Semantic Web Meets eGovernment
Papers from the AAAI Spring Symposium
Andreas Abecker, Amit Sheth, Gregoris Mentzas, and Ljiljana Stojanovic, Cochairs
The semantic web (SW) has been in the focus of the AI community for the last five years. However, after years of intensive research and impressive scientific results, what the SW now really needs is real-world use cases, in order to demonstrate its added (business) value. Moreover, the full application potential of some SW technologies, like semantic web services and rules has been neglected due to a lack of large-scale testing domains. Finally, the next application-driven research challenges for SW can be defined only through the feedback from real use-cases. Therefore, the semantic web requires a large, dynamic, heterogeneous and shared information space to be effectively evaluated.
On the other hand, the domain of e-government is unique because of its enormous challenge to achieve interoperability, given the manifold semantic differences of interpretation of, for example, law, regulations, citizen services, administrative processes, best-practices, and the many different languages to be taken into account within and across regions, nations and continents. These semantic differences are related to a great variety of IT solutions (on a local, regional, national, and international level), which will have to be networked (despite any effort of standardization). In consequence, some of the key obstacles for networked computer applications in governmental processes and services are those kinds of barriers in which the different meanings of data objects and interfaces cannot be automatically mediated. Setting up seamless e-government services requires information integration as well as process integration involving a variety of objects with specific semantics.
Therefore, the combination of these two domains seems to be quite natural: the e-government domain can provide an ideal test bed for existing SW research, and SW technologies can be an ideal platform to achieve the vision of a knowledge-based, user-centric, distributed and networked e-Government. In this symposium contributions were invited that tackled theoretical, technical and application aspects of the usage of semantic web methods for e-Government problems.