- Summer School
Steffen Staab, Universität Koblenz-Landau, DE
Steffen studied in Erlangen (Germany), Philadelphia (USA) and Freiburg (Germany) computer science and computational linguistics. Afterwards he worked as researcher at Uni. Stuttgart/Fraunhofer and Univ. Karlsruhe, before he became professor in Koblenz. In his research career he has managed to avoid almost all good advice that he now gives to his team members. Such advise includes focusing on research (vs. company) or concentrating on only one or two research areas (vs. considering ontologies, semantic web, social web, data engineering, text mining, peer-to-peer, multimedia, HCI, services, software modelling and programming and some more). Though, actually, improving how we understand and use text and data is a good common denominator for a lot of Steffen's professional activities.
Programming the Semantic Web
The Semantic Web changes the way we deal with data, because assumptions about the nature of the data that we deal with differ substantially from the ones in established database approaches. Semantic Web data is (i) provided by different people in an ad-hoc manner, (ii) distributed, (iii) semi-structured, (iv) (more or less) typed, (v) supposed to be used serendipitously. In fact, these are highly relevant assumptions and challenges, because they are frequently encountered in all kind of data-centric challenges – also in cases where Semantic Web standards are not in use. However, they are only partially accounted for in existing programming approaches for Semantic Web data including (i) semantic search, (ii) graph programming, and (iii) traditional database programming approaches.
The main hypothesis of this talk is that we have not yet developed the right kind of programming paradigms to deal with the proper nature of Semantic Web data, because none of the mentioned approaches fully considers its characteristics. Thus, I want to outline empirical investigations of Semantic Web data and recent developments towards Semantic Web programming that target the reduction of the impedance mismatch between data engineering and programming approaches.