Data (SID) module for the ELGG educational social network system has been described that allows UGC and tags from ELGG platforms to become part of the Linked Data cloud. Contact @selvers.
  • Liferay Linked Data Module. The Linked Data module for Liferay, an enterprise portal solution, supports mapping of data to the SIOC, MOAT and FOAF vocabularies. Contact @bryan_.
  • ourSpaces. ourSpaces is a VRE enabling online collaboration between researchers from various disciplines. It combines FOAF and SIOC with data provenance ontologies for sharing digital artefacts. Contact r.reid@abdn.ac.uk.
  • Good Relations and SIOC. This post describes nicely how the Good Relations vocabulary for e-commerce can be combined with SIOC, e.g. to link a gr:Offering (either being offered or sought by a gr:BusinessEntity) to a natural-language discussion about that thing in a sioc:Post. Contact sdmonroe@gmail.com.
  • Debian BTS to RDF. Discussions from the Debian bug-tracking system (BTS) can be converted to SIOC and RDF and browsed or visualised in interesting ways, e.g. who replied to whom. Contact quang_vu.dang@it-sudparis.eu.
  • RDFex. For those wishing to reuse parts of popular vocabularies in their own Semantic Web vocabularies, RDFex is a mechanism for importing snippets from other namespaces without having to copy and paste them. RDFex can be used as a proxy for various ontologies including DC, FOAF and SIOC. Contact holger@knublauch.com.
  • IRC Logger with RDFa and SIOC. A fork of Dave Beckett’s IRC Logger has been created to include support for RDFa and SIOC by Toby Inkster. Contact mail@tobyinkster.co.uk.
  • mbox2rdf. A mbox2rdf script has been created that converts a mailing list in an mbox file to RDF (RSS, SIOC and DC). Contact mail@tobyinkster.co.uk.
  • Chisimba SIOC Export Module. A SIOC Export module for the Chisimba CMS/LMS platform has been created, which allows various Chisimba modules (CMS, forum, blog, Jabberblog, Twitterizer) to export SIOC data. Contact @paulscott56.
  • vBulletin SIOC Exporter. Omitted from the last report, the vBulletin SIOC plugin generates SIOC and FOAF data from vBulletin discussion forums. It includes a plugin that allows users to opt to export the SHA1 of their e-mail address (and other inverse functional properties) and their network of friends via vBulletin’s user control panel. Contact @johnbreslin.
  • Discuss SIOC on Google Wave. You can now chat about SIOC on our Google Wave.
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Book launch for "The Social Semantic Web"

We had the official book launch of “The Social Semantic Web” last month in the President’s Drawing Room at NUI Galway. The book was officially launched by Dr. James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway. The book was authored by myself, Dr. Alexandre Passant and Prof. Stefan Decker from the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway (sponsored by SFI). Here is a short blurb:

Web 2.0, a platform where people are connecting through their shared objects of interest, is encountering boundaries in the areas of information integration, portability, search, and demanding tasks like querying. The Semantic Web is an ideal platform for interlinking and performing operations on the diverse data available from Web 2.0, and has produced a variety of approaches to overcome limitations with Web 2.0. In this book, Breslin et al. describe some of the applications of Semantic Web technologies to Web 2.0. The book is intended for professionals, researchers, graduates, practitioners and developers.

Some photographs from the launch event are below.

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Another successful defense by Uldis Bojars in November

Uldis Bojars submitted his PhD thesis entitled “The SIOC MEthodology for Lightweight Ontology Development” to the University in September 2009. We had a nice night out to celebrate in one of our favourite haunts, Oscars Bistro.

Jodi, John, Alex, Julie, Liga, Sheila and Smita
Jodi, John, Alex, Julie, Liga, Sheila and Smita

This was followed by a successful defense at the end of November 2009. The examiners were Chris Bizer and Stefan Decker. Uldis even wore a suit for the event, see below.

I will rule the world!
I will rule the world!

Uldis established a formal ontology design process called the SIOC MEthodology, based on an evolution of existing methodologies that have been streamlined, experience developing the SIOC ontology, and observations regarding the development of lightweight ontologies on the Web. Ontology promotion and dissemination is established as a core part of the ontology development process. To demonstrate the usage of the SIOC MEthodology, Uldis described the SIOC project case study which brings together the Social Web and the Semantic Web by providing semantic interoperability between social websites. This framework allows data to be exported, aggregated and consumed from social websites using the SIOC ontology (in the SIOC application food chain). Uldis’ research work has been published in 4 journal articles, 8 conference papers, 13 workshop papers, and 1 book chapter. The SIOC framework has also been adopted in 33 third-party applications. The Semantic Radar tool he initiated for Firefox has been downloaded 24,000 times. His scholarship was funded by Science Foundation Ireland under grant numbers SFI/02/CE1/I131 (Líon) and SFI/08/CE/I1380 (Líon 2).

We wish Uldis all the best in his future career, and hope he will continue to communicate and collaborate with researchers in DERI, NUI Galway in the future.

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Haklae Kim and his successful defense in September

This is a few months late but better late then never! We said goodbye to PhD researcher Haklae Kim in May of this year when he returned to Korea and took up a position with Samsung Electronics soon afterward. We had a nice going away lunch for Haklae with the rest of the team from the Social Software Unit (picture below).

Sheila, Uldis, John, Haklae, Julie, Alex and Smita
Sheila, Uldis, John, Haklae, Julie, Alex and Smita

Haklae returned to Galway in September to defend his PhD entitled “Leveraging a Semantic Framework for Augmenting Social Tagging Practices in Heterogeneous Content Sharing Platforms”. The examiners were Stefan Decker, Tom Gruber and Philippe Laublet. Haklae successfully defended his thesis during the viva, and he will be awarded his PhD in 2010. We got a nice photo of the examiners during the viva which was conducted via Cisco Telepresence, with Stefan (in Galway) “resting” his hand on Tom’s shoulder (in San Jose)!

Philippe Laublet, Haklae Kim, Tom Gruber, Stefan Decker and John Breslin
Philippe Laublet, Haklae Kim, Tom Gruber, Stefan Decker and John Breslin

Haklae created a formal model called SCOT (Social Semantic Cloud of Tags) that can semantically describe tagging activities. The SCOT ontology provides enhanced features for representing tagging and folksonomies. This model can be used for sharing and exchanging tagging data across different platforms. To demonstrate the usage of SCOT, Haklae developed the int.ere.st open tagging platform that combined techniques from both the Social Web and the Semantic Web. The SCOT model also provides benefits for constructing social networks. Haklae’s work allows the discovery of social relationships by analysing tagging practices in SCOT metadata. He performed these analyses using both Formal Concept Analysis and tag clustering algorithms. The SCOT model has also been adopted in six applications (OpenLink Virtuoso, SPARCool, RelaxSEO, RDFa on Rails, OpenRDF, SCAN), and the int.ere.st service has 1,200 registered members. Haklae’s research work was published in 2 journal articles, 15 conference papers, 3 workshop papers, and 2 book chapters. His scholarship was funded by Science Foundation Ireland under grant numbers SFI/02/CE1/I131 (Líon) and SFI/08/CE/I1380 (Líon 2).

We wish Haklae all the best in his future career, and hope he will continue to communicate and collaborate with researchers in DERI, NUI Galway in the future.

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Open government and Linked Data; now it's time to draft…

For the past few months, there have been a variety of calls for feedback and suggestions on how the US Government can move towards becoming more open and transparent, especially in terms of their dealings with citizens and also for disseminating information about their recent financial stimulus package.

As part of this, the National Dialogue forum was set up to solicit solutions for ways of monitoring the “expenditure and use of recovery funds”. Tim Berners-Lee wrote a proposal on how linked open data could provide semantically-rich, linkable and reusable data from Recovery.gov. I also blogged about this recently, detailing some ideas for how discussions by citizens on the various uses of expenditure (represented using SIOC and FOAF) could be linked together with financial grant information (in custom vocabularies).

More recently, the Open Government Initiative solicited ideas for a government that is “more transparent, participatory, and collaborative”, and the brainstorming and discussion phases have just ended. This process is now in its third phase, where the ideas proposed to solve various challenges are to be more formally drafted in a collaborative manner.

What is surprising about this is how few submissions and contributions have been put into this third and final phase (see graph below), especially considering that there is only one week for this to be completed. Some topics have zero submissions, e.g. “Data Transparency via Data.gov: Putting More Data Online”.

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This doesn’t mean that people aren’t still thinking about this. On Monday, Tim Berners-Lee published a personal draft document entitled “Putting Government Data Online“. But we need more contributions from the Linked Data community to the drafts during phase three of the Open Government Directive if we truly believe that this solution can make a difference.

For those who want to learn more about Linked Data, click on the image below to go to Tim Berners-Lee’s TED talk on Linked Data.

(I watched it again today, and added a little speech bubble to the image below to express my delight at seeing SIOC profiles on the Linked Open Data cloud slide.)

We also have a recently-established Linked Data Research Centre at DERI in NUI Galway.

20090624a

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"The Social Semantic Web": now available to pre-order from Springer and Amazon

Our forthcoming book entitled “The Social Semantic Web”, to be published by Springer in Autumn 2009, is now available to pre-order from both Springer and Amazon.

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An accompanying website for the book will be at socialsemanticweb.net.

Tales from the SIOC-o-sphere part #9

It’s been another exciting six months in terms of SIOC-related developments. Here’s a summary:

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