300 Delegates Discuss the Next Generation of the Web at the European Semantic Web Conference

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The 3rd European Semantic Web Conference took place from 11th -14th of June, in the Montenegrin town of Budva. Over 300 semantic technology researchers and practitioners took part.

The 3rd European Semantic Web Conference took place from 11th -14th of June, in the Montenegrin town of Budva. Over 300 semantic technology researchers and practitioners, an increase of more than 25% on the previous year’s event, attended various workshops, tutorials and technical paper sessions encompassing all aspects of semantic technology including industrial considerations.

On June 13th, a highly charged crowd listened to the opening ceremony and the first invited speaker Frank van Harmelen, who outlined how a number of basic assumptions within computer science had been challenged by the Semantic Web and discussed aspects of the new research agenda this had brought up. Day 2 began with an enlightening talk by Eduard Hovy who discussed how Natural Language Processing techniques could enable semantics to be extracted from text within web pages in a scalable fashion. The conference concluded with the final invited speaker Anthony Jameson who addressed the usability of the Semantic Web. In particular, Anthony focused on the trade-off between hiding complexity and allowing the user to know what is going on behind the scenes.

This year’s event also encompassed various opportunities for prizes and awards, including awards for the best paper, poster, demonstration system and a highly coveted iPod nano for the Semantic Conference Design Challenge.

The best paper awards went to Aditya Kalyanpur, Bijan Parsia, Evren Sirin, and Bernardo Cuenca-Grau for their paper titled “Repairing Unsatisfiable Concepts in OWL Ontologies” and also to Thomas Eiter, Giovambattista Ianni, Roman Schindlauer, Hans Tompits for their paper titled “Effective Integration of Declarative Rules with External Evaluations for Semantic Web Reasoning.”

The best demonstration system went to Marko Grobelnik, Blaz Fortuna and Dunja Mladenic for the OntoGen system. OntoGen is a system for (semi-)automatically deriving ontologies from large document collections.

The best poster award went to Max Völkel, Markus Krötzsch, Denny Vrandecic, Heiko Haller, Rudi Studer from the University of Karlsruhe for their poster on Semantic Wikipedia.

The Semantic Conference Design Challenge was won by Gunnar Grimnes from DFKI. This contest required delegates to write a short outline of a Semantic Web application or service that could feasibly be implemented to enhance the conference experience for delegates.

The ESWC conference series is organised by the European Semantic Systems Initiative (ESSI), which is a group of four European Commission 6th Framework Programme projects ASG, DIP, Knowledge Web and SEKT, who collectively aim to support world-wide research, development, industrial uptake and standardisation in the areas of the Semantic Web and Semantic Systems.

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