Where does it break? or: Why the semantic web is not just "research as usual"

Frank Van Harmelen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Work on the Semantic Web is all too often phrased as a technological challenge: how to improve the precision of search engines, how to personalise web-sites, how to integrate weakly-structured data-sources, etc. This suggests that we will be able to realise the Semantic Web by merely applying (and at most refining) the results that are already available from many branches of Computer Science. I will argue in this talk that instead of (just) a technological challenge, the Semantic Web forces us to rethink the foundations of many subfields of Computer Science. This is certainly true for my own field (Knowledge Representation), where the challenge of the Semantic Web continues to break many often silently held and shared assumptions underlying decades of research. With some caution, I claim that this is also true for other fields, such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Databases, and others. For each of these fields, I will try to identify silently held assumptions which are no longer true on the Semantic Web, prompting a radical rethink of many past results from these fields.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Semantic Web: Research and Applications: 3rd European Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2006 Proceedings
Number of pages1
Volume4011 LNCS
ISBN (Print)3540345442, 9783540345442
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event3rd European Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2006 - Budva
Duration: 11 Jun 200614 Jun 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4011 LNCS
ISSN (Print)03029743
ISSN (Electronic)16113349


Conference3rd European Semantic Web Conference, ESWC 2006

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