Semantic Web technologies have been designed with the inherent non-central aspects of the Web in mind: anyone can say anything about anything. With this research track, we focus on techniques, algorithms, technologies, and systems that emphasize and support the distributed and decentralized nature of the Semantic Web. On the one hand, there are solutions for dealing with distribution on the server side, and on the other hand, there are solutions on the client side for dealing with the decentralization of Linked Data across the Web.
We are witnessing a continuous growth in the number of network-enabled devices and sensors, which unfortunately often rely on heterogeneous network communication mechanisms, use non-standardised interfaces and introduce new data schemas for each individual type of device. Similarly, databases and data sources are becoming increasingly distributed as well. This results in a lot of heterogeneity, a lack of overall integration, and in solutions that cannot easily be extended and reused for different application domains. In order to handle distribution and decentralization, Semantic Web technologies provide the basis for addressing these challenges since they have proven to provide solutions for overcoming heterogeneity, supporting integration and promoting automation. In particular, this includes addressing more traditional topics such as the design and implementation of distributed architectures and being able to deal with IoT sensors, diverse devices and the corresponding APIs, as well as more recent topics such as distributed ledgers.
On the client side, we need methods to deal with the resulting distribution of data and services. The challenge is to tackle this distributed landscape without prior centralization. This requires research on decentralized algorithms, methods, and systems and methods to evaluate them. It is likely that such systems will have different quality attributes than the current generation of software solutions, so we need to find the proper dimensions for evaluation as well as novel approaches to improve our performance along these dimensions. This starts with low-level solutions that focus on network and bandwidth, continues with mid-level solutions for client-side applications regarding data gathering and processing, and also comprises the end-user experience of decentralized applications compared to their centralized counterparts.
Topic of Interest
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
- design and evaluation of distributed systems based on semantic technology
- developing and evaluating decentralised solutions, both on the client-or server-side
- querying decentralized networks of data
- application and analysis of distributed ledgers
- development of intelligent and generic distributed clients
- frameworks, methods, models, and formats for describing and using IoT, devices and APIs
- cloud-based solutions
- semantic integration of decentralized data sources
- processing and integration solutions for multiple data streams
- privacy, and policies in decentralized environments
Ruben Verborgh, Ghent University, Belgium and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Muhammad Saleem, AKSW, University Of Leizpig, Germany