Data Semantics Revisited

Professor John
University of Toronto
University of Trento

Friday, November 25, 11pm
SITE 5084

Sponsored  by DISCOVER Lab &
Distributed System Research Group


The problem of data semantics is establishing and maintaining a correspondence between a data source (e.g., a database of an XML document) and its intended subject matter. We discuss the importance of data semantics in the era of the World Wide Web. We then review the long history of the problem in Databases going back to the Entity-Relationship model and other semantic data models proposed in the same period. We also discuss on-going work on the Semantic Web, its relationship to the data semantics problem, also some of the challenges that lie ahead. The last part of the presentation sketches two fruitful directions for research which are based on different perspectives of what data semantics is all about.

This is joint work with Alex Borgida (Rutgers University), published in Borgida, A., Mylopoulos, J., ``Data Semantics Revisited'', Proceedings VLDB Workshop on the Semantic Web and Databases, Toronto, August 2004, Springer-Verlag LNCS.

Biography of Professor  John Mylopoulos

John Mylopoulos holds a PhD degree from Princeton University and is professor of Computer Science at the University of Toronto and the University of Trento (Italy). His research interests span Artificial Intelligence (AI), Databases and Software Engineering, and include include semantic data models, requirements engineering, and knowledge
management. John is the recipient of the first-ever Outstanding Services Award given by the Canadian AI Society (CSCSI), a co-recipient of the most influential paper award of the 1994 International Conference on Software Engineering, a fellow of the American Association for AI (AAAI) and past president of the VLDB Endowment. He was recently named a ``Pioneer of Computing in Canada'' by IBM's Center for Advanced Studies.
John Mylopoulos has been principal investigator of both national and provincial Centres of Excellence. His current research is exploring new techniques for discovering mappings between data sources and designing databases. He is also involved in research on goal-oriented requirements engineering and the design of autonomic software systems. Along with colleagues from Dalhousie, Waterloo and Alberta universities, he is developing software to help elderly individuals overcome cognitive impairments such as memory loss and lack of initiative. His contributions to the international research community include service on the editorial board of numerous international journals and
organizing committees of international conferences. He is currently editor-in-chief of the Requirements Engineering journal (published by Springer Verlag) and served as program co-chair of the International Joint Conference of AI (1991), general chair of the Entity-Relationship Conference (1994), program chair of the IEEE International Symposium of Requirements Engineering (1997), program co-chair of the Semantic Web Conference (2003), and general chair of the Very Large Databases Conference (2004).

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