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Is Government Ready for the Semantic Web?

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The field of computerized language processing known as semantic technology is capable of supplying answers to questions that might be of interest to U.S. government agencies that have long struggled with problems identifying patterns or probable sequences in massive volumes of data.

The role of semantic technology is a key component in the government's National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) project, an initiative to bridge the chasm between otherwise isolated applications and data archives through exchanges. Greater agency adoption of the model is expected to amplify the impetus for embedding semantics. NIEM builds upon the Global Justice XML Data Model, a guide for information sharing in the justice and public safety domains.

The Georgia Tech Research Institute's John Wandelt says that semantic capability has been a NIEM component since its establishment. He points out that NIEM's Naming and Design Rules help programmers in layering an "incremental set of semantics on top of base XML," and supply a consistent series of instructions for describing links among entities. Wandelt says those roles embed explicitness within relationships, improving semantic comprehension. He also notes that NIEM employs a Resource Description Framework (RDF) model to stand for relationships between NIEM reusable data components.

Other observers foresee NIEM using Semantic Web standards such as RDF and the OWL Web Ontology Language to a greater degree.

From Government Computer News
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