Skip to main content

Scaling Up Question-Answering to Linked Data

  • Conference paper

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 6317)


Linked Data semantic sources, in particular DBpedia, can be used to answer many user queries. PowerAqua is an open multi-ontology Question Answering (QA) system for the Semantic Web (SW). However, the emergence of Linked Data, characterized by its openness, heterogeneity and scale, introduces a new dimension to the Semantic Web scenario, in which exploiting the relevant information to extract answers for Natural Language (NL) user queries is a major challenge. In this paper we discuss the issues and lessons learned from our experience of integrating PowerAqua as a front-end for DBpedia and a subset of Linked Data sources. As such, we go one step beyond the state of the art on end-users interfaces for Linked Data by introducing mapping and fusion techniques needed to translate a user query by means of multiple sources. Our first informal experiments probe whether, in fact, it is feasible to obtain answers to user queries by composing information across semantic sources and Linked Data, even in its current form, where the strength of Linked Data is more a by-product of its size than its quality. We believe our experiences can be extrapolated to a variety of end-user applications that wish to scale, open up, exploit and re-use what possibly is the greatest wealth of data about everything in the history of Artificial Intelligence.


  • question answering
  • link data
  • fusion
  • semantic web
  • natural language

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Auer, S., Lehmann, J.: What have Innsbruck and Leipzig in common? Extracting Semantics from Wiki Content. In: Proc. of the 4th European Conference on the Semantic Web, Austria (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bizer, C., Heath, T., Berners-Lee, T.: Linked Data – The Story So Far. Int. Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems 5(3) (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bizer, C., Lehmann, J., Kobilarov, G., Auer, S., Becker, C., Cyganiak, R., Hellman, S.: DBpedia. A Crystallization Point for the Web of Data. Journal of Web Semantics 7(3) (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Fernandez, M., Lopez, V., Sabou, M., Uren, V., Vallet, D., Motta, E., Castells, P.: Semantic Search meets the Web. In: Proc. of the Int. conference on Semantic Computing, California (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  5. Kaufmann, E., Bernstein, A.: How Useful Are Natural Language Interfaces to the Semantic Web for Casual End-Users? In: Proc. of the ISWC/ASWC, Korea (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Kobilarov, G., et al.: Media Meets Semantic Web — How the BBC Uses DBpedia and Linked Data to Make Connections. In: Aroyo, L., Traverso, P., Ciravegna, F., Cimiano, P., Heath, T., Hyvönen, E., Mizoguchi, R., Oren, E., Sabou, M., Simperl, E. (eds.) ESWC 2009. LNCS, vol. 5554, pp. 723–737. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  7. Lehmann, J., Schüppel, J., Auer, S.: Discovering unknown connections – the DBpedia relationship finder. In: Proc. of the 1st SABRE Conference on Social Semantic Web, Germany (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Lopez, V., Nikolov, A., Fernandez, M., Sabou, M., Uren, V., Motta, E.: Merging and Ranking answers in the Semantic Web: The Wisdom of Crowds. In: Proc. of the ASWC, China (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  9. Lopez, V., Sabou, M., Uren, V., Motta, E.: Cross-Ontology Question Answering on the Semantic Web – an initial evaluation. In: Proc. of the KCAP Conference, California, USA (2009)

    Google Scholar 

  10. d’Aquin, M., Baldassarre, C., Gridinoc, L., Angeletou, S., Sabou, M., Motta, E.: Characterizing knowledge on the semantic web with Watson. In: Proc. of 5th Int. EON Workshop, Korea (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  11. Oren, E., Delbru, R., Catasta, M., Cyganiak, R., Stenzhorn, H., Tummarello, G.: A document-oriented lookup index for open linked data. Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies 3(1) (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  12. Suchanek, F.M., Kasneci, G., Weikum, G.: YAGO: A Large Ontology from Wikipedia and WordNet, Web Semantics. In: Proc. of the WWW, vol. 6 (3) (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  13. Uren, V., Sabou, M., Motta, E., Fernandez, M., Lopez, V., Lei, Y.: Reflections on five years of evaluating semantic search systems. Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies 5(2) (2010)

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

About this paper

Cite this paper

Lopez, V., Nikolov, A., Sabou, M., Uren, V., Motta, E., d’Aquin, M. (2010). Scaling Up Question-Answering to Linked Data. In: Cimiano, P., Pinto, H.S. (eds) Knowledge Engineering and Management by the Masses. EKAW 2010. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 6317. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-16437-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-16438-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)