Semantic Web Fall Meetup Schedule - mark your calendars!

From: John H.
Sent on: Thursday, September 1, 2011 10:17 PM

Hope you have been enjoying a great summer. We’re back from our summer break. Greg and I have put together an entire fall program with an exciting topic for each of the next four months. Actual Meetups will be added to the calendar shortly following this email, so that you can RSVP and tell a friend.

During our first six months of meetings we received good feedback regarding discussion topics and a few other drivers that help enable attendance. The following five points were consistently expressed by many.

1.) Keep the Pizza. No hassle to stop somewhere to eat
2.) Volleying between east and west of Route 95 works.
3.) More hands-on (the keyboard) discussions/workshops that give us experience working with the technologies
4.) More information on bleeding edge of research and innovations across the semantic technology landscape
5.) No less that two weeks notice of upcoming Meetup Dates.

Taking all of this into account, we’ve put together a solid program introduced below. Our Spring program will take a similar approach. As always, we welcome and appreciate ideas for discussion topics and introductions to companies, researchers and product companies of interest to you.

Sean Fahey at JHU-APL has been good enough to arrange the use of the Cafeteria meeting area at APL regularly for our West Side Meetup Location. We’re always looking for host facilities on the East Side. Stay tuned for the Meetup Schedule coming shortly. Greg and I look forward to seeing you there.

Spread the word!

John Hebeler
Greg Milbank


September Meetup
Date: September 14, 2011 @ 6pm
Location: JHU-APL Cafeteria Meeting Area
Speaker: Dean Allemang, Chief Scientist, Top Braid

Topic: Semantic Integration Framework

Five steps to build a semantic integration framework to support a federated query environment through two working illustrations. First, Dean outlines a project to integrate several large datasets in service of drug discovery from both internal and public sources (e.g., bio2rdf). The result is a "linked data cloud", where adding new datasets is as easy as describing them. Secondly, Dean details the building of an RDF-based reporting hub for the Oil and Gas Industry to provide semantic-based reporting on day-to-day oil production activities in the North Sea. These reports require scalable data integration capabilities, which are delivered in a standards-based way with Semantic Web technology.

Level: Intermediate/Beginner

October Meetup
Date: October 19, 2011 @ 6pm
Location: TBD
Speaker: Yans Aasman, CEO Franz, Inc
Title: Combining NoSQL Products to Further Enhance Semantic Technologies

AllegroGraph is a fully ACID and highly scalable RDF triplestore that can be programmed with compiled, server side JavaScript. This allows programmers to easily manipulate individual triples and create their own intelligent graph or reasoning algorithms. However, one wish that has been expressed by many programmers is to work on the level of objects instead of individual triples, where an object would be defined as all the triples with the same subject. So we created a MongoDB interface where programmers can add, delete and modify JSON objects directly into MongoDB like sub-stores. This gives us the best of both worlds. We get the beautiful simplicity of the MongoDB interface for working with objects and we get the all the properties of an advanced triple-store, in this case joins through SPARQL queries, automatic indexing of all attributes/values, ACID properties all packaged to deliver a simple entry into the world of the Semantic Web.

Level: Intermediate/Advanced

November Meetup
Date: November 15, 2011 @ 6pm
Location: University of Maryland, Advanced Research Lab
Speaker: Tim Finan and research team, Professor of Computer Science at UMBC
Topic: Collaboration, Automatic Linked Data, and Graph based Queries – Semantic Web Research at UMBC

Tim starts off with a broad overview of the lab and then provides details on three current research activities.
1) Mobile, Collaborative, Context-Aware Systems: The Semantic Web provides the technology and knowledge constructs to create a rich notion of context that goes beyond current networking applications focusing mostly on location. The context model includes location and surroundings, the presence of people and devices, inferred activities and the roles people fill in them.
2) Automatically Generating Linked Data: Evidence for a table's meaning can be found in its metadata but currently requires human interpretation. We describe techniques grounded in graphical models and probabilistic reasoning to infer meaning associated with a table. Using background knowledge from the Linked Open Data cloud, we automatically infer the semantics of column headers, table cell values (e.g., strings and numbers) and relations between columns and represent the inferred meaning as graph of RDF triples.
3) GoRelations - A Question Answering System on DBpedia: We developed an intuitive { semantic graph} notation allowing one to pose queries by annotating graphs with natural language terms denoting entities and relations. The query is automatically translated into SPARQL to produce an answer. Key contributions are the robust techniques mapping user terms to the most appropriate classes and properties in the ontologies used in the linked data. Our approach combines a statistical analysis of the underlying data and lexical semantic similarity metrics derived from a large text corpus and WordNet.
Level: Intermediate

December Meetup
Date: December 7, 2011 @ 6pm
Speaker: Bill Andersen (Chief Scientist, Highfleet) and John Hebeler (Senior Associate Booz Allen)

Topic: Semantic Web Developer Workshop

Bring your laptop and join along (or just listen) as we investigate options strategies that touch on major concerns, controversies, advancements, and best practices in developing Semantic Web technologies. Topics include SPARQL 1.1, OWL2, Semantic Integration of heterogeneous data sources, security, provenance, semantic architectures, and more…

Level: Intermediate/Advanced


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