The University of Southampton

New approach to industrial web applications wins award

Published: 11 September 2009

A new paper by ECS academics proposes a new way for engineers to use the Semantic Web.

Dr Richard Crowder at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) and co-authors received the 2009 Richard E. Fulton SEIKM (Systems, Engineering, Information and Knowledge Management) Best Paper Award last week at the CIE (Computers and Information in Engineering)Conference held in San Diego, California. The award recognises original research and/or implementation and technology application contributions to the fields covered by the Systems Engineering, Information and Knowledge Management Technical Committee.

The paper 'Navigation Over a Large Ontology for Industrial Web Applications', on which Dr Crowder was lead author, considered the fact that Semantic Web searches for industrial applications are often very large and unearth a large pool of technical terminology. With this in mind, he and the co-authors of the paper developed three approaches to ontology presentations to limit the amount of information presented to the user at any one time.

‘In this paper, we looked at the problem of ontology simplification for presentation in web applications,’ said Dr Crowder. ‘The ontology needed for web applications in technical domains are often very large. This is because of the vastness and complexity of the technical data captured in the ontology.’

The researchers implemented two of the proposed methods – an autocompletion text box which attempts to anticipate users’ intentions and completes their input using vocabulary from a predefined dictionary of words, and drop-down lists that allow users to choose one value from a list.

Both of these methods were made available to engineers and received positive and valuable feedback.

Co-authors on the paper were Dr Max Wilson, Dr David Fowler, Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Dr Gary Wills and Dr Sylvia Wong, all from ECS.

The work was part of the recently completed IPAS (Integrated Products and Services) project funded by the Technology Strategy Board and Rolls Royce.

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel. +44(0)23 8059 5453

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