Detailed Advice on Enterprise Scale Semantic Systems

February 1, 2013

In his AI3 blog, semantic technology pro Mike Bergman presents a new series of articles on “Enterprise-Scale Semantic Systems.” Bergman and his business partner recently gained some eye-opening experience while deploying enterprise-wide semantic systems, and wanted to share their new insights with the world.

The article starts with some history on semantic technology, beginning with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) adoption of the Resource Description Framework as a standard in 1999. Bergman describes early developments and high hopes for the technology, as well as certain disappointments that followed. Once one turns away from the unrealized grand visions, however, the actual possibilities are quite promising, if not so dramatic. Though information management within the enterprise remains problematic, Bergman sees reason for hope:

“Daily we see success of semantic technologies in multiple locations, and the market is coming to understand the uses and potential benefits. The benefits of graph-based knowledge structures in search and recommendation systems are becoming accepted. We see how basic search is being enhanced with entity recognition and characterization, as well as richer links between entities. The ability of the RDF data model and ontologies to act as integration frameworks is no longer an assertion, but a fact. Despite the despair of some semantic advocates, the market place is increasingly understanding the concepts and potential of semantic technologies.”

While insisting that there is good money to be made in this field, Bergman lists some factors which continue to make implementing enterprise-wide semantics a challenge. For example, many businesses still doubt that it is a wise investment, though he says the demonstration of improved search functionality often seals the deal. Not surprisingly, budget constraints are another prominent hurdle.

If this first article is any indication, expect the series to include a lot of detailed explanations and tips for approaching enterprise-scale semantic systems. A worthwhile read for anyone in that field.

Cynthia Murrell, February 01, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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