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Swoogle : An Engine for the Semantic Web

Swoogle, the Semantic web search engine, is a research project carried out by the ebiquity research group in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland. It’s an engine tailored towards finding documents on the semantic web. The whole research paper is available here.

Semantic web is touted as the next generation of online content representation where the web documents are represented in a language that is not only easy for humans but is machine readable (easing the integration of data as never thought possible) as well.

And the main elements of the semantic web include data model description formats such as Resource Description Framework (RDF), a variety of data interchange formats (e.g. RDF/XML, Turtle, N-Triples), and notations such as RDF Schema (RDFS), the Web Ontology Language (OWL), all of which are intended to provide a formal description of concepts, terms, and relationships within a given knowledge domain (Wikipedia). And Swoogle is an attempt to mine and index this new set of web documents.

The engine performs crawling of semantic documents like most web search engines and the search is available as web service too. The engine is primarily written in Java with the PHP used for the front-end and MySQL for database. Swoogle is capable of searching over 10,000 ontologies and indexes more that 1.3 million web documents. It also computes the importance of a Semantic Web document. The techniques used for indexing are the more google-type page ranking and also mining the documents for inter-relationships that are the basis for the semantic web.

For more information on how the RDF framework can be used to relate documents, read the link here.

Being a research project, and with a non-commercial motive, there is not much hype around Swoogle. However, the approach to indexing of Semantic web documents is an approach that most engines will have to take at some point of time. When the Internet debuted, there were no specific engines available for indexing or searching. The Search domain only picked up as more and more content became available. One fundamental question that I’ve always wondered about it is – provided that the search engines return very relevant results for a query – how to ascertain that the documents are indeed the most relevant ones available. There is always an inherent delay in indexing of document. Its here that the new semantic documents search engines can close delay. Experimenting with the concept of Search in the semantic web can only bore well for the future of search technology.

Category SEO
Swoogle : An Engine for the Semantic Web

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