July 7, 2016

AFEL at the 13th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC 2016)

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ESWC2016-LogoCapturing knowledge from data on the Web is a research challenge almost as old as the Web itself, as aptly represented by long-running worldwide scientific events such as the Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC). Having reached its thirteenth edition this year, the event that took place in Crete between May 29 and June 3 reflected the evolution of the Scientific community’s endeavours based on the needs of the contemporary Web and the transformations of its dialectics. Though trendsetting topics such as Smart Cities and Internet of Things were prominently featured in dedicated sessions, this edition saw emergent topics being featured during sessions on horizontal topics such as Linked Data and ontologies. One such topic was everyday learning, as exemplified by the University of Edinburgh paper “Linking Data, Services, and Human Know-How“.

The AFEL project consortium was an active participant in ensuring a variety of Semantic Web aspects covered at ESWC 2016, which in turn reflects the breadth in scope of the challenges we face in informal, everyday and online learning. The paper “Dataset Recommendation for Data Linking: An Intensional Approach” given by Mohamed Ben Ellefi, Zohra Bellahsene, Stefan Dietze and Konstantin Todorov, covered a key aspect in data integration that is fundamental for reconciling data on the elements involved in a learning process. Similarly, the demonstration of the Squire SPARQL recommendation tool by Carlo Allocca, Alessandro Adamou, Mathieu d’Aquin and Enrico Motta addresses a similar concern, i.e. how to query newly found sources.

Pre-conference events were also organised and promoted by AFEL team members. The PROFILES workshop on dataset profiling and federated search, co-organised by Stefan Dietze, had its third edition and featured an insightful keynote talk by Axel Ngonga (AKSW) on the state of federated SPARQL engines. This edition also hosted the first workshop on Humanities in the Semantic Web (WHiSe), co-organised by Alessandro Adamou (OU). WHiSe aimed at bridging the communication gap between data scientists and humanists by featuring presentation of research networks, adoption cases and open discussions on foreseen practices, possibly even through informal knowledge transfer channels, for making semantic technologies accessible to a field that cannot always rely on data generated en masse.

More insights on this latest ESWC edition, which also saw AFEL’s coordinator, Mathieu d’Aquin, take the role of programme co-chair, can be found at http://kmi.open.ac.uk/news/article/18849