Tag Archives: DERI

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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After the WebCamp workshop on social networks


A great day by my account at least (and by some others that I overheard!) was had at the WebCamp workshop on social networks held at DERI, NUI Galway yesterday.

Considering the short notice of just nine days, there was an impressive turnout of between 50 and 60 people, and as well as six talks in the morning we had some interesting “birds of a feather” discussion sessions in the afternoon.

All presentations from the day are available at SlideShare. We hope to publish some of the day’s videos to YouTube during the next week. Thanks to Conor and Uldis for their help with organising the event, and to Ina for recording the videos.

John Breslin – Introduction / overview

Conor Hayes – Topics, tags and trends in the blogosphere

Jill Freyne – Collecting community wisdom: integrating social search and social navigation

Andrew Page – The demand for search in a social network

Gabriela Avram – Where is the knowledge: reflections on social networking in corporate environments

Mark Tarbatt – Successful campaigns on the Bebo social network

Valdis Krebs – Social network analysis: 1987-2007

DM110 – Week 4 – Social Networks

DM110 Emerging Web Media is a module that I teach to the Masters in Digital Media course at the Huston Film School, National University of Ireland, Galway. Yesterday, I was talking about social network theory (in brief) and online social network services (SNS). You can view the slides below.

Edit: I’ve also uploaded the previous lectures as Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3

Blogging from the Drupal Ireland Meetup

We’re having some interesting talks at the first Drupal Ireland Meetup in DERI, NUI Galway today. Alan Burke has talked about the views module in Drupal, and Vincent Jordan is now talking about Drupal 5 multi-site installations (I also gave a SIOC module and taxonomies presentation earlier). Looking forward to the rest of the talks (aggregators by Aidan Finn, webforms and jQuery by Stéphane Corlosquet, and CCK by Alan Burke). Also in attendance are Haklae Kim, Sukhyung Hwang from DERI, and Gerry Shanahan from boards.ie.

Ina's last day at DERI

A farewell message to Ina O’Murchu, who is finishing her MSc degree scholarship today at DERI’s Semantic Web Cluster (in the Social Software Subcluster). I was co-supervisor (with Stefan Decker) for Ina’s masters project on augmenting local communities online with semantic technologies.

Ina, as well as being immortalised through your publication record, you also found some small fame in my semantic desktop animation for TechCamp last year, a snippet of which is shown below in tribute 🙂


Ina, I hope you’ve enjoyed and benefited from the past few years in DERI, and I wish you all the best with your future career.

Edit: Some photos!


(Myself and Ina at one of our fortnightly Semantic Web Cluster meetings in DERI.)


(Dan Brickley, myself, Ina, Stefan, Dick Hardt and Marc Canter at a dinner for the FOAF Galway organisers.)

DERI Press Release: "Galway resident nominated for top internet award"

For the same reason that Damien Mulley outlined on his blog entry about the IIA Net Visionary awards (namely boards.ie’s Tom Murphy won last year), and mainly because there are more deserving nominees, I don’t expect to win an award for “Social Contribution” in November…

However, if by some chance I am selected and there’s an opportunity for a short speech, I will make it a point to ask the awards attendees to support a much more worthy cause in some manner – i.e. fellow nominee Concern – even if it is only by donating a few euros a month. I’ll see if I can bully Damien into doing the same… 🙂

(BTW my affiliation on the Net Visionary page isn’t strictly correct since I actually work for DERI, NUI Galway, but I guess I should have corrected this before now…)

Anyway, here’s a press release from DERI telling you all (once more) how great I am! If it can help drum up some interest in Wiki Ireland, that would be a big plus…

DERI PRESS – Galway resident nominated for top internet award

John Breslin, a researcher at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway, has just been nominated by the Irish Internet Association (IIA) for a prestigious national “Net Visionary Award” in the area of “Social Contribution”. The award recognises outstanding achievements in applying Internet technology for the betterment of all segments of Irish society.

John is a native of Co Clare but has been working at NUI Galway for 5 years. John works at the high tech Digital Enterprise Research Institute which is developing the next generation of smart internet technology – the Semantic Web.

He recently set up “Wiki Ireland” (www.wiki.ie) which is an open community website intended to help preserve Irish culture and heritage. At Wiki Ireland anyone can log on and add content about Irish Folklore, history and culture. According to John;

“There is so much cultural knowledge, history, and stories out there, but most of it actually resides in people’s heads. There is a real danger that with the passing of older generations, this knowledge will be lost forever. Wiki Ireland will allow anyone at all to log on to the site and write up their particular story. It’s a simple easy and very democratic way of publishing and preserving our unique cultural heritage.”

John is the founder of Boards.ie one of the most popular internet discussion forums in Ireland. His particular area of research concerns how this next generation of internet technology can be applied for socially inclusive and community related activities. The IIA Awards will take place on 17th November in Clontarf Castle, Dublin.