An Introduction to the Semantic Web: Concepts and Technologies

Half-day Tutorial


This morning tutorial will be followed by a technical session (in the afternoon), which will consist of a more in-depth introduction to the common Semantic Web languages (RDF, RDF Schema and OWL), and to the tool support for Semantic Web application development.


Participants in this tutorial should expect to learn about the following topics:

Basic Concepts and Background
  • a brief history of knowledge-based systems and knowledge representation
  • machine-readable vs. machine-understandable information
  • cataloguing, classification and metadata
  • the importance of shared vocabularies and ontologies
Introducing the Semantic Web
  • an overview of Semantic Web technologies:
    • Resource Description Framework (RDF)
    • RDF Schema
    • the OWL Web Ontology Language
  • the relationship between the Semantic Web and the Web
  • the Semantic Web vs. hypertext: two models of associative knowledge
  • common vocabularies in use on the Semantic Web
  • example Semantic Web applications


This tutorial is aimed at those who wish to gain a general understanding of the scope of the Semantic Web, and some idea of those application types which might benefit from the use of Semantic Web technologies.

No prior knowledge of the Semantic Web or of knowledge based systems is assumed. Some awareness of the basic Web architecture (HTTP, URIs, etc) and XML would be advantageous.

About the Presenter

Dr. Nicholas Gibbins is a researcher at the University of Southampton, UK. He is a member of the Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT) project, where his research centres on the application of Semantic Web technologies to the challenges of knowledge engineering and management. In addition, he is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Ontology Language (Webont) and Semantic Web Best Practices (SWBP) working groups.

With a background in applied artificial intelligence and distributed information management, his ongoing research includes the development of scalable infrastructures for multi-agent systems, open hypermedia and the Semantic Web.