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SemSearch: A Search Engine for the Semantic Web - CiteSeerX

SemSearch: A Search Engine for the Semantic Web - CiteSeerX

SemSearch: A Search Engine for the Semantic Web -

SemSearch: A Search Engine for the SemanticWebYuangui Lei, Victoria Uren, and Enrico MottaKnowledge Media Institute (KMi), The Open University, Milton Keynes,{y.lei, v.s.uren, e.motta}@open.ac.ukAbstract. Semantic search promises to produce precise answers to userqueries by taking advantage of the availability of explicit semantics ofinformation in the context of the semantic web. Existing tools have beenprimarily designed to enhance the performance of traditional search technologiesbut with little support for naive users, i.e., ordinary end userswho are not necessarily familiar with domain specific semantic data, ontologies,or SQL-like query languages. This paper presents SemSearch,a search engine, which pays special attention to this issue by hiding thecomplexity of semantic search from end users and making it easy to useand effective. In contrast with existing semantic-based keyword searchengines which typically compromise their capability of handling complexuser queries in order to overcome the problem of knowledge overhead,SemSearch not only overcomes the problem of knowledge overhead butalso supports complex queries. Further, SemSearch provides comprehensivemeans to produce precise answers that on the one hand satisfy userqueries and on the other hand are self-explanatory and understandableby end users. A prototype of the search engine has been implementedand applied in the semantic web portal of our lab. An initial evaluationshows promising results.1 IntroductionOne important goal of the semantic web is to make the meaning of informationexplicit through semantic mark-up, thus enabling more effective access to knowledgecontained in heterogeneous information environments, such as the web. Semanticsearch plays an important role in realizing this goal, as it promises toproduce precise answers to user’s queries by taking advantage of the availabilityof explicit semantics of information.For example, when searching for news stories about phd students, with traditionalsearching technologies, we often could only get news entries in whichthe term “phd students” appears. Those entries which mention the names ofstudents but do not use the term “phd students” directly will be missed out.Such news entries however are often the ones that the user is really interestedin. In the context of the semantic web, where the meaning of web content ismade explicit, the semantic meaning of the keyword (which is a general conceptin the example of phd students) can be figured out. Furthermore, the underlyingsemantic relations of metadata can be exploited to support the retrieving of

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