We are very pleased to announce that the keynote speaker this year will be Enrico Motta from the Open University. (bio) (abstract)

Prof. Enrico Motta


Prof. Enrico Motta is Professor in Knowledge Technologies and Former Director (2000 -2007) of the Knowledge Media Institute (KMi) at the Open University in UK. Prof. Motta has a Laurea in Computer Science from the University of Pisa in Italy and a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the Open University. Prof. Motta is one of the leading scientists in the world in the new field of the semantic web, which can be seen as a large scale web of data, able to support large scale machine interoperability, thus enabling novel intelligent functionalities for locating and dynamically aggregating information on the web. Over the years, Prof. Motta has obtained over £6M in research funding and has led KMi's contribution to numerous high-profile projects, such as the highly prestigious, EPSRC-funded Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration on Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT), as well as several EU-funded ones, most recently NeOn, X-Media, and Open Knowledge. Prof. Motta is Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Human Computer Studies and is also on the editorial board of IEEE Intelligent Systems and the Journal of Web Semantics. He founded the ground-breaking European Summer School on Ontological Engineering and the Semantic Web, which is now in its fifth edition. He is the author of 180 refereed publications. These include the book, Reusable Components for Knowledge Modelling, which is published by IOS Press. Prof Motta also chaired the 14th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (EKAW 2004) and was the Programme Chair of the 4th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2005).


Ontology-Based Applications in the Age of the Semantic Web

A large scale semantic web, characterized by thousands of ontologies and millions of RDF documents, is rapidly becoming a reality. This huge semantic resource opens the way to a new generation of intelligent applications, qualitatively different not only from traditional knowledge-based systems but also from the ontology-driven applications built in the past decade. Specifically, in 'classic' ontology-driven applications a centrally designed ontology is typically used to integrate vast amounts of data, possibly acquired from a variety of sources. In contrast with these applications, the next generation of semantic web applications will aggregate data in a much more dynamic fashion, automatically identifying the semantic resources relevant to the current user need, doing away with the single ontology assumption, and performing both ontology mapping and co-reference resolution on the fly. Hence, in this scenario the emphasis shifts from developing a centrally designed, monolithic ontology towards an automatic integration of ontology fragments, sourced from the semantic web. We use the term faceted ontology to describe the resulting ontology, constructed by aggregating partial ontology structures drawn from a variety of different ontologies on the semantic web. In this talk I will illustrate this vision of a new generation of semantic web applications, and describe the work we are doing in this research context, both at the infrastructure and at the application level. As far as the infrastructure is concerned, I will present Watson, a novel gateway to the semantic web, which gathers the available semantic content on the Web, analyzes it to extract useful metadata and indexes, and implements efficient query facilities to access the data. Building on the infrastructure provided by Watson we are developing several new generation semantic web applications, including new tools for query answering and for semantic browsing. Finally, I will also discuss the implications of this new trend for ontology engineering environments and suggest some new functionalities which these tools will have to provide, to support fully the development of faceted ontologies or more in general the development of this new generation of semantic web applications.