Explorer's Guide to the Semantic Web
Thomas B. Passin
  • June 2004
  • ISBN 9781932394207
  • 304 pages
  • printed in black & white

A thorough look at one vision of the Web's future, particularly well written...Highly recommended.

Outstanding Academic Title for 2005, Choice Magazine

A complex set of extensions to the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web will make data and services more accessible to computers and useful to people. Some of these extensions are being deployed, and many are coming in the next years. This is the only book to explore the territory of the Semantic Web in a broad and conceptual manner.

This Guide acquaints you with the basic ideas and technologies of the Semantic Web, their roles and inter-relationships. The key areas covered include knowledge modeling (RDF, Topic Maps), ontology (OWL), agents (intelligent and otherwise), distributed trust and belief, "semantically-focused" search, and much more.

Table of Contents show full



about this book

1. The Semantic Web

2. Describing data with RDF

3. Navigating information with topic maps

4. Annotation

5. Searching

6. The role of logic

7. Ontology

8. Semantic Web services

9. Agents

10. Distributed trust and belief

11. Putting it all together

Appendix A: Case studies



What's inside

Threads Explored:

  • Scenarios of use
  • Semantic Web layering
  • A society of agents
  • Trust and belief
  • The life of annotations
  • Collective knowledge
  • The challenge of information:
    • incomplete
    • erroneous
    • conflicting

About the reader

The book's basic, conceptual approach is accessible to readers with a wide range of backgrounds and interests. Important points are illustrated with diagrams and occasional markup fragments. As it explores the landscape it encounters an ever-surprising variety of novel ideas and unexpected links. The book is easy and fun to read - you may find it hard to put down.

The Semantic Web is coming. This is a guide to the basic concepts and technologies that will come with it.

About the author

Thomas Passin is Principal Systems Engineer with Mitretek Systems, a non-profit systems and information engineering company. He has been involved in data modeling and created several complex database-backed web sites and also became engaged in a range of conceptual modeling approaches and graphical modeling technologies. He was a key member of a team that developed several demonstration XML-based web service applications, and worked on creating XML versions of draft standards originally written in ASN.1.

He graduated with a B.S. in physics from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, then studied graduate-level physics at the University of Chicago. He became involved with XML-related work in 1998, with Topic Maps in 1999 and developed the open-source TM4JScript Javascript topic map engine.

Mr. Passin is the coauthor of the book Signal Processing in C. He lives in Reston, Virginia.

Read the JavaRanch interview with Thomas Passin.

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I recommend this book to students, developers, and researchers who are curious about the semantic Web, or who are looking for an upper-level viewpoint...

Staff Reviewer, Computing Reviews