UWF Seminar Series – Oct 26 @ 10am

24 10 2012

Location: SSE Building, Rm 348

Topic: Where is the Semantics in the Semantic Web?
Presenter: Dr. Patrick Hayes, IHMC

Abstract: The Web is tied together by Universal Resource Identifiers, often called ‘web addresses’. The standard story about Web architecture is that a URI “identifies” something which, when accessed, emits “representations”: think of a website sending out HTML in response to a http GET request. The Semantic Web, however, uses URIs as logical names which refer to things. These two ideas about what URIs mean have an uneasy relationship, and debates about how best to explain this relationship have been long, often confused, often heated, and are still happening. These debates involve issues and ideas from network theory, Web architecture, formal logic and even the philosophy of language, fields which have never before needed to be related. Right now, the main Web architecture authority , the W3C TAG (Technical Architecture Group), has this matter on the agenda for its forthcoming meeting.

This talk will survey this rather tangled area, outline the main issues and ideas and summarize the various debate positions. (If the TAG has emitted a ruling by the time the talk is given, we will do our best to explain it.) Finally, we will outline a new proposal for extending RDF, the base notation of the Semantic Web, to provide for Web contexts to disambiguate URI meanings.