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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL [Paperback]

Dean Allemang , James Hendler
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist, Second Edition: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist, Second Edition: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL 4.8 out of 5 stars (11)
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Book Description

May 9, 2008 0123735564 978-0123735560 1
The promise of the Semantic Web to provide a universal medium to exchange data information and knowledge has been well publicized. There are many sources too for basic information on the extensions to the WWW that permit content to be expressed in natural language yet used by software agents to easily find, share and integrate information. Until now individuals engaged in creating ontologies-- formal descriptions of the concepts, terms, and relationships within a given knowledge domain-- have had no sources beyond the technical standards documents.

Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist transforms this information into the practical knowledge that programmers and subject domain experts need. Authors Allemang and Hendler begin with solutions to the basic problems, but don't stop there: they demonstrate how to develop your own solutions to problems of increasing complexity and ensure that your skills will keep pace with the continued evolution of the Semantic Web.

. Provides practical information for all programmers and subject matter experts engaged in modeling data to fit the requirements of the Semantic Web.
. De-emphasizes algorithms and proofs, focusing instead on real-world problems, creative solutions, and highly illustrative examples.
. Presents detailed, ready-to-apply "recipes” for use in many specific situations.
. Shows how to create new recipes from RDF, RDFS, and OWL constructs.

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Editorial Reviews


"The Missing Link: Hendler and Allemang's new book is exactly what our industry is looking for. We have many introductory books, and some detail compilations of papers but very little to help a practitioner move up their experience curve from novice to journeyman ontologist. The book is very readable; the examples are plentiful and accessible. I've already begun recommending students and clients to pre-order this book.”--David McComb, President, Semantic Arts, Inc.

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About the Author

Dean Allemang is the chief scientist at TopQuadrant, Inc.-the first company in the United States devoted to consulting, training, and products for the Semantic Web. He co-developed (with Professor Hendler) TopQuadrant's successful Semantic Web training series, which he has been delivering on a regular basis since 2003. He has served as an invited expert on numerous international review boards, including a review of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute-the world's largest Semantic Web research institute - and the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a collaboration between 10 pharmaceutical companies and the European Commission to set the roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry for the near future.

Jim Hendler is the Tetherless World Senior Constellation Chair at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and has authored over 200 technical papers in the areas of artificial intelligence, Semantic Web, agent-based computing, and web science. One of the early developers of the Semantic Web, he is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of IEEE Intelligent Systems and is the first computer scientist to serve on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science. In 2010, he was chosen as one of the 20 most innovative professors in America by Playboy magazine, Hendler currently serves as an "Internet Web Expert" for the U.S. government, providing guidance to the project.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (May 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123735564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123735560
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 7.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a good textbook June 22, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are maybe half a dozen or so books in my library that have defined the body of knowledge that has been the subject of my career. All the others are interesting (or not) but not the definitive description of the subject. It is very rare when a new one comes along. But when one does succinctly and clearly define and describe a subject area I have been struggling to master for several years, this is worth celebrating.

This is such a book. For the last several years, I have been studying OWL and the Semantic Web, recognizing that there is something there that is important. But it's been a struggle to get on top of it. For example, the books I've found so far (and indeed, the OWL specification itself) describes the language in terms of XML. That's ok, and I was able to understand bits and pieces of it. And I did get the fundamental difference between semantic modeling as done in OWL and semantic modeling as I have been doing with entity/relationship modeling. But I never really felt comfortable that I "got it".

This book, however, very clearly starts at the beginning and takes the reader through the steps required to understand not just the languages involved, but why they are important and why they are significant to the Semantic Web. Indeed this is the first time I can say that I really understand the semantic web.

One of the reviews complains that the book doesn't go far enough. Perhaps not. But if you are looking for a place not just to start your education and to get a through grounding in fundamental concepts, this is the book for you.

I strongly recommend this book.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semantic Web 101 July 3, 2008
Around 2003 I bought my first two books about the Semantic Web and RDF. The authors of these books managed to confuse me into believing that RDF is some XML standard for knowledge representation and they basically needed an entire book to explain how to force knowledge into XML. The technology looked so painful, ugly, and wrong that I quickly gave up. A year later I met someone who explained to me that RDF (and SW) is about serializing semantic networks into triples and that reading XML/RDF is actually only for masochists. Well, that was something I did understand and I've been playing and working with RDF even since.
The book by Dean and Jim is wonderful. XML/RDF is completely ignored and the book focuses on the things that you need to understand if you want to get into the Semantic Web. I'm recommending it to all our customers and I guess we real soon will need a second edition. I'm also looking forward to their next book: the Semantic Web for the Advanced Ontologist :-)
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been great June 6, 2008
There is a great need for a book like this, and the authors are well-credentialed, but unfortunately, this book is more like an introduction than a craftsman's resource. It reads like a first draft with typos, belabored repetitive text, and some odd examples. There is almost no discussion of internationalization, security, performance, or tricky basic types such as dates, times, or currency. More discussion of SPARQL would have been useful, as well as discussion of what should go in the model vs. what should be queried out. The chapter "Good and Bad Modeling Practices" was a particular let-down. A sharp, thoughtful, deeper book on this topic would really help the field.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Finally a book that explains the key aspects of the Semantic Web in easy to understand language, with well thought out examples and taking a step by step approach to this eminently stackable technology. No RDF/XML in the whole book! This will save all who get started on the semantic web years of work hunting down specs, and will give them the right initial intuitions.

A God send! Buy one for yourself and one for your friends too :-)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book that gets down to work June 15, 2008
It used to be that the only books about the Semantic Web were either theoretical treatises requiring advanced mathematical training or marketing pep-rallies. Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist fills the gap in between by providing a down-to-earth description of this important technology, describing how it can be used to provide real business value.

Allemang and Hendler accomplish this without relying on a lot of mathematical mumbo-jumbo--the first mention of the confusing OWL 'species' doesn't come until Chapter 13. You can get a lot of work done before you even start to worry about the technical details of logic.

Parts of the book are accessible to a general audience, and the whole book is accessible to anyone with some sort of analytic background, not just logicians and computer scientists. This book has something for beginners (even if this is the first time you've heard of the semantic web) as well as for experienced practitioners.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Learning April 9, 2009
I picked up this book at SemTech 2008 where it had its launch, but only got around to reading it this winter. I wish I had read it earlier as it is tremendously helpful. I have learned what I know of the semantic web by reading the W3C application and building things, primarily using Protégé and the Semantic MediaWiki with Halo. I have also been part of semantic web study groups in Vancouver BC and Cambridge MA. These have all been useful but I like to include books in my learning programs and until the Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist I had not found anything that really helped. John Sowa's wonderful book on Knowledge Representation (is this out of print?) helped with the intellectual foundations, and got me reading Frege, but I needed something that talked in RDF, RDFS and OWL. This book does.
One reason this is such a good book is that the authors have practical experience teaching semantic web modeling (I think I want to take a course) and this teaching experience informs the book. Another strength is that they relate semantic web modeling to object oriented programming and call out the differences. Some books on the semantic web enter from a relational database frame of reference. This can also be useful, especially if one comes from the relational world and actually understands the relational model, but my own background is from OO and I find the relational approach to the semantic web irritating (this reflects my own prejudices, if you come from the relational camp you may want a book that can relate semantic web to the relational model).
Dean Allemang and Jim Hendler's book reinforces the key design rules of the semantic web, and two of them are worth repeating here (and anytime one has a chance). 1.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars good book but don't get the kindle edition
The book is pretty good at stepping a newbie through the process of understanding RDF, OWL, SPARQL, etc, but the Kindle edition formatted terribly (including important missing... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JLC
2.0 out of 5 stars Not even close to the best book on the topic...
I only rented the Kindle version of this book and I am glad I did not spend the money to buy it.

The title of the book contains "Semantic Web for the Working... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joel Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the concepts behind RDF and OWL
This is an excellent, easy-to-read book that describes the concepts behind the semantic web languages and how they are implemented in RDF and OWL. Read more
Published on February 8, 2011 by namefunnel
1.0 out of 5 stars Ouch
Well respected and knowledgeable authors but should have invested in an editor and published their second draft. Read more
Published on September 20, 2010 by Brian
2.0 out of 5 stars The text seems diffused
I agree with the review by Krzysztof J. Chalupka, as I did't get much from the book after I looked through the first Chapter of the book. Read more
Published on February 18, 2010 by Academic Book Reviewer
2.0 out of 5 stars A book for no one
I was using theas a textbook at a university course. The book does not claim to be useful for this. In fact, the authors are happy to admit that their work "Deemphasizes algorithms... Read more
Published on February 1, 2010 by Krzysztof J. Chalupka
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome reference, for beginners and specialists alike.
The first few chapters do a good job of laying out the fundamental concepts of Semantic Web and RDF, gradually building you towards a complete understanding of this heady topic. Read more
Published on October 2, 2009 by M. Zumwalt
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a book for the practician in semantics
Being overwhelmed with scientific and technical publications, finally a book where the practician is waiting for. Read more
Published on August 13, 2009 by Eddy Vanderlinden
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, in hardcopy, but terrible on the Kindle
This was one of the first books that I bought for my newly purchased Kindle. I found the book to be a very well written introduction to RDF/S & OWL, but it was frustratingly... Read more
Published on June 9, 2009 by A. Reich
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply outstanding!
Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL

After having read a number of other books on semantic technology, I unquestionably rate the... Read more
Published on May 13, 2009 by Amazon Customer
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