Validata: An online tool for testing RDF data conformance

Validata is an online web application for validating an RDF document against a set of constraints. This is useful for data exchange applications or ensuring conformance of an RDF dataset against a community agreed standard. Constraints are expressed as a Shape Expression (ShEx) schema.
Validata extends the ShEx functionality to support multiple requirement levels. Validata can be repurposed for different deployments by providing it with a new ShEx schema.

The Validata code is available from Existing deployments are available for:

Paper published at SWAT4LS2015.

MACS Christmas Conference

I was asked to speak at the School (Faculty) of Mathematical and Computer Sciences (MACS) Christmas conference. I decided I would have some fun with the presentation.

Title: Project X

Abstract: For the last 11 months I have been working on a top secret project with a world renowned Scandinavian industry partner. We are now moving into the exciting operational phase of this project. I have been granted an early lifting of the embargo that has stopped me talking about this work up until now. I will talk about the data science behind this big data project and how semantic web technology has enabled the delivery of Project X.

You can find more details of flood defence work in this paper.

A short project on linking course data from Sharing and learning

During the summer my colleague Phil Barker (author of the Sharing and Learning blog) and I hosted a summer intern, Anna Grant.

Anna’s project was to investigate the feasibility of publishing the data about our courses as Linked Data. Phil subsequently wrote up a blog post about the work which I have been meaning to share for a long time, so here it is; long overdue.

Below I have picked out some quotes from Phil’s original blog post that describe the work that Anna did.

The objectives for Anna’s work were ambitious: survey existing HE [Higher Education] open data and ontologies in use; design an ontology that we can use; develop an interface we can use to create and publish our course data. Anna made great progress on all three fronts.

The ontologies reviewed were: AIISO, Teach, CourseWare, XCRI, MLO, ECIM and CEDS. A live working draft of the summary / review for these is available for comment as a Google Doc.

The final draft [of the extended MLO Ontology] is shown below. Key:  Green= MLO, Purple=MLO extension, Blue=ECIM / previous alteration to MLO Yellow= generic ontologies such as Dublin core and SKOS.

MLO Extension to capture taught courses and their relationships to degree programmes.

Anna has finished her work here now and returns to Edinburgh Napier University to finish her Master’s project. Alasdair and I think she has done a really impressive job, not least considering she had no previous experience with RDF and semantic technologies. We’ve also found her a pleasure to work with and would like to thank her for her efforts on this project.

Source: A short project on linking course data | Sharing and learning

Crusade for Big Data Keynote

Today I gave the keynote presentation (slides below) at the Crusade for Big Data in the AAL domain workshop as part of the EU Ambient Assisted Living Forum. I gave an overview of the way that the Open PHACTS project has overcome various Big Data challenges to provide a production quality data integration platform that is being used to answer real pharmacology business questions.

The workshop then broke out into five breakout groups to discuss open challenges facing the AAL community that are posed by Big Data. The breakout groups were:

  1. Privacy and Ethics
  2. Business models for sustainability
  3. Data reuse and interoperability
  4. Data quality
  5. Feedback to the users

The organisers of the workshop (Femke Ongenae and Femke De Backere) will be sharing the outcomes of the brainstorming by proposing several working groups to focus on the issues in the area of AAL.

Open PHACTS wins European Linked Data Award

We are delighted to announce that Open PHACTS has been awarded first place in the Linked Open Data Award of the inaugural European Linked Data Contest (ELDC). An international jury of ambassadors from over 15 European countries elected Open PHACTS as the winner, judged by the following criteria:

Gerhard receiving ELDC award

Gerhard receiving ELDC award

  • Shows a high degree of innovation
  • triggers network effects
  • embraces open standards
  • proves technological matureness
  • shows great potential to be utilised in multiple domains
  • achieves a high degree of comprehensibility for the users

The ELDC has been established to recognise Europe’s crème de la crème of linked data and semantic web. Prizes are awarded to stories, products, projects or persons presenting novel and innovative projects, products and industry implementations involving linked data. The ELDC also aims to build a directory of the best European projects in the domains of linked data and the semantic web. Open PHACTS is honored to be chosen as the first winner of the ELDC’s Linked Open Data Award, and to be included in this directory.