Semantic Web/Evolution

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Evolution[edit | edit source]

A very important concept on the Semantic Web is that of evolution: going from one system into another. Two key parts of evolvability are partial understanding and transformability. We will find out next how these manifest themselves naturally when changing the scale of a system. Partial Understanding: Large Scale to Medium Scale

The concept of partial understanding is a very important one on the Semantic Web, and can often be found in older documents that came out about the same time as the Semantic Web was first being theorized.

An example of partial understanding when moving a large-scale system to a medium-scale system is of a company trying to make sense out of two invoices, one from Company A and one from Company B. The knowledge that both of the companies use similar fields in their invoices is well known, so a company trying to make sense out of the invoices can easily compile a master list of expenditures by simply scraping the data from the two invoice languages. Neither Company A nor Company B need to know that this is going on.

Indeed, TimBL included this example in his XML 2000 keynote:-

[...] what we'll end up doing in the future is converting things, so for example [...] in the Semantic Web we will have a relationship between two languages so that if you get an invoice in a language you don't understand, and you have... some business software which can pay invoices... by following links across the Semantic Web, your machine will be able to automatically convert it from one language to another, and so process it.

- Tim Berners-Lee