Press Release

Ontotext, SD Form Strategic Partnership

Objective is to Tackle the 'Semantics' Gap in the Semantic Web


CORALVILLE, IA, October 25, 2010 -- Ontotext, a leading semantic technology company for the past 10 years, and Structured Dynamics, an innovator in ontology-driven open source applications, have formed a strategic partnership to address some of the key semantic gaps in the semantic Web. The partnership will focus on development of the next generation of the UMBEL and PROTON ontologies, as well as tools and applications based on them.

Volumes of linked data on the Web are exploding. This growth is exposing two key weaknesses: 1) inadequate semantics for how to link disparate information together that recognizes inherently different contexts and viewpoints; and 2) a lack of coherent reference concepts by which to aggregate and organize this linkable content. The combination of UMBEL and PROTON offers a powerful blend to address these weaknesses.

The partnership will first provide a logical mapping and consolidated framework based on the two core ontologies. These will be made available as standard ontologies and via open source semantic annotation tools.

This consolidated framework will then be applied to organize and characterize the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. One expression of this will be a new version of Ontotext's FactForge, already the largest and best performing reasoning engine leveraging linked data. This new version will allow easy access to the most central Linking Open Data (LOD) datasets such as DBpedia, Freebase, and Geonames, through the vocabularies of UMBEL and PROTON. Additional applications in linked data mining and general tagging of standard Web content are also contemplated by the partnership.

"Ontotext's proven reasoning technologies and ability to host extremely large knowledge bases with great performance are unbelievable boons to the next iteration of UMBEL," said Michael Bergman, CEO of Structured Dynamics and one of the two co-founding editors of UMBEL with Frédérick Giasson. "We have been seeking large-scale coherency testing of UMBEL for some time and Ontotext is the perfect answer," he said.

Ontotext's CEO, Atanas Kiryakov, indicated their interest in UMBEL stemmed from what they saw as some stumbling blocks with linked data while developing FactForge. "The growth and maturation of linked data will require credible ways to orient and annotate the data," said Kiryakov. "UMBEL is the right scope of comprehensiveness and size to use as one foundation for this," he said. Ontotext is also the original developer and current maintainer of PROTON, which will also contribute in this role.

The efforts of the partnership will first be seen with release of UMBEL v. 0.80 in the next couple of weeks. This update revises many aspects of the ontology based on two years of applied experience. The broader mappings and linkages to Wikipedia are earmarked for UMBEL version 1.00, slated for release by the end of the year.

Among other intended uses, PROTON, UMBEL and FactForge form a layered reference data structure that will be used for data integration within the European Union research project RENDER. The large-scale RENDER project aims to integrate diverse methods in the ways Web information is selected, ranked, aggregated, presented and used.

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UMBEL (Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer) is both a vocabulary for building domain ontologies and a framework of more than 20,000 reference concepts. The UMBEL reference ontology is used to tag information and map existing schema in order to help link content and promote interoperability. UMBEL's reference concepts and structure are a direct subset extraction of the Cyc knowledge base.

The PROTON ontology (PROTo ONtology) is a basic upper-level ontology that contains about 300 classes and 100 properties, providing coverage of the general concepts necessary for a wide range of tasks, including semantic annotation, indexing, and retrieval of documents. It is domain independent with coverage suitable to encompass any domain or named entity.

About Ontotext AD

Ontotext is the leading provider of core semantic technology, such as OWLIM, the most scalable semantic database engine, and KIM, the most popular semantic annotation and search platform. Its FactForge and LinkedLifeData services provide unmatched linked data access and management capabilities. Ontotext provides professional services for text mining and semantic data integration; its customers include AstraZeneca, BBC and Korea Telecom. The company Web site is at http://ontotext.com; it is headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.

About Structured Dynamics LLC

Structured Dynamics assists enterprises and non-profit organizations to adopt Web-accessible and interoperable semantic data. The basic premise is that the data itself becomes the application. Via structured, linked data and a combination of semantic technologies and Web services, information in any form and from any source can now be integrated and made interoperable. The company Web site is at http://structureddynamics.com; it is headquartered in Coralville, IA.

Press Contacts:
Michael Bergman
Structured Dynamics LLC
Tel: 319-621-5225
Email: mike at structureddynamics dot com


Yassen Christozov
Ontotext AD
Tel: +359 2 875 8117
Email: yassenc at ontotext dot com