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Semantic Metadata in Content Applications Thane KernerChief Executive Officer, Silverchair
What are Semantics and the Semantic Web?
Definition The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. --W3C Semantic Web Activity Definition
Beyond Documents The Semantic Web requires us to go beyond documents and think of our content as data. For example: 1 practice guideline = 1 document OR 1 practice guideline = 312 distinct pieces of data This comes more naturally to industries that have traditionally dealt with uniform data (finance, travel)
If the airlines treated their data the way publishers did…
If the airlines treated their data the way publishers did… This Week’s Departures (PDF, 45K) This Week’s Arrivals (PDF, 52K)
The Semantic Layer The semantic layer is an evolution of traditional web <meta> data. It is a consistent, rules-based information layer for computer logic parsing. It is a method for exposing the meaning of data so the computer can perform more sophisticated cognitive tasks.
Parallel Data For Humans: The Narrative Layer Chapter 23: Numbness, Tingling, and Sensory Loss Normal somatic sensation reflects a continuous monitoring process,  little of which reaches consciousness under ordinary conditions.  By contrast, disordered sensation, particularly when experienced  as painful, is alarming and… For Computers: The Semantic Layer <semantics controlvocab=“UMLS”>   <tag>     <root-term termID="28648">sensation disorders</root-term>         <sub-term termID="180">classification</sub-term>         <sub-term termID="6138">terminology</sub-term>   </tag>   <tag>     <root-term termID="39923">sensory testing</root-term>   </tag> </semantics>
Vocabularies, Taxonomies, Ontologies
Order of Complexity Less Complex Term listSimple set of words used in text Controlled vocabulary Uses only approved terms Taxonomy Includes structural hierarchy (parent/child) Ontology Limitless relationship types defined in system More Complex
Taxonomy as Semantic Foundation The taxonomy is the framework for the semantic layer and semantic tagging—crucial for concept normalization and hierarchies Industry standard taxonomies facilitate integration Taxonomies are living creatures—they should be actively managed by an expert team (e.g. Silverchair Cortex is updated every day)
Normalization Authors use different terminology in different books, journal articles, and even in the same book. A semantic layer with a controlled vocabulary will normalize these differences and make user-data connections smarter. This is especially pertinent in health care.
From a Previous Example For Humans Chapter 23: Numbness, Tingling, and Sensory Loss Normal somatic sensation reflects a continuous monitoring process,  little of which reaches consciousness under ordinary conditions.  By contrast, disordered sensation, particularly when experienced  as painful, is alarming and… For Computers <semantics controlvocab=“UMLS”>   <tag>     <root-term termID="28648">sensation disorders</root-term>… “disordered sensation” = 215 PubMed results “sensation disorders”	= 112,577 PubMed results (raw search) 	= 76,826 PubMed results (MeSH major topic search)
More Need for Normalization Synonyms (newborn = neonate) Acronyms (GHB = gamma hydroxybutyrate) Shorthand (c diff =clostridium difficile) Bonus:You can use a semantic normalization web service in your search without tagging your content.
Contextual Integration By using a shared vocabulary or taxonomy, you can more easily integrate your varied content (journals, books, videos, images, training). Current taxonomies in health care include: MeSH, SNOMED, ICD-10, Read Codes, Silverchair Cortex, (and about 100 more). The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) is a place to start for health care integrations.
Silverchair’s TOTEM Taxonomy Platform
Semantic Tagging Tagging is the insertion of semantic information in the XML, whose smallest unit is called a tag. Tagging can also be placed in database tables and header files if the content is inaccessible (such as images and videos). Tagging should be done at the smallest “atomic” level of data possible
Who Tags, and How? Human indexers are the most accurate taggers for high-value content, but computer routines can help them tag or tag extremely formulaic content. At Silverchair, we run an automated routine to place obvious tags and medical editors apply the rest. Community tagging/author tagging seems attractive, but can be risky due to inconsistency.
Silverchair’s TagMaster Tagging Platform
Immediate Benefits of Semantics
Precision in Discovery! Precision in answering user queries is a key component of an application’s usability and user satisfaction rating. The semantic layer provides an application with a concise guide to the content in a language it can understand. It can now provide more accurate results.
Example A user wants to know about the mortality of necrotizing fasciitis.
Computable Context Links Create a rich matrix of contextual linking for your users using the semantic layer. These links never have to be updated by a person—semantics enable instantaneous, automated relationships whenever new content is added.
Text.
Text.
Collection Intelligence Content Where are the topic gaps in your collections?  Where is your content complete? Semantic reports give a unified view to integrated sites and can help guide collection development. Trends How are certain topics trending among your user groups?  What topics are of greatest interest and value to your users?
Next Wave of SEO Discovery tools (intelligent agents, virtual research assistants) will give greater weight to content they can understand. Don’t let your collections be part of the “dark web”—expose your content through your semantic layer.  Semantics have the potential to dramatically enhance federated search.
Ask Publishers and Aggregators About What Semantic Metadata They Can Provide Many publishers are enriching content with semantic metadata now, and many more will  Ask what kind of metadata is available to support your applications
Thank You! Thane Kerner CEO Silverchair thanek@silverchair.com www.silverchair.com

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XXIX Charleston 2009 Silverchair Kerner

  • 1. Semantic Metadata in Content Applications Thane KernerChief Executive Officer, Silverchair
  • 2. What are Semantics and the Semantic Web?
  • 3. Definition The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. --W3C Semantic Web Activity Definition
  • 4. Beyond Documents The Semantic Web requires us to go beyond documents and think of our content as data. For example: 1 practice guideline = 1 document OR 1 practice guideline = 312 distinct pieces of data This comes more naturally to industries that have traditionally dealt with uniform data (finance, travel)
  • 5. If the airlines treated their data the way publishers did…
  • 6. If the airlines treated their data the way publishers did… This Week’s Departures (PDF, 45K) This Week’s Arrivals (PDF, 52K)
  • 7. The Semantic Layer The semantic layer is an evolution of traditional web <meta> data. It is a consistent, rules-based information layer for computer logic parsing. It is a method for exposing the meaning of data so the computer can perform more sophisticated cognitive tasks.
  • 8. Parallel Data For Humans: The Narrative Layer Chapter 23: Numbness, Tingling, and Sensory Loss Normal somatic sensation reflects a continuous monitoring process, little of which reaches consciousness under ordinary conditions. By contrast, disordered sensation, particularly when experienced as painful, is alarming and… For Computers: The Semantic Layer <semantics controlvocab=“UMLS”> <tag> <root-term termID="28648">sensation disorders</root-term> <sub-term termID="180">classification</sub-term> <sub-term termID="6138">terminology</sub-term> </tag> <tag> <root-term termID="39923">sensory testing</root-term> </tag> </semantics>
  • 10. Order of Complexity Less Complex Term listSimple set of words used in text Controlled vocabulary Uses only approved terms Taxonomy Includes structural hierarchy (parent/child) Ontology Limitless relationship types defined in system More Complex
  • 11. Taxonomy as Semantic Foundation The taxonomy is the framework for the semantic layer and semantic tagging—crucial for concept normalization and hierarchies Industry standard taxonomies facilitate integration Taxonomies are living creatures—they should be actively managed by an expert team (e.g. Silverchair Cortex is updated every day)
  • 12. Normalization Authors use different terminology in different books, journal articles, and even in the same book. A semantic layer with a controlled vocabulary will normalize these differences and make user-data connections smarter. This is especially pertinent in health care.
  • 13. From a Previous Example For Humans Chapter 23: Numbness, Tingling, and Sensory Loss Normal somatic sensation reflects a continuous monitoring process, little of which reaches consciousness under ordinary conditions. By contrast, disordered sensation, particularly when experienced as painful, is alarming and… For Computers <semantics controlvocab=“UMLS”> <tag> <root-term termID="28648">sensation disorders</root-term>… “disordered sensation” = 215 PubMed results “sensation disorders” = 112,577 PubMed results (raw search) = 76,826 PubMed results (MeSH major topic search)
  • 14. More Need for Normalization Synonyms (newborn = neonate) Acronyms (GHB = gamma hydroxybutyrate) Shorthand (c diff =clostridium difficile) Bonus:You can use a semantic normalization web service in your search without tagging your content.
  • 15. Contextual Integration By using a shared vocabulary or taxonomy, you can more easily integrate your varied content (journals, books, videos, images, training). Current taxonomies in health care include: MeSH, SNOMED, ICD-10, Read Codes, Silverchair Cortex, (and about 100 more). The Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) is a place to start for health care integrations.
  • 17. Semantic Tagging Tagging is the insertion of semantic information in the XML, whose smallest unit is called a tag. Tagging can also be placed in database tables and header files if the content is inaccessible (such as images and videos). Tagging should be done at the smallest “atomic” level of data possible
  • 18. Who Tags, and How? Human indexers are the most accurate taggers for high-value content, but computer routines can help them tag or tag extremely formulaic content. At Silverchair, we run an automated routine to place obvious tags and medical editors apply the rest. Community tagging/author tagging seems attractive, but can be risky due to inconsistency.
  • 21. Precision in Discovery! Precision in answering user queries is a key component of an application’s usability and user satisfaction rating. The semantic layer provides an application with a concise guide to the content in a language it can understand. It can now provide more accurate results.
  • 22. Example A user wants to know about the mortality of necrotizing fasciitis.
  • 23. Computable Context Links Create a rich matrix of contextual linking for your users using the semantic layer. These links never have to be updated by a person—semantics enable instantaneous, automated relationships whenever new content is added.
  • 24. Text.
  • 25. Text.
  • 26. Collection Intelligence Content Where are the topic gaps in your collections? Where is your content complete? Semantic reports give a unified view to integrated sites and can help guide collection development. Trends How are certain topics trending among your user groups? What topics are of greatest interest and value to your users?
  • 27. Next Wave of SEO Discovery tools (intelligent agents, virtual research assistants) will give greater weight to content they can understand. Don’t let your collections be part of the “dark web”—expose your content through your semantic layer. Semantics have the potential to dramatically enhance federated search.
  • 28.
  • 29. Ask Publishers and Aggregators About What Semantic Metadata They Can Provide Many publishers are enriching content with semantic metadata now, and many more will Ask what kind of metadata is available to support your applications
  • 30. Thank You! Thane Kerner CEO Silverchair thanek@silverchair.com www.silverchair.com