SSSW Day 2

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Natasha Noy gave the first talk today, providing a general overview on Mapping and Alignment algorithms and tools. Even though I was not too interested in the topic, she really caught my interest with a good and clean and structured talk. Thank for that! After, Steffen Staab continued, elaborating on the QOM approach to ontology mapping, having some really funny slides, but, as this work was mostly developed in Karlsruhe I already knew it. I liked his appeal for more tools that are just downloadable and usable, without having to fight for hours or days just to create the right environment for them. I totally agree on that!

The last talk of the day was from Aldo Gangemi on Ontology Evaluation. As I consider making this the theme of my PhD-thesis - well, I am almost decided on that - I was really looking forward to his talk. Although it was partially hard to follow, because he covered quite a broad approach to this topic, there have been numerous interesting ideas and a nice bibliography. Much to work on. I especially didn't yet see the structural measures he presented applied to the Semantic Web. Not knowing any literature on them, I am still afraid, that they actually fail [SSSW Day 1|Frank's requirements from yesterday]]: not just to be taken from graph theory, but rather to have the full implications of the Semantic Web paradigm been applied to them and thought through. Well, if no one did that yet, there's some obvious work left for me ;)

The hands-on-sessions today were quite stressy, but nevertheless interesting. First, we had to powerconstruct ontologies about different domains of traveling: little groups of four persons working on a flight agency ontology, a car rental service ontology and a hotel ontology. Afterwards, we had to integrate them. Each exercise had to be done in half a hour. We pretty much failed miserably in both, but we surely encountered many problems - which was the actual goal: in OWL DL you can't even concatenate strings. How much data intefration can you do then?

The second hands-on-session was on evaluationg three ontologies. It was quite interesting, although I really think that many of these things can happen automatically (I will work on this in the next two weeks, I hope). But the discussion afterwards was quite revealing, as it showed how differently people think about some quite fundamental issues, the importance they give to structural measures compared to the functional ones. Or, differently said: the question is, is a crappy ontology on a given domain better than a good ontology that doesn't cover your domain of interest? (The question sounds strange to you? To me as well, but well...)

Pitily I had to miss today's social special event, a football match between the students of the Summer School. Instead I had a very interesting chat with a colleague from the UPM, who came here for a talk, and who also wants to make her PhD in Ontology Evaluation, Mari Carmen Suárez de Figueroa. Interesting times are lying ahead.

Originally published on Semantic Nodix

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