August 28, 2009

New Approach To Industrial Web Applications Wins Award

A paper by a group of University of Southampton academics which proposes a new way for engineers to use the Semantic Web will receive an award next week.

Dr Richard Crowder at the University's School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) and team will receive the 2009 Richard E. Fulton SEIKM (Systems, Engineering, Information and Knowledge Management) Best Paper Award for a paper entitled Navigation Over a Large Ontology for Industrial Web Applications for which he was lead author.

The award, which will be presented at the CIE (Computers and Information in Engineering) Awards Lunch on Monday 31 August in San Diego, USA, recognizes original research and/or implementation and technology application contributions to the fields covered by the Systems Engineering, Information and Knowledge Management Technical Committee,

Dr Crowder's paper 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.

"ËœIn this paper, we looked at the problem of ontology simplification for presentation in web applications,' said Dr Crowder. "ËœThe 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' intention 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.


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