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Challenges for the Semantic Web

About the series

Lecturer: Tim Berners-Lee, Originator of the World Wide Web

The Semantic Web is a global web of data expressed as a graph of relationships. Currently, basic data formats are maturing, ontology standards are in the works, and standards for rules and inference, and the exchange of proofs are at various stages of research and advanced development.

While some research can and must be prototyped in advance of available data, the availability of heterogeneous decentralized webs of semantic data introduce a range of new research questions. These include the indexing of rules, effective user interfaces for exploring information aggregated from multiple sources, management and integration of vocabularies, protection mechanisms to provide assurances that uses of intellectual property or personal information will be limited to those licensed by the owner of the data, and many more. For the Semantic Web to come to fruition in a timely manner, technologies must transition effectively from research through standardization and into the global marketplace.

The Web has become a critical tool in the conduct of scientific research, yet much work remains. This talk will highlight issues that outline a research and engineering agenda for the Semantic Web, its impact on scientific research and its complementary relationships with the proposed Cyberinfrastructure Initiative.

About the Speaker:
A graduate of Oxford University, England, Tim now holds the 3Com Founders chair at the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He directs the World Wide Web Consortium, an open forum of companies and organizations with the mission to lead the Web to its full potential.

With a background of system design in real-time communications and text processing software development, in 1989 he invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing, while working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory. He wrote the first web client (browser-editor) and server in 1990.

Before coming to CERN, Tim worked with Image Computer Systems, of Ferndown, Dorset, England and before that was a principal engineer with Plessey Telecommunications, in Poole, England.

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