Architecture for Automated Annotation and Ontology Based Querying of Semantic Web Resources

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The semantic Web provides the foundation for semantic architecture to support the transparent exchange of information and knowledge among collaborating e-business organizations. Recent advances in semantic Web based technologies offer means for organizations to exchange knowledge in a meaningful way [1]. In spite of these developments, major challenges remain for developers of semantic Web applications, such as the availability of semantic Web content [2], and ontology based information retrieval [3].

In this paper, an architecture aimed at addressing these issues is presented. An easy to use annotation tool is deployed, providing a convenient mechanism for Web site owners to mark up their Web pages with RDF metadata. Search and coordination activities are carried out by a system of multiagents designed for such environments. The architecture is demonstrated in the Accommodation services domain of the Australian Tourism Industry.

When surfing for Internet services, end users are increasingly in need of more powerful tools capable of collecting and interpreting the vast amount of heterogeneous information available on the Web. This heterogeneity stems from the fundamental disparity of Web domains. In the tourism industry for example, there is vast amounts of information available about accommodation, transportation, entertainment, and insurance.

The information has severe limitations, however, because it is largely displayed in HTML, which is designed for humans to read rather than machines to interpret and automatically process. What is needed is a system based on global schemas where information can be interpreted and exchanged by machines. The semantic Web is an initiative by the W3C in a collaborative effort with a number of scientists with the goal of providing machine readable Web intelligence that would come from hyperlinked vocabularies, enabling Web authors to explicitly define their words and concepts. The idea allows software agents to analyze the Web on our behalf, making smart inferences that go beyond the simple linguistic analysis performed by today’s search engines [4].

The applications that deliver these new online solutions are based on ontologies. An ontology is basically a description of the key concepts in a given domain including the rules, properties and relationships between concepts. There are many challenges involved in implementing such an innovative new approach for online search services. Availability of semantic Web content [2] and ontology based information retrieval [3] are two of the major issues faced by developers. In this paper, an architecture designed to address these issues is presented.

The aim is to

i) provide convenient and effective ways for users to annotate Web pages, thus facilitating wider availability of semantic Web content, and

ii) deploy effective applications, based on a multiagent system to facilitate concept based querying of semantic Web resources. To demonstrate the proof of concept, the architecture will be applied to accommodation services in the Australian Tourism Industry.