Semantic technologies are an important tool in tackling the problem of data heterogeneity
Ontologies provide datamodels for semi-structured data, bridging the gap between fully structured database schemas on the one hand, and unstructured data such as text on the other. Such semi-structured ontological datamodels come with a formal semantics that allows automatic deriviation of new conclusions from the data. Such automatic deduction techniques have proven useful in deiving mappings between different datamodels for the purpose of data-integration.
Deploying these semantic technologies on the world wide web has alllowed the construction of very large knowledge-bases that contain billions of statements on areas as diverse as scientific, medical, encyclopedic and everyday knowledge. These very large knowledge bases (known as Linked Data) have been used in data-integration, in improving the results of search engines, in linguistic analysis and in scientific reasoning.
Contact person for this Focus Area is prof. Frank van Harmelen, firstname.lastname@example.org