Functions over RDF Language Elements

Presented at: 8th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2009)

by Bernhard Schandl


RDF data are usually accessed using one of two methods: either, graphs are rendered in forms perceivable by human users (e.g., in tabular or in graphical form), which are difficult to handle for large data sets. Alternatively, query languages like SPARQL provide means to express information needs in structured form; hence they are targeted towards developers and experts. Inspired by the concept of spreadsheet tools, where users can perform relatively complex calculations by splitting formulas and values across multiple cells, we have investigated mechanisms that allow us to access RDF graphs in a more intuitive and manageable, yet formally grounded manner. In this paper, we make three contributions towards this direction. First, we present RDFunctions, an algebra that consists of mappings between sets of RDF language elements (URIs, blank nodes, and literals) under consideration of the triples contained in a background graph. Second, we define a syntax for expressing RDFunctions, which can be edited, parsed and evaluated. Third, we discuss Tripcel, an implementation of RDFunctions using a spreadsheet metaphor. Using this tool, users can easily edit and execute function expressions and perform analysis tasks on the data stored in an RDF graph.

Functions over RDF Language Elements was presented at this event.

Keywords: Semantic Web

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