- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann; 1 edition (May 9, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0123735564
- ISBN-13: 978-0123735560
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist: Effective Modeling in RDFS and OWL 1st Edition
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"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 Data.gov project.
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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.
After having read a number of other books on semantic technology, I unquestionably rate the book by Dean Allemang as the best in the market. Not only it is comprehensive and clear, but it is full of advices, tips and perspectives that only a person with extensive practical experience in the field can provide.
From that intro, the book segues pretty smoothly into iteratively introducing layers of RDF's complexity & richness. If you're fond of (or at least unafraid of) formal logic, you will love the pragmatic way in which the authors lay out technical scenarios to make their point.
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. AAA - the semantic web allows Anyone to say Anything about Any topic. 2. A model means what it allows you to infer and inferred triples have the same status as asserted triples. The latter reminds me of Wittgenstein and his insistence (in the Philosophical Investigations) that the meaning of a word depends on how it is used. The meaning of a model depends on what it allows us to infer.
This book is not perfect, and I am only giving it four stars as I want to encourage the authors to bring out a second edition. What would I like to see? A quick explanation of the semantic web layer cake. More real world models and applications. And more on SAPRQL, the pattern search language of the semantic web. Some of the expository writing still needs work, at least for me. I had to read several of the OWL sections many times and could have used more examples. The two case studies in OWL in the Wild (the Federal Enterprise Architecture Reference Model Ontology and the National Cancer Institute Ontology) were not as compelling as I had hoped and I think the next edition will need a third example. On the other hand, I hope the next edition is shorter!
I hope that someone, perhaps these authors, will complement this book with a volume (and website) that explores some of the best models, annotates them, and shows how they can be applied.