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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL [Paperback]

Dean Allemang , Jim Hendler
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Jun 2008
The promise of the Semantic Web to provide a universal medium to exchange data information and knowledge has been well publicized. There are many sources too for basic information on the extensions to the WWW that permit content to be expressed in natural language yet used by software agents to easily find, share and integrate information. Until now individuals engaged in creating ontologies - formal descriptions of the concepts, terms, and relationships within a given knowledge domain - have had no sources beyond the technical standards documents. "Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist" transforms this information into the practical knowledge that programmers and subject domain experts need. Authors Allemang and Hendler begin with solutions to the basic problems, but don't stop there: they demonstrate how to develop your own solutions to problems of increasing complexity and ensure that your skills will keep pace with the continued evolution of the Semantic Web. This title provides practical information for all programmers and subject matter experts engaged in modeling data to fit the requirements of the Semantic Web. It de-emphasizes algorithms and proofs, focusing instead on real-world problems, creative solutions, and highly illustrative examples. It presents detailed, ready-to-apply 'recipes' for use in many specific situations. It shows how to create new recipes from RDF, RDFS, and OWL constructs.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (20 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123735564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123735560
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.7 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The Missing Link: Hendler and Allemang s new book is exactly what our industry is looking for. We have many introductory books, and some compilations of papers but very little to help a practitioner move up their experience curve from novice to journeyman ontologist. The book is very readable; the examples are plentiful and easily understandable. I ve already been recommending students and clients pre-order this book - David McComb, President, Semantic Arts, Inc. www.semanticarts.com This is by far the best introduction to the semantic web currently available, from a practitioner s point of view. There are meaty examples that move beyond the theory and hype. You will get a clear understanding of what RDF, RDF Schema and OWL are all about both in terms of what they are and how to use them. You will learn a variety of hard-nosed and hard-won practical guidelines gained from years of experience building and deploying ontologies in the trenches ? Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist fills a much needed gap in the literature. It represents an impressive collection and synthesis of a wide variety of sources that have hitherto been scattered among academic books and papers, W3C working group notes, talks, blogs and email discussion groups. I expect to refer to this book often. - Dr. Michael Uschold, Internationally recognized expert in ontologies and semantic web technologies both in academia and industry. At the time when the world needs to find consensus on a wide range of subjects, publication of this book carries special importance. Crossing over East-West cultural differences, I hope semantic web technology contributes to bridge different ontologies and helps build the foundation for consensus towards the global community. - Toru Ishida, Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University Yoshida-Honmachi Despite all the excitement about the Semantic Web, the principles of actually using Semantic Web standards to create useful applications ha

About the Author

Dean Allemang is the chief scientist at TopQuadrant, Inc.-the first company in the United States devoted to consulting, training, and products for the Semantic Web. He co-developed (with Professor Hendler) TopQuadrant's successful Semantic Web training series, which he has been delivering on a regular basis since 2003. He has served as an invited expert on numerous international review boards, including a review of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute-the world's largest Semantic Web research institute - and the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a collaboration between 10 pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission to set the roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry for the near future. Jim Hendler is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has authored over 200 technical papers in the areas of artificial intelligence, Semantic Web, agent-based computing, and web science. One of the early developers of the Semantic Web, he is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. In 2010, he was chosen as one of the 20 most innovative professors in America by Playboy magazine, Hendler currently serves as an "Internet Web Expert" for the U.S. government, providing guidance to the Data.gov project.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity 15 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
Concerning the topic "modeling for the semantic web", there is indeed a huge need for good educational material and I had hoped that this book would address this need.
Unfortunately it doesn't do so.
On one hand it was for me an eye opener, in this sense that the authors make very clear that modeling for the semantic web is different from the more traditional ER or UML modeling. The main reason for modeling for the SW is to allow inferencing of new data. Lesson learned.
But there it stopped for me.
The book is full of typos and errors (where was the copy editor?). Most of all suffer the illustrations, which is really a pity since, aimed at better understanding, they are now confusing the reader.
One example: figure 9.2 contains 7 errors.
The authors jump also too quickly in examples without explaining upfront the heuristics to tackle the challenge.
When in the middle of reading the examples I felt too frequently lost: why are we doing this, where does this lead to?
Be also aware that one of the examples of an RDFS model presented in the book is the 2005 version of SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) and that some of the issues discussed are not longer applicable.
E.g. the properties 'skos:broader' and 'skos:narrower' are not transitive anymore; skos:Collection is not the be used anymore as range of a skos:semanticRelation; skos:subjectIndicator(s) are left out. Since these decisions were known early 2008, they could have made the book.

Who takes the opportunity and writes the reference book on modeling for the SW? This book surely isn't yet in this first print.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R C Brackin 19 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback
Having struggled through a number of other, much less practical books on this subject, I found this book an excellent guide to the practical application of description logic in RDF/RDFS/OWL. It explains the concepts well and provides plenty of practical examples. I found the incremental structure in which it presents the constructs, the sections on example applications and the sections on what not to do (anti-patterns) all very helpful. As a fan of the well known book 'Design Patterns' I think this book on one level is a very good start to achieving the same goals (some clear templates to use when modelling with these standards).
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a good textbook 22 Jun 2009
By David C. Hay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are maybe half a dozen or so books in my library that have defined the body of knowledge that has been the subject of my career. All the others are interesting (or not) but not the definitive description of the subject. It is very rare when a new one comes along. But when one does succinctly and clearly define and describe a subject area I have been struggling to master for several years, this is worth celebrating.

This is such a book. For the last several years, I have been studying OWL and the Semantic Web, recognizing that there is something there that is important. But it's been a struggle to get on top of it. For example, the books I've found so far (and indeed, the OWL specification itself) describes the language in terms of XML. That's ok, and I was able to understand bits and pieces of it. And I did get the fundamental difference between semantic modeling as done in OWL and semantic modeling as I have been doing with entity/relationship modeling. But I never really felt comfortable that I "got it".

This book, however, very clearly starts at the beginning and takes the reader through the steps required to understand not just the languages involved, but why they are important and why they are significant to the Semantic Web. Indeed this is the first time I can say that I really understand the semantic web.

One of the reviews complains that the book doesn't go far enough. Perhaps not. But if you are looking for a place not just to start your education and to get a through grounding in fundamental concepts, this is the book for you.

I strongly recommend this book.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semantic Web 101 3 July 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Around 2003 I bought my first two books about the Semantic Web and RDF. The authors of these books managed to confuse me into believing that RDF is some XML standard for knowledge representation and they basically needed an entire book to explain how to force knowledge into XML. The technology looked so painful, ugly, and wrong that I quickly gave up. A year later I met someone who explained to me that RDF (and SW) is about serializing semantic networks into triples and that reading XML/RDF is actually only for masochists. Well, that was something I did understand and I've been playing and working with RDF even since.
The book by Dean and Jim is wonderful. XML/RDF is completely ignored and the book focuses on the things that you need to understand if you want to get into the Semantic Web. I'm recommending it to all our customers and I guess we real soon will need a second edition. I'm also looking forward to their next book: the Semantic Web for the Advanced Ontologist :-)
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great 7 Jun 2008
By C. Schumacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is a great need for a book like this, and the authors are well-credentialed, but unfortunately, this book is more like an introduction than a craftsman's resource. It reads like a first draft with typos, belabored repetitive text, and some odd examples. There is almost no discussion of internationalization, security, performance, or tricky basic types such as dates, times, or currency. More discussion of SPARQL would have been useful, as well as discussion of what should go in the model vs. what should be queried out. The chapter "Good and Bad Modeling Practices" was a particular let-down. A sharp, thoughtful, deeper book on this topic would really help the field.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all who want to get into the semantic web 5 Jun 2008
By Henry Story - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Finally a book that explains the key aspects of the Semantic Web in easy to understand language, with well thought out examples and taking a step by step approach to this eminently stackable technology. No RDF/XML in the whole book! This will save all who get started on the semantic web years of work hunting down specs, and will give them the right initial intuitions.

A God send! Buy one for yourself and one for your friends too :-)
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book that gets down to work 15 Jun 2008
By G. Niram - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It used to be that the only books about the Semantic Web were either theoretical treatises requiring advanced mathematical training or marketing pep-rallies. Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist fills the gap in between by providing a down-to-earth description of this important technology, describing how it can be used to provide real business value.

Allemang and Hendler accomplish this without relying on a lot of mathematical mumbo-jumbo--the first mention of the confusing OWL 'species' doesn't come until Chapter 13. You can get a lot of work done before you even start to worry about the technical details of logic.

Parts of the book are accessible to a general audience, and the whole book is accessible to anyone with some sort of analytic background, not just logicians and computer scientists. This book has something for beginners (even if this is the first time you've heard of the semantic web) as well as for experienced practitioners.
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