Welcome Agenda Program Committee Submission Instructions
Important Dates

Practical and Scalable Semantic Systems

1st International Workshop collocated with ISWC 2003. Submission Deadline 1st of July 2003.

Online Proceedings

Yet another Semantic Web workshop ?

The Semantic Web is widely accepted as a means to enhance the Web with machine processable content. For making the Semantic Web work in practice it is paramount to be able to use the existing infrastructure, and to enable an evolutionary transition from today’s infrastructure towards a connected web using Semantic Web technologies. Making Semantic Web technology practical has two facets:

  • Making existing technologies work: often useful tricks of the trade are required to make existing systems work with Semantic Web technology. Examples include various mappings of semi-structured data on relational databases or the realization of ontology languages for relational, object-relational, and object-oriented databases. Only these “tricks of the trade” enable to spread Semantic Web technology.
  • Identifying different research assumptions: the existing research in databases is often based on slightly different assumptions than required by Semantic Web technologies. Existing research on semi-structured data storage and retrieval does not take into account that stored data might have heterogeneous semantics, e.g., based on different ontology languages. Based on the identification of different assumptions, new research tasks, based on existing database research, can be identified.

Both aspects are critical for the success of the Semantic Web – the first aspect provides necessary solutions for how to make the Semantic Web practical right now, whereas the second aspect indicate the long term research by identifying the different assumptions behind past database research and current Semantic Web needs, and how to bridge the gap between both fields. The workshop provides a forum for both aspects, which did not exist yet.


Specific example topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Integration of semi-structured data technologies with ontology languages, mappings, storage and query techniques. First results have been published, but a systematic evaluation of possible alternatives is still missing. Example technologies include relational, object-relational and object-oriented databases
  • Query optimization for RDF repositories. Although some results from the semi-structured database field are reusable, those results usually have the assumption that the data has no semantics by itself. Ontology languages provide a semantics, which needs to be taken into account by the storage and retrieval system for querying the instance data as well as the ontologies itself.
  • Integration of Semantic Web technologies in current software and network technology. Query languages and interfaces are required for the effective use of Semantic Web databases in applications. A couple of interfaces exist so far, but no systematic comparison had been conducted yet.
  • Evaluation and benchmarking suites, allowing to compare performance and utility of existing technologies.

Break-Out Groups

The workshop will be organized in part around talks presenting research results in the intersection of the Semantic Web and Databases. Another important part of the workshop will be break-out groups, focusing on the amalgamation of Semantic Web and existing technology.

The break-out groups may evolve into independent working groups and generate follow-up activities, which contribute to the technology areas.

Workshop participants will receive printed proceedings. The proceedings will additionally be published on the Web and a online workshop report will summarize the outcome of the break out groups.

We anticipate the following outcomes:

  • A list and evaluation of available “tricks of the trade”.
  • A list of applicable existing research results and available technologies in the database area, and a list of new research goals based on changed assumptions caused by the Semantic Web application context.
  • On-going discussions will be supported by modern Web technology on this website (such as forums, news threads and WikiWikis for online collaborations).