NUI Galway set world record with Internet technology

May 01 2007 Posted: 00:00 IST

Internet researchers at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway have made a major technological breakthrough in the Semantic Web, a machine readable version of the web which enables more efficient internet searching.

Current internet technology means that users must filter search results and decide what is relevant. The Semantic Web enables the computer to filter information and also powers the intelligent transfer, sharing and negotiation of information between computer systems.

The Semantic Web Search Engine developed at DERI is able to answer queries with more than 7 billion RDF statements in fractions of a second - the largest number reported so far anywhere in the world. An RDF statement is the entity that makes the Semantic Web semantic. Possible application areas include Social Network Applications and Analysis, eHealth applications, Web Search, location based services, and financial searches.

"The importance of this breakthrough can not be overestimated" says Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI. "These results enable us to create web search engines that really deliver answers instead of links. The technology also allows us to combine information from the Web, for example the engine can list all partnerships of a company even if there is no single web page that lists all of them."

Andreas Harth and Aidan Hogan, key researchers on the Semantic Web Search Engine project, have been working on the project for about three years. "I am excited about the prospects ahead," says Mr Harth. "We are currently working on realising inferencing - making the web truly intelligent - and we have results already."

DERI is currently the largest applied research organisation in the world developing the next generation of internet technology – the Semantic Web. DERI was founded in 2003 with CSET (Centre for Science and Engineering Technology) funding from Science Foundation Ireland. It has since grown to over 100 people and has acquired significant additional research funding from sources such as the European Union Framework Programmes, Enterprise Ireland and SFI.



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