The Semantic Web is a web of data. There is a lot of data we all use every day, but it is not part of the web. I can see my bank statements on the web, and my photographs, and I can see my appointments in a calendar. But can I see my photos in a calendar to see what I was doing when I took them? Can I see bank statement lines in a calendar?
Why not? Because we don’t have a web of data. Because data is controlled in large financial institutions, healthcare firms, etc. by a legacy of software applications, and each application keeps it to itself.
The Semantic Web is about two things. It is about common formats for integration and combination of data drawn from diverse sources, whereas the original Web mainly concentrated on the interchange of documents. It is also about language for recording how the data relates to real world objects. That allows a person, or a machine, to start off in one database, and then move through an unending set of databases which are connected not by wires but by being about the same thing.
The Big Idea – Collective Intelligence
Semantically intelligent facilitators and assistants can improve the use of knowledge explicitly held in corporate knowledge bases, and also the knowledge held in employees’ minds.
Relevancy: No World Borders‘ team has spent years in database, object technology, process mapping, and knoweldge base development. Our name is based on the concept of sharing information more globally, or “borderlessly” to facilitate improved knowledge, transactions, client satisfaction, and value creation. The increasingly common language for the Semantic Web is RSS. Imagine a world where knowledge feeds, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were available in a dashboard to you from all relevant sources. But the sources didn’t get developed over a decade of legacy systems integration. Instead, imagine that they were both existing, known sources and instantly discoverable new sources.
You can see the adoption of sementic web concepts in social networks such as Twine. Benefits of Twine include:
- Sharing more productively. Safely share information and knowledge, and collaborate around common interests, activities and goals. Twine claims to help you better leverage and contribute to the collective intelligence of your network. Use Twine to share more productively with friends, colleagues, groups and teams.
- Getting more organized. Twine provides one place to tie everything together: emails, bookmarks, documents, RSS feeds, contacts, photos, videos, product info, data records, and more. And, because Twine actually understands the meaning of any information you add in, it helps you organize all your stuff automatically. Finally, you can search and browse everything and everyone you know, about anything, in one convenient place.
- Find and be found. You are like a snowflake – you are totally one-of-a-kind. Twine recognizes what makes you special: your unique interests, personality, knowledge and relationships, to help you find and discover things, and be found by others, more relevantly.
Any geographically dispersed company with many different products encounters difficulties when people attempt to work together and share information. Information access is impeded because independent systems and data stores have been built over time to satisfy local needs. Better competitive advantage results when the time to market and level of information sharing among stakeholders proceeds rapidly, especially in a company with a global span of customers, employees, and suppliers. This requires easy access to logically organized information, contextually relevant information, and locating subject experts. The Semantic Web offers the possibility to share information in context, at less cost in terms of delivering information content, with user interfaces to access important company information, and based on software delivery systems that can exploit reusable software architectures that are adaptable to future requirements.
Semantic Web technologies can be linked to Boeing’s network-centric operations. They will enable the interoperability necessary for network-centric operations. A transition in our use of computing technologies from electronic tools to semantically intelligent facilitators and assistants can improve the use of knowledge explicitly held in corporate knowledge bases, and also the knowledge held in employees’ minds.
Business to Business
Global e-business with Semantic Web middleware enables platform interoperability and electronic information exchange between employees, customers, partners, and suppliers. Semantically enhanced Web Services create vendor-neutral formats for process and product information not now readily available to those wanting access to information and practices during state-of-the-art aerospace design, manufacturing and product support. A common, integrated framework of systems will facilitate network-centric logistics in B2B operations.
Supply Chain Management
Business process integration at Boeing can be facilitated through the use of semantic tools. These tools help to create and disseminate a common language of terms used in the industry, within the company, and by skill base. Semantically enhanced supply chain management enables faster time to market by increasing the linkages between engineering drawings, CAD models, materials lists, and manufacturing planning. More efficient and rapid supply chain management will allow Boeing to respond more rapidly to customer requirements in products and services.
Automated extraction of metadata from documents allows them to be rapidly classified by semantic reasoning engines. Because Semantic Web technologies allow the context of documents to be described, they can be used to help improve search results. This assures that searches will be improved by semantically enhanced metadata management, faceted classification, and bridgeable thesauri and taxonomies. At the same time, semantic technologies help maintain the appropriate level of security and privacy, and can be isolate government-regulated information by appropriately tagging and protecting a given document that is sensitive to export control.
The fixed schema approach that is traditionally used in data management is not amenable to quick changes. By transforming Boeing data management to Semantic Web technologies, semantic tagging for data management becomes practical and attainable. One example comprises transitioning product standards resources from document-centric to data-centric forms. This will allow users to access product and process standards information in the context of their task at hand.
Different technical nomenclatures are used by different groups across the company, such as designers, manufactures, planners, and suppliers. Semantic Web technologies can be help capture and model the vocabularies of each of the different groups, and to develop a higher-level schema to span the various technical languages used by different groups. A higher order model can 1) identify the range of variation for each nomenclature element across document sets, and 2) reconcile terminology variation into an operationally acceptable language for each underlying concept.
Benefits of using Semantic Webs at Boeing
- Reduced cycle time in airplane program development.
- Reduced cycle time in customer service and product support.
- Reduced transaction costs.
- Support for global design and business activities.
- Improved access to content regardless of location or format, allowing for business to be conducted anywhere.
- Flexible infrastructure adaptable to unseen future needs.