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Exploring Social Annotations for the Semantic Web

  • Xian Wu, Shanghai JiaoTong University, China
  • Lei Zhang, IBM China Research Lab, China
  • Yong Yu, Shanghai JiaoTong University, China

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Track: Semantic Web

Slot: 16:00-17:30, Thursday 25th May

In order to obtain a machine understandable semantics for web resources, research on the Semantic Web tries to annotate web resources with concepts and relations from explicitly defined formal ontologies. This kind of formal annotation is usually done manually or semi-automatically. In this paper, we explore a complement approach that focuses on the "social annotations of the web" which are annotations manually made by normal web users without a predefined formal ontology. Compared to the formal annotations, although social annotations are coarse-grained, informal and vague, they are also more accessible to more people and better reflect the web resources' meaning from the users' point of views during their actual usage of the web resources. Using a social bookmark service as an example, we show how emergent semantics [2] can be statistically derived from the social annotations. Furthermore, we apply the derived emergent semantics to discover and search shared web bookmarks. The initial evaluation on our implementation shows that our method can effectively discover semantically related web bookmarks that current social bookmark service can not discover easily.

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