A Semantic Web Middleware for Virtual Data Integration on the Web
- Cite this paper as:
- Langegger A., Wöß W., Blöchl M. (2008) A Semantic Web Middleware for Virtual Data Integration on the Web. In: Bechhofer S., Hauswirth M., Hoffmann J., Koubarakis M. (eds) The Semantic Web: Research and Applications. ESWC 2008. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 5021. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
In this contribution a system is presented, which provides access to distributed data sources using Semantic Web technology. While it was primarily designed for data sharing and scientific collaboration, it is regarded as a base technology useful for many other Semantic Web applications. The proposed system allows to retrieve data using SPARQL queries, data sources can register and abandon freely, and all RDF Schema or OWL vocabularies can be used to describe their data, as long as they are accessible on the Web. Data heterogeneity is addressed by RDF-wrappers like D2R-Server placed on top of local information systems. A query does not directly refer to actual endpoints, instead it contains graph patterns adhering to a virtual data set. A mediator finally pulls and joins RDF data from different endpoints providing a transparent on-the-fly view to the end-user.
The SPARQL protocol has been defined to enable systematic data access to remote endpoints. However, remote SPARQL queries require the explicit notion of endpoint URIs. The presented system allows users to execute queries without the need to specify target endpoints. Additionally, it is possible to execute join and union operations across different remote endpoints. The optimization of such distributed operations is a key factor concerning the performance of the overall system. Therefore, proven concepts from database research can be applied.