Biohackathon 2018 -Paris

Bioschemas at the Biohackathon

Last November I had the privilege to be one of 150 participants at the Biohackathon organised by ELIXIR. The hackathon was organised into 29 topics, many of which were related to Bioschemas and one directly focused on Bioschemas. For the Bioschemas topic we had up to 30 people working around three themes.

The first theme was to implement markup for the various life sciences resources present. Representatives from ELIXIR Core Data Resources and node resources from the UK and Switzerland were there to work on this thanks to the staff exchange and travel fund. By the end of the week we had new live deploys for 11 additional resources and examples for many more.

The second theme was to refine the types and profiles that Bioschemas has been developing based on the experiences of deploying the markup. Prior to the hackathon, Bioschemas had moved from a minimal extension of a single BioChemEntity type to collection of types for the different life science resources, e.g. Gene, Protein, and Taxon. Just before the hackathon a revised set of types and profiles were released. This proved to be useful for discussion, but it very quickly became clear that there was need for further refinement. During the hackathon we started new profiles for DNA, Experimental Studies, and Phenotype, and the Chemical profile was split into MolecularEntity and ChemicalSubstance. Long discussions were held about the types and their structure with early drafts for 17 types being proposed. These are now getting to a state where they are ready for further experimentation.

The third theme was to develop tooling to support Bioschemas. Due to the intensity of the discussions on the types and profiles, there was no time to work on this topic. However, the prototype Bioschemas Generator was extensively tested during the first theme and improvements fed back to the developer. There were also refinements made to the GoWeb tool.

Overall, it was a very productive hackathon. The venue proved to be very conducive to fostering the right atmosphere. During the evenings there were opportunities to socialise or carry on the discussions. Below are two of the paintings that were produced during one of the social activities that capture the Bioschemas discussions.

And there was the food. Wow! Wonderful meals, three times a day.


Today, the Semantic Web Lab hosted the 6th Scottish Linked Data Interest Group workshop at Heriot-Watt University. The event was sponsored by the SICSA Data Science Theme. The event was well attended with 30 researchers from across Scotland (and Newcastle) coming together for a day of flash talks and discussions. Live minutes were captured during the day and can be found here.

I gave a talk on the successes and challenges of FAIR data. My slides are embedded below.

UK Ontology Network 2018

This week I went to the UK Ontology Network meeting hosted at Keele University. There was an interesting array of talks in the programme showing the breadth of work going on in the UK.

I gave a talk on the Bioschemas Community  (slides below) and Leyla Garcia presented a poster providing more details of the current Bioschema Profiles.

The UK Ontology Network is going through a reflection phase and would like interested parties to complete the following online survey.


Bioschemas Samples Hackathon

Last week the Bioschemas Community hosted a workshop. The focus of the meeting was to get web resources describing biological samples to embed mark up in their pages. The embedded mark up will enable the web resources to become more discoverable, and therefore the biological samples also.

I was not able to attend the event but Justin Clark-Casey has written this blog post summarising the event.

ISWC2017 Papers

I have had two papers accepted within the events that make up ISWC2017.

My PhD student Qianru Zhou has been working on using RDF stream processing to detect anomalous events through telecommunication network messages. The particular scenario in our paper that will be presented at the Web Stream Processing workshop focuses on detecting a disaster such as the capsizing of the Eastern Star on the Yangtze River [1].

The second paper is a poster in the main conference that provides an overview of the Bioschemas project where we are identifying the markup that is of primary importance for life science resources. Hopefully the paper title will pull the punters in for the session [2].

[1] Qianru Zhou, Stephen McLaughlin, Alasdair J. G. Gray, Shangbin Wu, and Chengxiang Wang. Lost Silence: An emergency response early detection service through continuous processing of telecommunication data streams. In Web Stream Processing 2017, Vienna, Austria, oct 2017.
abstract = {Early detection of significant traumatic events, e.g. terrorist events, ship capsizes, is important to ensure that a prompt emergency response can occur. In the modern world telecommunication systems can and do play a key role in ensuring a successful emergency response by detecting such incidents through significant changes in calls and access to the networks. In this paper a methodology is illustrated to detect such incidents immediately (with the delay in the order of milliseconds), by processing semantically annotated streams of data in cellular telecommunication systems. In our methodology, live information of phones' positions and status are encoded as RDF streams. We propose an algorithm that processes streams of RDF annotated telecommunication data to detect abnormality. Our approach is exemplified in the context of capsize of a passenger cruise ship but is readily translatable to other incidents. Our evaluation results show that with properly chosen window size, such incidents can be detected effectively.},
author = {Qianru Zhou and Stephen McLaughlin and Alasdair J G Gray and Shangbin Wu and Chengxiang Wang},
title = {Lost Silence: An emergency response early detection service through continuous processing of telecommunication data streams},
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booktitle = {Web Stream Processing 2017},
year = {2017},
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month = oct,
address = {Vienna, Austria},
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[2] Unknown bibtex entry with key [grayetal2017:bioschemas:iswc2017]