Meta-Data Repository for Web Applications


finished by Lukas Schweizer


The Semantic Web, as initiated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. Tim Berners-Lee defines the Semantic Web as an extension of the current Web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. The meaning of information is formalized using the Resource Description Framework (RDF). Therefore, in the Semantic Web, Web pages offer both, content in HTML format for human users and RDF meta-data describing the content in a machine-processable way.

Looking at the meta-data of a single Web page, however, gives only a limited view of the information offered by a Web application. For querying and reasoning purpose it would be better to have the whole meta-data model of the Web application at hand. In this thesis we plan to accumulate the meta-data from Web pages at server side to obtain the meta-data model of the whole Web application. This model can be offered for download in one stream in contrast to the current gatherers that open a new connection for each page. The model can further be offered for querying as a Web Service.

Goal of this Diploma Thesis

The goal of this thesis is to extend out Cocoon based Semantic Web application environment to enable to enable the accumulation of semantic meta-data at server side. You will first define the architecture of the system to accumulate and maintain the meta-data in an RDF database. To maintain the meta-data you will use RDF named graphs. The RDF database should also be accessible as a Web Service for querying. You will implement the system and evaluate your implementation in a case study.

When working on the thesis you will...

  • get a deep insight in up-to-date Semantic Web standards (RDF, OWL, SPARQL).
  • design the software architecture of an object oriented application.
  • get practice programming a medium size Java project when implementing the proposed architecture.
  • work with the Apache Cocoon Web development framework.
  • get experience with the Jena Java framework for building Semantic Web applications and other Java programing libraries.
  • work with RDF databases.
  • write Java GUIs for the Semantic Clipboard and the application specific plug-ins.
  • be best supervised by your advisers!

Envisioned Outcome

A new version of the WEESA meta-data generator that supports new mapping directives to increase the efficiency and flexibility when defining the WEESA mapping.