Ontolog Forum

SemanticWiki mini-series Session-2 - Thu 20-Nov-2008

  • Mini-series Title: Semantic Wikis: The Wiki Way to the Semantic Web
  • Session-2 Topic: Semantic Wiki Technology (1): An introduction to some of the Semantic Wiki Engines and Related Technologies
  • Session Chair: Mr. HaroldSolbrig (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, US)
  • Wiki-Technology / Panelists:
    • IkeWiki / KiWi - Dr. SebastianSchaffert (Salzburg Research, Austria) / Professor PeterDolog (Aalborg University, Denmark)
    • AceWiki - Mr. TobiasKuhn (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    • SWiM - Mr. ChristophLange (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
    • myOntology - Professor MartinHepp (Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany)
    • OntoWiki - Dr. Soeren Auer / Mr. SebastianDietzold (University of Leipzig, Germany)
    • HDEWiki - Professor Daniel Schwabe / Mr. MiguelSilva (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil);
  • Lightning Talks: - [ Please note that: in order for the community to be exposed to the full range of technologies, an IPR policy waiver is applicable to this segment of the program. Therefore, technologies presented in these "Lightning Talks" do not necessarily fall into the "free and open" technology category. The presentation materials (slides, recording of the talks), however, are still licensed by all these speakers as open content, and our IPR Policy still applies in that regard. =ppy ]
    • Dr. AdrianWalker (Reengineering) - "Internet Business Logic: A Wiki for Knowledge in Executable English"
    • Mr. SanjivaNath (zAgile) - "zAgile's semantic extensions: Semantic Enablement of Wikis for Enterprise Information Integration"
    • Mr. Michael Lang, Jr. (Revelytix) - " a collaborative ontology and knowledgebase development tool"
    • Professor HalaSkaf-Molli (Henri Poincaré University, France) - "Peer-to-peer semantic wikis"

Conference Call Details

  • Date: Thursday, November 20, 2008
  • Start Time: 10:30am PST / 12:30pm CST / 1:30pm EST / 3:30pm (Rio)/ 7:30pm CET / 18:30 UTC
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SemanticWiki mini-series Background

The Semantic Wiki mini-series a 6-month mini-series comprising Talks, Panel Discussions and Online Discourse. The series is co-organized by FZI Karlsruhe, Mayo Clinic, Ontolog, RPI Tetherless World Constellation and Salzburg Research, Austria. This represents a collaborative effort between members from academia, research, software engineering, semantic web and ontology communities. The 6-month mini-series intends to bring together developers, administrators and users of semantic wikis, and provide a platform where they can conveniently share ideas and insights. Through a series of (mainly virtual) talks, panel discussions, online discourse and even face-to-face meetings, participants will survey the state-of-the-art in semantic wiki technology and get exposure to exemplary use cases and applications. Together, they will study trends, challenges and the outlook for semantic wikis, and explore opportunities for collaboration in the very promising technology, approach or philosophy which people has labeled "semantic wiki."

This series of virtual events will dovetail into the face-to-face workshop: "Social Semantic Web: Where Web 2.0 Meets Web 3.0" at the AAAI Spring Symposium (March 23-25, 2009 at Stanford, California, USA - see: ).

See: our SemanticWiki mini-series homepage and the developing program for the rest of the series.

Session Abstract: An introduction to some of the Semantic Wiki Engines and Related Technologies

by HaroldSolbrig

The purpose of this session is to get an overview and understanding of a variety of different Semantic Wiki implementations. We will have presentations from a variety of different implementations that should allow us to compare and contrast the motivating factors, models, technologies and capabilities. The primary purpose of this session is to allow people to get a good feel for different ways that Semantic Wiki capabilities have been implemented and the sort of problems that they are being built to solve.
There are many different visions about what a "Semantic Wiki" is, what it can do and how it can be implemented. The objective of this session will be to share ideas and technological approaches to Semantic Wiki implementation. Our panel of semantic wiki technology implementers will take us through some of the following:
    • Describe the motivation and purpose for the creation of their implementation.
    • Describe or show novel and unique features of their particular implementation.
    • Describe how Wiki content is created and edited
    • Describe the semantic characteristics of the implementation.
    • Describe methods and formats for importing external semantic resources into the wiki, if any.
    • Describe methods and formats for exporting semantic information created in the wiki, if any.
    • Describe the tools and approaches that can be used for viewing and querying the data in the wiki.
    • Describe any semantic reasoning tools or techniques that are used in the implementation.
    • Describe, in general, the relative stability and maturity of the implementation and some of the possible directions that may be taken in future evolution.
Note that we will not be covering the Semantic Mediawiki and its various extensions in this session. The upcoming session-3 of this mini-series (Thu 2008.12.11) will be dedicated to do that, specifically.

Agenda & Proceedings

  • Session Format: this is a virtual session conducted over an augmented conference call.
  • Agenda:
    • 1. Opening by the Session Chair
    • 2. we'll go around with a self-introduction of participants - we may skip this if we have more than 25 participants (in which case, it will be best if members try to update their namesake pages on this wiki prior to the call so that everyone can get to know who's who more easily.) (All - total: ~15 minutes)
    • 3. Panelists' Presentations - (15 min. max. each)
    • 4. Lightning Talks - (3 min. max. each)
    • 5. Q&A and Open Discussion - ALL (~20 min.)
    • 6. Summary / Announcement / Conclusion - session chair

Panelists' Presentations: Titles and Abstracts

1. IkeWiki / KiWi: A versatile platform for the Social Semantic Web

by Sebastian Schaffert / PeterDolog - [ slides ]
Abstract: KiWi ("Knowledge in a Wiki") is a European Union funded project concerned with

knowledge management in Semantic Wikis. Originally founded in the IkeWiki system, KiWi is developing into a very flexible and versatile platform that can be easily customised to many different kinds of Social Semantic Web systems. Underlying all these systems is still the wiki philosophy of anyone can edit, easy editing, easy linking, and versioning, extended with advanced semantic technologies like reasoning, information extraction, and personalisation.

2. AceWiki: Controlled English in a Semantic Wiki

by TobiasKuhn - [ slides ]
Abstract: AceWiki is a semantic wiki that is powerful and at the same

time easy to use. Making use of the controlled natural language ACE, the formal statements of the wiki are shown in a way that looks like natural English. In order to help the users to write correct ACE sentences, AceWiki provides a predictive editor. ACE sentences can be translated into OWL which allows us to use the Pellet reasoner to do reasing tasks within the wiki. Evaluation has shown that AceWiki is easy to use.

3. SWiM: A wiki for collaborating on mathematical ontologies

by ChristophLange - [ slides ]
Abstract: SWiM is a semantic wiki for collaboratively building, editing and browsing

mathematical knowledge. The knowledge is represented in the domain-specific structural semantic markup languages OMDoc and OpenMath. SWiM aims at motivating users to contribute to collections of mathematical knowledge by instantly sharing the benefits of knowledge-powered services with them. It is currently being used for authoring OpenMath Content Dictionaries -- lightweight collections of semi-formal definitions of mathematical symbols. Browsing, annotation, and argumentation about problems with knowledge artifacts are of special interest in this case study.

See: &

4. myOntology: Community-driven Vocabulary Design and Maintenance for E-Commerce

by MartinHepp - [ slides ]
Abstract: The myOntology platform is a prototype for creating and maintaining Web vocabularies with minimal entry barriers for contributing domain experts. In this brief talk, I will summarize the key design paradigms and target applications, and demonstrate the current version.

5. OntoWiki: a Semantic Wiki and Framework for knowledge-rich applications

by Soeren Auer / SebastianDietzold - [ slides ]
Abstract: OntoWiki is a wiki-like tool for managing RDF knowledge bases on the web as well as a framework for building Semantic Web application. In this talk we will summarize both, the framework and the wiki and give an overview to the current implementation.

6. HDEWiki: Semantic wikis as an example of model-driven Web applications

by DanielSchwabe - [ demo video ]
Abstract: In this talk we will show how a model-driven Web application

development environment, HyperDE, can be leveraged to generate a Semantic Wiki. HyperDE can be preloaded with a Semantic Wiki meta-model, which functions as a general Semantic Wiki engine. This environment can be further specialized with domain-specific models for particular domains of interest, when available. The interesting aspect is that the resulting Semantic Wiki combines the advantages of (Semantic) Wikis and of the more traditional, structured or schema-based (sometimes called data-driven) Web applications. From the Semantic Wiki point of view, it also supports collective generation and editing of pages that may contain semantic and non-semantic links and annotations, which can be used to enhance ad-hoc navigation patterns created by users. From the structured applications point of view, it also supports the design of pre-defined navigation structures well suited for known tasks, the generation of specialized editing interfaces for structured data (e.g., forms), and the customization of actual user interfaces depending on particular navigation contexts and on existing semantic annotations.

The models driving the Semantic Wiki and its data are all represented

in an underlying set of RDFS vocabularies, stored in a RDF repository.


  • Lightning Talks: - see above for the one-slide presentations
  • additional resources:
    • (... to be added by the panel)

Questions, Answers & Discourse

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Questions and Discussion captured from the chat session

Edited transcript ...

Max Voelkel: Welcome to the chat

Max Voelkel: Call page:

Max Voelkel: Slides are linked here:

Harold Solbrig: Question about AceWiki - how large a knowledge base can Ace Wiki handle? How does it address

the computational complexity of FOL?

Peter Dolog: Another interesting question, do we have to deal with consistency as the ACE Wiki does?

Peter Dolog: people naturaly are inconsistent

Peter Dolog: as they simply have different opinions

Peter Dolog: So signalling is probably fine

Harold Solbrig: Ah - it uses Pellet, so reasoning is only done on the OWL DL subset.

TobiasKuhn: yes, AceWiki uses the OWL DL subset for reasoning.

TobiasKuhn: still, AceWiki gets quite slow when complicated facts are added. I hope that future reasoners

will perform better in such incremental scenarios.

Peter Dolog: but keeping the inconsistent statement if they are user based is also fine until otherwise

agreed socially

Liz Pullen: Agreed. That why structures will always be ill-fitting reality.

Harold Solbrig: @Liz Pullen - this is authored in German.

Liz Pullen: Yes, luckily, I needed to pass a German language test for my Masters degree!

Peter P. Yim: I would like to go back onto the "Wiki Interchange Format" that Peter Dolog mentioned earlier ...

can you provide a link, please, Peter

Peter P. Yim: also ... wonder how widely has that been adopted by wiki developers ... everyone?

Peter Dolog: WIF: I think it is this one:

Harold Solbrig: I would be interested whether the wiki interchange format has begun to consider the semantic


Peter Dolog: I do not know the details, maybe the question for sebastian or those in the project

Max Voelkel: @Harold: Maybe he meant this:

Peter Dolog: back to WIF in IkeWiki

Peter Dolog: Paper mentioning what it is in IkeWiki

Peter Dolog: Its output is a WIF document enriched by relevant semantic annotations (e.g.

link types, context adaptation) in RXR format [2].

Peter Dolog: where [2] [2] D. Beckett. Modernising Semantic Web Markup. In XML

Europe 2004, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2004.

Michelle Raymond: AceWiki seems lovely for reasoning over formal expressions in a knowledge base to make

associations and present them in a single view. There is also a place in the "Wiki-world" for information

that is not itself described formally. Could ACE be used for metadata over unstructured information and then

used to pull-in the unstructured information? - perhaps with a "WARNING: No consistency check over


TobiasKuhn: @Michelle: I am not sure whether I understand what you mean. I plan to support also informal

knowledge (in the form of textual comments) to be added to the wiki articles.

Harold Solbrig: Can existing OWL be transformed into ACE?

TobiasKuhn: @Harold: Not (yet) in AceWiki, but the translation OWL->ACE is done for example by the ACE View

(a Protege plugin). However, if the OWL class names, for example, do not have the form of nouns then the

verbalization gets unnatural.

Liz Pullen: It seems like most of the work going on with Semantic Wikis is being done in Europe. Seems odd

if that is the case to use English as a common language.

Liz Pullen: Unless most of the people signed up for the call just speak English.

Harold Solbrig: Good point. Are the wikis maintained in English or are we just being presented the English


Liz Pullen: It might be considered the generic language on the Internet, perhaps?

Christoph Lange: SWiM is maintained in english and has mainly english-speaking users, if you can say

"mainly", with ~ 10 serious users

Michelle Raymond: Does SWiM have automatic theorem prover support? This may be one method for how to "acquire

the knowledge." ex: Cinderella a geometric theorem prover has an OpenMath-based computer algebra interface.

Christoph Lange: @Michelle: theorem proving is not directly integrated into swim, but there are also

converters between its native language and common theorem provers (Isabelle, PVS, Omega, Mizar, Twelf) --

not all mature though

Christoph Lange: swim's own services rather work on less formal structures of math knowledge

Christoph Lange: @Michelle: and, on the contrary, there is also a knowledge acquis. bottleneck in theorem

proving. Many areas of math are not even available in such a formaLiz Pullenation -- there, again, a wiki

could help with acquisition (see for some

specific background)

Michelle Raymond: @Chistoph: What would be nice is a way to dip into the highly constrained language of the

theorem provers and extract it for collaborative documentation and the inverse. A core

(bi-directional)issue of theorem provers is: -> TP data presentation of the "proof" in a language for

purposes of discourse and <- discourse statements that are structured but not necessarily "appropriately"

formatted for input into a theorem prover.

Peter P. Yim: @MartinHepp - which (cc) license are you making your users sign up to?

Martin Hepp: We use Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license,

Peter Dolog: @Soeren: how easy/difficult and how it is possible to change your wiki to different application?

Peter Dolog: do you support some kind of API for widgets or faclets?

Joanne Luciano: what is the ontowiki API called?

Harold Solbrig: Is the API web-based?

Soeren Auer: Re OntoWiki questions: the API is called Erfurt and allows to easily create Semantic Web

applications, its implemented in PHP. There is also a screencast for OntoWiki available at:

{{{ Michelle Raymond: @Tobias: Examples of unstructured information that may be associated with the noun "Organization" include mission statement and membership policy. The membership policy in particular may have key concepts within the text that could be pulled out as associated data that would be useful in query - {cost of membership, intellectual property sharing requirements,...} This is my first exposure to AceWiki. I'll take a closer look to learn more. Thanks. }}}

Peter Dolog: @truth maintanace question

Peter Dolog: in the KIWI project, some people are looking at that

Peter Dolog: but we are just at the beginning

Peter Dolog:

Peter Dolog: the document summarizes state of the art from reason maintanace

Peter Dolog: relevant for the domains which we are studying

Joanne Luciano: need to go. bye everyone.

Joanne Luciano: and thank you - very informative!

TobiasKuhn: @Michelle: Have a look at the AceWiki website. Send me a message if you have questions!

Michelle Raymond: @Tobias: Will do. Thanks.

Liz Pullen: Has much work been done on the sociological aspects of semantic computing?

Liz Pullen: I'm a social scientist, not a computer scientist.

Liz Pullen: Guess not...or people have drifted away.

Peter P. Yim: [ed.] @Liz: you might be interested in what comes up in the upcoming "Social Semantic Web: Where Web

2.0 Meets Web 3.0" workshop at the AAAI Spring Symposium (March 23-25, 2009) that this series culminates in

- see:

Martin Hepp: @Liz Pullen: I think the Semantic Wiki community is one of the few ones in the field closest to

social aspects of semantics.

Michelle Raymond: @Liz Pullen: There is social science work out there, just likely beyond the scope of

today's time. But stay tuned. It will come up.

Martin Hepp: My apologies, but I have to leave at this point in time. If there are questions related to

myOntology, please contact me by e-mail or skype? All contact details are at Thanks

to everybody for this great session!

Harold Solbrig: Thank you.

Shon Vick: Is anyone interested in (semi) automating the wiki <-> ontology mapping?

Shon Vick: That is you have a wiki and you have an ontology, have an agent that can make

annotations (or suggest them)

Shon Vick: Or the other way around can concepts, properties, etc be infered from wikis?

Peter P. Yim: this subject will probably be covered in session-5 where ontology curation will be among one of

the horizontal applications, Shon

Shon Vick, Johns Hopkins: thanks peter

Hala: thank you all

Shon Vick: thanks, this was good!

Peter P. Yim: thanks ... bibi

Christoph Lange: thanks all!

Peter Dolog: thanks all for the insides to your engines

Max Voelkel: Wow, what a packed, great sessions! Thanks to all presenters!

TobiasKuhn: bye everyone! it was a great session!

Brian Lowe: Thanks everyone. Take care.

Mike Bennett: Thanks all, great session.

Harold Solbrig: Thanks everyone. A lot going on out there and a lot of new ideas!!

Session ended 2008.11.20-12:59 pm PST

Audio Recording of this Session

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  • Conference Date and Time: 20-Nov-2008 10:38am~12:59pm PST
  • Duration of Recording: 2 Hour 3.5 Minutes
  • Recording File Size: 14.1 MB (in mp3 format)
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