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Promoting the Semantic Web


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This is a presentation I use to using get people to be aware of the potential of the semantic web. It has a section on how to promote semantic web standards. I do some strategic analysis of the …

This is a presentation I use to using get people to be aware of the potential of the semantic web. It has a section on how to promote semantic web standards. I do some strategic analysis of the Semantic Web stack today and apply concepts from technology marketing, economics and technology adoption.

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    • 1. Promoting the Semantic Web Crossing the Technology Chasm Date: April 28, 2006 Version 0.1 Dan McCreary President Dan McCreary & Associates (952) 931-9198
    • 2. This Material is Protected Under Creative Commons 2.5
      • Attribution . You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
      • Noncommercial . You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
      • Share Alike . If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
      $ BY:
    • 3. Overview
      • Where are Semantic Web standards today?
        • Review the standards stack
        • Semantic Web SWOT
      • Where do we want to be?
        • A mainstream standard (used by more that just innovator and early adopters)
        • Have high impact on the economics of data sharing
      • What is the Technology Standards Chasm?
      • The Linking Challenge
      • Strategies for Crossing the Chasm
    • 4. Why This Presentation
      • After discussions with
        • Jim Heldler – “Linking is Power”
        • Ora Lassila - Nokia
        • Tony Shaw – Wilshire Conference
        • Eric Miller – W3C – Semantic Web Education and Outreach
      • What can we do to promote semantic web standards?
    • 5. The Agent Vision
      • The Semantic Web will bring structure to the meaningful content of Web pages, creating an environment where software agents roaming from page to page can readily carry out sophisticated tasks for users.
      The Semantic Web A new form of Web content that is meaningful to computers will unleash a revolution of new possibilities By Tim Berners-Lee, James Hendler and Ora Lassila Scientific American Agent Agent Agent Agent Agent
    • 6. Semantic Web Standards Stack Source: Tim Berners-Lee URI/IRI Unicode XML Namespaces XML Query XML Schema RDF Model & Syntax Ontology (OWL) Rules/Query Logic Proof Trusted Semantic Web Signature Encryption
    • 7. Semantic Web Today
      • Search of Google for “ontology filetype:owl”
      • Returns about 14,000 files from:
        • .edu – lots of academic research projects
        • .org – some standards bodies
        • .gov – some government standards
        • .com – very few commercial companies publish their metadata in .owl format
      • Extremely few inter-ontology links
    • 8. Sample SWOT Analysis for Semantic Web
      • Threats
      • Many incompatible mini standards
      • Complexity
      • Vendor specific solutions
      • Complex XML structures (XLink, XPath)
      • Confusion with other standards (XMI, CWM, ISO-11179)
      • One big wikipedia takes over the entire world wide web and adds semantic features
      • Incompatible and constantly changing Folksonomies
      • Opportunities
      • IT departments spend billions each year on integration
      • Automated metadata discovery could become cost-effective
      • Automated integration requires ontologies
      • Business Intelligence/Analytics/Data Warehouse require precise semantics
      • Business Rule engines need precise semantics
      • SOA need precise semantics
      • Weaknesses
      • Proof, logic and trust layers still in research and development stage
      • Few cost-effective tools for many areas
      • RDF perceived as too complex or conflicting with XML (RSS example)
      • Perception that web sites need to be published in both human and machine readable versions doubling costs
      • Few published case studies with documented ROI
      • Strengths
      • W3C has an excellent reputation for creating useful standards (HTML, XML, XML Schema etc)
      • Few alternative technologies with same breath and ambition
      • Widespread acceptance in academic institutions worldwide
    • 9. Today the Semantic Web
      • Is being used by innovators and early adopters
      • Is not yet a “mainstream” technology
      • Has yet to pick up the momentum in the corporate world to be a viable long-term standard
    • 10. Technology Standard Waves URI/HTML XML XHTML ?? Technology standards come in “waves” and are built on other standards
    • 11. Technology Adoption Cycles Geoffrey Moore Innovators Early Adopters Late Majority Laggards The Chasm Technologies that fail to cross the chasm fail to reach critical mass. Early Majority Source: “Crossing the Chasm”
    • 12. Three Step Strategy
      • Identify where you customers are on the technology adoption cycle
      • Tailor your marketing strategy to needs the needs of that section of the marketplace
      • Build marketing materials that specifically target the needs of your customer
    • 13. Innovators
      • Aggressively pursue new ways of solving business problems
      • Want to know how things work – they will figure out how to apply a technology to their business problems
      • Tend to be very high maintenance, they need a lot of handholding
      • Are looked to from other buyers for recommendations
      • Less than 2% of buyers
      • First group to use a new technology
      • Pure technologists – sometime without clear business requirement
    • 14. Early Adopters
      • Usually the second group to use a new technology
      • Wait till the innovators have recommended a product
      • Don’t need full ROI analysis but…
      • Don’t want to be the first to use something but will be aggressive once
      • Use technology differentiation for competitive advantage in the marketplace (attract the “uber-geeks” to work in their IT departments)
      • Approximately 15% of buyers
    • 15. Early Majority
      • Third group to use a new technology
      • Wait till the innovators and early adopters have recommended a product within their industry
      • Buy based on case studies of other users in similar industries
      • Like to see ROI analysis but don’t require it
      • Most profitable segment of the marketplace
      • Approximately 1/3 of buyers
    • 16. Late Majority
      • Fourth group to use a new technology
      • Wait for industry standards to be available and being used by more than half of the peers in their industry
      • Wait till rock-solid ROI is available and clearly documented
      • They check references carefully and are very price conscious
    • 17. Laggards
      • Last group to use a new technology
      • Strong dislike for new technology and change
      • Will only purchase a new technology when buried deep within a total solution
      • Sometimes least profitable to market to since the technology has been integrated and commoditized
    • 18. The Chasm
      • The place where most standards fail (over 85%)
      • Primary Reasons:
        • A technology is too hard to use
        • To hard to explain the business benefits of a technology
        • Really does not address a significant enough business problem to justify the change
    • 19. Change and Payout
      • People will make not make changes if they do not perceive there is a benefit to them individually (payout)
      • Individual will approve small changes if they see a small benefit
      • They will make large changes only if they see a large payouts for themselves
      • You must either convince approvers that the change is small or the payout is large
      Degree of change Expected Payout Approve Change Withhold Approval Source: Managerial Economics and Organizational Architecture 3 rd Edition p. 556 Approver Position
    • 20. The Chasm
      • The place where most standards fail (over 85%)
      • Primary Reasons:
        • The new technology is too complex to use
        • It is too hard to explain the business benefits of a technology to non-technical decision makers
        • It does not address a significant enough business problem to justify the change
    • 21. Crossing The Chasm
      • Standard cross the chasm by vertical industry
      • Early majority buyers want references from within their industry
      • But usually early adopters don’t want to share their success stories
      • Getting the first “reference accounts” in a specific vertical industry is the critical factor
      • Case studies must be carefully analyzed to ensure that the customers have the same motivation
      Early Adopters Early Majority
    • 22. Getting References
      • Use of “Case Study” Marketing
      • Sometime corporate identify can be obscured (a large Midwest bank), but this tends to mitigate the impact of a case study
      • Some purchasers what to know what specific peer companies are using a new technology
      • Many companies refuse to be considered for a case study since they perceive their technology strategy is part of their competitive advantage.
    • 23. Key Elements of a Case Study
      • Organization Description – the reader looks for: “Is this organization similar to mine?”
      • Business Challenge – the reader verifies: “Is this problem similar to my problem?”
      • Solution – “Can we be expected to get similar results”
      • Results – “What types of quantifiable results did the users get? Could we get the same results?”
    • 24. Selling Incremental Change
      • Instead of a “big bang” or “forklift upgrade”, can you sell a smaller set of low-risk changes?
      • Example: Microformats
      • How will web publishing tools need to change?
      • How will this benefit the Publisher
    • 25. Ontologies are Islands of Understanding
      • An individual OWL file or internal metadata registry without links to other ontologies is a self-contained “island” of understanding
      • Concepts and properties are internally linked and consistent with each other but agents can not understand relationships of concepts to other ontologies
      • Fine for internal data warehouses and internal OLTP systems
      • Does not take advantage of the growing knowledge base of the machine understandable web
    • 26. Inter-ontology Links are Bridges
      • RDF statements in separate ontologies can be expressed as URIs that are the identical
      • OWL supports sameAs, equivalentClass and equivalentProperty statements to create bridges between ontologies
      • Links allows agents to traverse ontologies and perform searches on disparate systems even if our local ontology does not have the data
      • “ Linking is Power” applies to Google page ranks and agent interoperability
    • 27. Bridge/Link Funding
      • What if there are two ontologies that have overlapping conceptual domains?
      • What if both source systems want to access each others data?
      • Who pays for the links?
      • Where are the links stored?
      • What about change control?
      Web page Agent
    • 28. Who Pays for the Bridges?
      • What is the economic motivation for building a bridge?
      • Who benefits from building a bridge?
        • The agent seeking data?
        • The data owners?
        • The community as a whole?
      • Where are inter-ontology links stored?
      • Will there be the standards?
      • Where are the bridges stored?
      database Web page Agent
    • 29. Hub and Spokes
      • Goal: create semantic linking to a few metadata standard, not many standards
      Mapping from one to many metadata registry to N other metadata registries: The O(N 2 ) problem Mapping to one metadata registry The O(N) problem (aka ESB-Enterprise Service Bus)
    • 30. Large and Upper Ontologies
      • What is the role of large or upper ontologies in the process?
      • Can they be used as linking hubs?
      • What is the role of small ontologies such as Dublin Core?
      • How would users publish their semantic links to these central ontologies?
      • Can translation services be created from these standards?
    • 31. The Tornado
      • When you are “inside the early majority”
      • Demand rises rapidly and outstrips supply of consultants and training
      • Lack of skilled workers and training
      • Who will provide these people/processes to convince decision makers that they can:
      • Can hire cost-effective contractors
      • Get their staff trained?
    • 32. Branding/Site Certification
      • Should we promote some type of certification for resources (web sites)?
      • What would be the logo? What would it imply? Can an agent just look up the definitions of all the data elements on a page?
      Source: Annual Report
    • 33. Certification
      • Should we promote some type of certification for people?
      • What would the scope of these skills or web sites be?
      • How would we certify individuals?
        • Proctored exams?
        • Knowledge bases?
      • Example: The Project Management Institute has certified over 100,000 individuals and has over $53M in revenue in 2004
      • What conflict of interest would arise?
      • Should we promote cost-effective on-line learning?
      Source: Annual Report
    • 34. Example: Moodle Open Source Learning Mgmt. System
    • 35. Where are Big Dollars Being Spent?
      • Some analysts indicates that 50% of IT dollars go towards integration issues
      • Some analysts say that 75% of integration issues are due to poor semantics
      • What is the size of the market for “automated semantic integration”?
    • 36. Metadata Discovery
      • Tools that “scan” data sources and create new ontologies or mappings to existing ontologies
      Metadata Registry Data Source Mappings Relational Database Corporate Ontology Examples: Silver Creek Systems
    • 37. Vendors Partnerships
      • Can we encourage hard-core ontology developers to publish their work in OWL format?
      • Database vendors
        • What vendors are doing RDF support?
        • What vendors currently promote OWL publishing?
        • How can we recognize them?
      • Application development vendors
        • SOA – Can SOA vendors use the semantic web stack?
        • Can Web Service development tools export to OWL format?
      • XML Appliance/Integration/Security vendors
        • Can they automate integration using OWL standards
      • Metadata registry vendors
      • Metadata discovery vendors
      • Tool vendors
      • Open Source partnerships
      • Do vendors consider metadata publishing in OWL contrary to their metadata lock-in strategy?
    • 38. Promote Early Adopters
      • Commercial
        • Adobe, Cisco, HP, IBM, Nokia, Oracle, Sun, Vodaphone
      • Governments
        • US, EU, Japan
      • Industries
        • Health Care
        • Life sciences
    • 39. Possible Strategies
      • Recognition
        • Linking is Power Award – given to organization that link ontologies together
    • 40. References
      • Semantic Web Home Page:
      • Semantic Web Education and Outreach Home Page
      • Semantic Technologies Conference
      • Linking is Power Award
    • 41. Thank You!
      • Please contact me for more information:
      • Metadata Management Services
      • Web Services
      • Service Oriented Architectures
      • XML Schema Design
      • Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse
      • Metadata Registries
      • Semantic Web
      • Dan McCreary, President
      • Dan McCreary & Associates
      • Metadata Strategy Development
      • [email_address]
      • (952) 931-9198