A Pragmatic Semantics
for the Web of Data
• The Web of Data (WoD) is complex, inherently messy, contextualised,
• Today the WoD is constructed and used as a database.
• Tomorrow the WoD should be constructed and used as a marketplace of ideas / a ‘knowledge economy’.
Alternative solution: Pragmatic Semantics
• A collection of truth orderings, each representing a particular ‘worldview’.
• A framework for optimisation over those truth-orderings.
• Distributed and nature-based algorithms.
Examples of truth orderings
• Model-theoretic notions of truth
• (Classical) truth value
• Ratio of maximally consistent subsets
• Number of justifications
• Structural aspects of the graph
• Shortest path ordering (e.g. using random-walk distance)
• Node-ranks (e.g. PageRank)
• Popularity / abnormality / scarcity
• Background knowledge from other sources:
• Google count
• Similarity / relevance
At the VU university:
• Computer Scientists talk about ‘ontologies’
• Philosophers talk about ‘ontology’
Suppose someone (foolishly?) asserted that a CS ontology is a Phil.
• The deductive closure may contain falsities (e.g. “there is exactly one
But Computer Scientists are more connected with other Computer
Science researchers than with Philosophers.
When deduction is constrained by a structural metric, false assertions
are less likely to arise.