DBLP Linked Data Experiment

Today, I spent some minutes to perform an experiment on linked data. The D2R server at L3S – University of Hannover publishes a weekly update version of the DBLP bibliography. The URIs from the Hannover server can thus be used to to set RDF links to DBLP data.

The FOAF profile is quite meaningless when used in a stand-alone to the machine-readable Web, similar to HTML pages without any links. With additional links to other machine-readable Web – and there are quite a lot resources available right now on the Web but you still have to find them. I was told a very visual metaphor where you could understand the Semantic Web as it is today as a country with hundreds or thousands of train stations but no tracks between those stations. As long as there are no tracks build, the train stations do not provide any added value. Similar it is to the Semantic Web. Unfortunately, establishing the links between the resources is still a very manual and time intensive job that must be accomplished by the human user.

Once linked, it becomes interesting when using the appropriate tools to browse these information. The best (even when experimental) tools therefore are the following Semantic Browsers:

To link myself to the DBLP database URI, I simply have to add an owl:sameAs tag to my FOAF profile. This allows to follow Semantic Web Browsers the links to the DBLP database. The different kinds of links you can add to your profile can are explained in a tutorial at FU Berlin.

As adding these links is still a manual process, I now think of creating a small component that will update publications in my FOAF file in the future based on a XML input file. That will allow me to semi-automate the process of updating the FOAF file. Some good reasons are

  • It’s easier to write down pure XML rather than RDF.
  • I can reuse the XML on other places, such as the publication list on my Web site
  • The links to the corresponding DBLP entries will be searched automatically.

Comments are warmly welcomed.

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