acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Letters to the editor

Reclaim the Lost Promise of the Semantic Web


Letters to the Editor, illustration

Credit: iStockPhoto.com

I was eager to learn about the latest developments in the Semantic Web through the lens of a "new kind of semantics" as Abraham Bernstein et al. explored in their Viewpoint "A New Look at the Semantic Web" (Sept. 2016), but by the end I had the impression the entire vision of a Semantic Web was somehow at risk.

If I understand it correctly, semantics is a mapping function that leads from manifest expressions to elements in a given arbitrary domain. Based on set theory, logicians have developed a framework to set up such mapping for formal languages like mathematics, provided one can fix an interpretation function. On the other hand, 20th-century logicians (notably Alfred Tarski) warned of the limits of the framework when applied to human languages. Now, to the extent it embraces a set-theoretic semantics (as in the W3C's Ontology Web Language), the Semantic Web seems to be facing exactly such limitations or experiencing, dealing with, and suffering them.


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.