Sean Bechhofer Print


Thursday, 3rd June 2010  9:00-10:30 | Hermes + Apollon

SKOS: Past, Present and Future

SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organisation System) is a common data model for sharing and linking knowledge organization systems via the Web. Many knowledge organization systems, such as thesauri, taxonomies, classification schemes and subject heading systems, share a similar structure, and are used in similar applications. SKOS captures much of this similarity and makes it explicit, enabling data and technology sharing across diverse applications.
The SKOS data model provides a standard, low-cost migration path for porting existing knowledge organization systems to the Semantic Web. SKOS also provides a light weight, intuitive language for developing and sharing new knowledge organization systems. It may be used on its own, or in combination with formal knowledge representation languages such as the Web Ontology language (OWL). SKOS was published as a W3C Recommendation in August 2009 and is seeing growing take-up in a number of fields including (among others) cultural heritage, economics, astronomy, and local government. SKOS also looks set to play a key role in providing vocabularies for the Data Web through its use in Open Linked Data.
Sean Bechhofer is a Lecturer in the Information Management Group within the School of Computer Science at the University of Manchester. His interests fall under the broad umbrella of developing middleware and infrastructure to support applications, in particular through the use of semantic technologies. Since joining the School as a researcher in the early 90’s, he has worked on a number of key national and international projects developing and using semantic web technologies including
GALEN, TAMBIS, WonderWeb, OntoWeb, KnowledgeWeb, OntoGrid, HELIO, NeISS and myExperiment.

He was responsible for the development of OilEd, one of the first editors for Semantic Web Ontology Languages to make use of a DL reasoner to support classification, and was the principle architect behind initial development of the OWL API, a Java API for creation and manipulation of OWL ontologies, now used in a number of tools and applications including Protege 4 and the NeOn Toolkit. Sean has published around one hundred articles in journals, conferences and workshops, served on numerous program committees, was Research Area Manager for the final two years of the KnowledgeWeb network, and in 2008 was Programme Co-Chair for the 5th European Semantic Web Conference in Tenerife. He has also been a tutor at the highly regarded Summer School for Ontological Engineering and the Semantic Web (SSSW) since 2005 and has presented other tutorials at a number of conferences and workshops including the World Wide Web Conference, the International Semantic Web Conference, Global Grid Forum and Semantic Technologies.

Sean is an active participant in W3C’s Semantic Web Activity. He was a participant in the WebOnt Working Group, contributing towards the publication of the original OWL Web Ontology Language Specification, in particular providing implementation experience. He also participated in the Semantic Web Deployment Group, acting as an editor for the SKOS Simple Knowledge Organization System Reference published in August 2009.