NUI web researcher shapes the future of semantic search

13 Oct 2010

A researcher based at NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) picked up the ‘Best Paper’ award at the influential Web Rules and Reasoning Conference in Bressanone, Italy.

Dr Axel Polleres’ work surrounds a standard query language for the web, entitled SPARQL1.1. This language allows users to ask complex multi-faceted questions when searching the web.

The awarded paper ‘Redundancy Elimination on RDF Graphs in the Presence of Rules, Constraints, and Queries’, emerged from a collaboration with an Austrian University, TU Vienna.

It is co-authored by Prof Reinhard Pichler, Sebastian Skritek, and Dr Stefan Woltran.

Future web databases

The work describes theoretical foundations of compressing structured information on the web for more efficient processing and exchange. This work aims to provide a basis for optimisations within future web databases.

Dr Axel Polleres, of the Research Unit for Reasoning and Querying and senior research fellow at DERI, said: “A goal of my work is to build bridges from theory to practice in the application of Semantic Web technologies, which is why I am so delighted that our work is so well-received on both ends of academic research.”

Polleres’ research unit previously received another prize on practical applications of Semantic Web technologies in content management systems in last year’s International Semantic Web Conference.

“My research focuses on both foundations of web search and real-world applications of Semantic Web technologies. Eventually, our goal is to make the web usable like one huge database, which can answer complex questions, beyond the common keyword search of current web search engines,” Polleres added.

Dr Stefan Decker, director of DERI, said: “This prize does not only confirm our academic leadership internationally, but also provides a sound basis for our industrial partners. They know the place to go to find the knowledge they need is Ireland and especially DERI.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years