International Semantic Web Conference 2014: Trip Report

Last week, I attended the 13th International Semantic Web Conference in Riva del Garda, Italy. Google was a gold sponsor, and Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan delivered one of the keynotes. This is my trip report with personal highlights and key take-aways.

I started the conference on Sunday with the Developers Workshop, where I had two papers. The workshop was the first of its kind and was put together by my good friend Ruben Verborgh. It pulled more than 70 people in the room and the workshop was prominently featured during the main conference's opening ceremony.

Of personal interest for me were the following works. Knowledge Graphs were a core theme during the conference, and one example based on OpenRefine was shown by Parmesan et al. in form of Dandelion. Liepinš et al. showed an ontology visualizer called OWLGrEd. Ebner et al. showed a system called LDcache that deals with caching flaky Linked Data sources. With XSPARQL, Dell’Aglio et al. presented a language and implementation combining XML, SPARQL, and SQL to query heterogeneous data sources. Matteis et al. showed how App Engine or Google Code among others can be used as "free" and queryable triple pattern data stores. Ceccarelli showed an entity linking framework called Dexter. My first contribution is titled Comprehensive Wikipedia Monitoring for Global and Realtime Natural Disaster Detection and focuses on natural disaster detection and monitoring with Wikipedia and online social networks. My second contribution is a paper called Self-Contained Semantic Hypervideos Using Web Components and introduces Web Components for the creation of hypervideos.On Monday morning, I attended the Consuming Linked Data workshop. The most interesting paper for me was by Rula et al., which dealt with the recency of facts in DBpedia. In the afternoon, I switched to the NLP and DBpedia workshop where the highlight was an amazing 300 slides in 30 minutes keynote by Roberto Navigli on BabelNet, Babelfy, Games with a Purpose, and the Wikipedia Bitaxonomy. Further of interest was a paper by Weisenburger et al. on mining historical data for DBpedia via Wikipedia infoboxes.

Tuesday started with Prabhakar's well-received keynote, in which he provided an overview of search engine development in the last years. His book has a nice summary. I then went to the NLP & IEs track, where the best-paper-award-winning paper on the AGDISTIS framework on entity disambiguation by Usbeck et al. was presented. In the afternoon, I attended the Data Integration and Link Discovery track. I liked a paper by Erxleben et al. that described the integration of Wikidata in the Linked Data Web. From the demos in the evening, I want to specially highlight the best-demo-award-winning paper by my friends Verborgh et al. on Linked Data Fragments on a Raspberry Pie. In general, Linked Data Fragments were one of the themes at this conference with several works citing them and also the release of the official DBpedia Linked Data Fragments interface.

On Wednesday, I attended the User Interaction and Personalization track, where I want to highlight a paper by Uchida et al. who presented a Chrome extension on browser personalization. I further liked a paper by Khamkham et al. on the CrowdTruth framework for harnessing disagreement in gathering annotated data. In the afternoon, my personal highlight was Verborgh et al.'s full paper on Linked Data Fragments.

I skipped Thursday morning and was back in the afternoon for the Linked Data track. Notable papers include Beek et al.'s LOD Laundromat that provides a solution for streamlining access to Linked Data sources by cleansing and format conversion and Patel-Schneider's analysis of and some (author's view) recommendations on how to improve it. Meusel et al. gave an overview of the current state of WebDataCommons project that examines Microdata, RDFa, and Microformats distribution in the CommonCrawl corpus.

The conference was archived by Eventifier and Seen. All papers are available as open access preprints on GitHub.