Semantics Draft Work Plan Q2-3 2012

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The iMarine work plan for semantic services aims to initiate activities in 4 related areas:

  1. Top-level Ontology
  2. X-Search implementation and extension
  3. iMarine semantic technology driven fact sheets
  4. SKOS export

This page describes activities and planning at a global level, for specific implementation and development lans, please refer to specialized wiki-pages and TRAC tickets.


Abstract or Executive Summary

One of the 4 currently identified clusters in iMarine is 'semantics'. The term is sufficiently vague to enable the collection of requirements that operate on, or benefit from, 'semantic' technologies.

The work-plan is not domain specific, and technology neutral. It decribes how the iMarine Board can be involved in the specification of use-cases, data policies, and harmonization issues, to name a few issues.

Introduction and Background (The Problems)

The iMarine Board is responsible for the implementation of 2 Business Cases in the project, and brings a wealth of community expertise to the technical e-Infrastructure. The EA-CoP has needs to search over multiple resources, and extract information expressed in different schema's to be displayed as coherent data.

The opportunity was presented and discussed at the imarine Board meeting in Rome (March 19-21), and later further elaborated and discussed by project partners with EA-CoP input.

An detailed work-plan with effort allocation will have to be prepared and discussed in the project Technical Committees. The output of that discussion will be used to refine this work-plan, which will include activities at Board level.

Goals and Objectives (The Outputs)

The cluster discussion at the imarine board meeting was summarized by IRD (Julien Barde). Four goals were identified as products that can be delivered, for each of these, an initial set of objectives emerged that require further discussion.

Shared Ontology in the ecology domain

This use case is essential to the others, and should be discussed at the TCom in Greece in June.

  • share a common model (reusing Dublin Core, SKOS, iCal, dcterms for spatial extent of IR, Darwin Core or OBOE..)
  • integration of WORMS RDF triples related to taxon ranks (Darwin core) and others (parasites ?..). Need to figure out how to use their WS to do so.
  • populate FLOD or Ecoscope from existing iMarine efforts (SDMX codelists)..


FORTH AND FAO use case expanded with Ecoscope KB

  • Searching engine improvement: could be a dedicated iMarine searching engine, by-product of the infrastructure,
    • X-Search deals with opensearch (see example of Terradue) so that it can brings in the loop metadata from the geospatial cluster,
    • Query expansion in the searching engine (multilingual, synonyms..with SKOS),
    • Clustering of results given by previous steps according to a list of entities chosen by users (before running the search). For example:
      • by taxon ranks,
      • by preys,
      • by geographic entities (on a map),
      • by kinds of Information Resources (IR): pictures, spatial information (layers, NetCDF.., WMC/Maps): similar to the geobrowser, databases..,
      • agents..
    • Highlighting results:
    • Highlights results (with same entities chosen by users or not),
    • Link to FLOD/Ecoscope KB: as done in the use case but with a link to related fact sheets,
    • Automated Tagging of IR (pdf, word, Web pages..) being compliant with our common model and reusing URIs of our KB. Same as AgroTagger with FORTH technology and possible interactions.

Common KB browser

  • Facilitate common views (fact sheets) about entities from different KB (FLOD and Ecoscope),
  • Connect raw data and analyzes (SDMX, OGC...)
  • iMarine fact sheets blending pictures, layers, data from different partners..

SKOS export

The export / exposure of KB contents as SKOS would render them usable inside geonetwork or as a new thesaurus for agrotagger.

Resources and Constraints (The Inputs)

The iMarine project was designed with a clear vision on the need for semantic technology support to chellenging scenarios. It also anticipated that specialized resources would have to be identified after the project started, e.g. in establishing collaborations with specialized departments in project partners' institutions (FAO, IRD), and related EA-CoP projects such as with AgInfra.

A quick and complete assessment of needs and constraints can only be made once such collaborations have stabalized.

The resources from the project would include:

IRD - Semantic use case description, data provider and developer.

FAO - Use case description, data provider

FORTH - Tools and application provider, developer

NKUA - Developer

CNR - Developer

Specific constraints are the low level of expertise in gCube technolgy development in th EA-CoP and with some partners that have develoepd semantic tools. In addition, many data are volatile or incomplete, and will require specialized curation.

Strategy and Actions (from Inputs to Outputs)

The goals and objectives have been defined and discussed at the iMarine Board meeting in Rome in March. Here, it was also decided that a semantic cluster occupy itself with the further definition of objectives, and prepare outlines for VRE's, applications and services. These will then be presented to the iMarine Board and the wider EA-CoP (May 2012).

In June, the results from the EA-CoP consultation will be discussed at the TCom, to establish feasibility, usability, and usefulness.

The feed-back from the TCom and technical boards will then be discussed with the iMarine Board and selected EA-CoP representatives for follow-up ations.

Meanwhile, project partners already can spend effort on the first use Case to support; the identification and further development of a common ontology for biodiversity and environmental that best fits the needs of the other project clusters.

Appendices (Planned Effort, Resources, Meetng Notes, Schedule and Others)

Planned effort & resources





meeting notes

  • 12.04.27 WP3 Skype with selected partners
  • 12.05.04 WP3 Call Semantic cluster


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