David Quan, David Huynh, and Dennis Karger
The Resource Definition Framework (RDF) is designed to support agent communication on the Web, but it is also suitable as a framework for modeling and storing personal information. Haystack is a personalized information repository that employs RDF in this manner. This flexible semistructured data model is appealing for several reasons. First, RDF supports ontologies created by the user and tailored to the user’s needs. At the same time, system ontologies can be specified and evolved to support a variety of high-level functionalities such as flexible organization schemes, semantic querying, and collaboration. In addition, we show that RDF can be used to engineer a component architecture that gives rise to a semantically rich and uniform user interface. We demonstrate that by aggregating various types of users’ data together in a homogeneous representation, we create opportunities for agents to make more informed deductions in automating tasks for users. Finally, we discuss the implementation of an RDF information store and a programming language specifically suited for manipulating RDF.