A bottom-up, knowledge-aware approach to integrating and querying web data services – ACM Trans. on the Web

The October 2013 issue of the ACM Transaction on the Web includes an article of ours on bottom-up domain model design of connected web data sources. This is becoming a more and more important problem as a wealth of data services is becoming available on the Web. Indeed, building and querying Web applications that effectively integrate Web content is increasingly important. However, schema integration and ontology matching with the aim of registering data services often requires a knowledge-intensive, tedious, and error-prone manual process. In the paper we tackle this issue as described below.

The paper has been authored by Stefano Ceri, Silvia Quarteroni and myself within the research project Search Computing.

The full paper is available for download on the ACM Digital Library (free of charge, courtesy of the ACM Author-izer service) through this URL:


This is the summary of the contribution:

We present a bottom-up, semi-automatic service registration process that refers to an external knowledge base and uses simple text processing techniques in order to minimize and possibly avoid the contribution of domain experts in the annotation of data services. The first by-product of this process is a representation of the domain of data services as an entity-relationship diagram, whose entities are named after concepts of the external knowledge base matching service terminology rather than being manually created to accommodate an application-specific ontology. Second, a three-layer annotation of service semantics (service interfaces, access patterns, service marts) describing how services “play” with such domain elements is also automatically constructed at registration time. When evaluated against heterogeneous existing data services and with a synthetic service dataset constructed using Google Fusion Tables, the approach yields good results in terms of data representation accuracy.

We subsequently demonstrate that natural language processing methods can be used to decompose and match simple queries to the data services represented in three layers according to the preceding methodology with satisfactory results. We show how semantic annotations are used at query time to convert the user’s request into an executable logical query. Globally, our findings show that the proposed registration method is effective in creating a uniform semantic representation of data services, suitable for building Web applications and answering search queries.

The bibtex reference is as follows:

author = {Quarteroni, Silvia and Brambilla, Marco and Ceri, Stefano},
title = {A bottom-up, knowledge-aware approach to integrating and querying web data services},
journal = {ACM Trans. Web},
issue_date = {October 2013},
volume = {7},
number = {4},
month = nov,
year = {2013},
issn = {1559-1131},
pages = {19:1--19:33},
articleno = {19},
numpages = {33},
url = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2493536},
doi = {10.1145/2493536},
acmid = {2493536},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
keywords = {Web data integration, Web data services, Web services, natural language Web query, service querying, structured Web search},

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Social Business Forum 2011: Keith Swenson keynote speech on the Quantum Enterprise

Keith Swenson keynote speech at the Social Business Forum2011 on the Quantum Enterprise

Today I attended the Social Business Forum 2011 in Milan. It was a great event, with a huge line of speakers and events. The audience was huge (1200+ people I think), so big praise to Open Knowledge for the organization.
If you want to grasp the level of social interaction, just look on twitter to the #sbf11 tweetflow. You could barely follow it in realtime.
I have no time to go through the entire stack of sessions, but I wish at least to report here on the keynote speeches at the Social Business Forum. Great speeches from Dell, Oracle, and Fujitsu VPs actually.
Among the many things going on, the Social BPM book was launched at the event, sponsored by WebRatio and the event itself (during Keith Swenson speech at the end of the day). That’s why I’m focusing especially on Keith’s speech. Some hints on the other speeches are reported too.
Keith Swenson speech (Fujitsu): the Quantum Enterprise

The discussion basically start from this simple question: Why do we think that we should have simple processes?
Chaos and turbulence are there, both at the macroscopic physical level (thus challenging the Newtonian thinking) and at the atomic level (Quantum thinking). Why shouldn’t they be there within an organization made up of complex human beings interacting?
Repeatability and mass production at the office place work well until you stay at the level of routine work. However, this level is being more and more automated and thus eliminated. We have now a much larger percentage of work which can be defined “knowledge work”.
What distinguishes a knowledge worker is the way to apply their knowledge by figuring out what they need to do based on the intelligence and knowledge. This spans from university professors, to paramedics, rescue and firefighting crews, police detectives, judges, and so on. They follow up clues and they have no way of predicting and modeling in advance what to do.
The thing is: 40% of workers today are knowledge workers and this percentage is going to increase.
While a good model for the enterprise for routine workers is a machine, a good model for knowledge workers is an ecosystem, ie. a place with several parts that are self-organizing and self-regenerating.
Thus, the paradigm is moving from a Newtonian model (external observability, smoothness, simple rules, predictability) towards a Quantum model (limited precision, turbulence, relationship-based, unpredictability).
This also implies a move from push to pull models in the organization. The push model assumes centralized choices, passive consumers. The pull model instead bases on loosely coupled and modular systems.
So, enterprises should be careful of not to oversimplify. The value today must be on promoting the culture of sharing knowledge and decentralizing.
We are on the verge of this change, and enterprises must be able to master this transition. Here is the link to Keith’s presentation:

Bill Johnston speech (Dell): Paving the Way to Social Business

On this, you can directly look at the slides that the author put on SlideShare:

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Prominent bloggers in the BPM community

I have now spent a few months wandering around in the blogosphere investingating and discussing issues related to Business Process Modeling (BPM). Time has come to start a list of blogs I consider relevant and inspiring for the community. Here is a first bunch (in no particular order). If you have other suggestions, feel free to propose (including your blog):

Other interesting blogs, partially related to the BPM world: