Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges

  • Ruben VerborghEmail author
  • Thomas Steiner
  • Rik Van de Walle
  • Joaquim Gabarro
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7540)


In an often retweeted Twitter post, entrepreneur and software architect Inge Henriksen described the relation of Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 as: “Web 1.0 connected humans with machines. Web 2.0 connected humans with humans. Web 3.0 connects machines with machines.” On the one hand, an incredible amount of valuable data is described by billions of triples, machine-accessible and interconnected thanks to the promises of Linked Data. On the other hand, rest is a scalable, resource-oriented architectural style that, like the Linked Data vision, recognizes the importance of links between resources. Hypermedia apis are resources, too—albeit dynamic ones—and unfortunately, neither Linked Data principles, nor the rest-implied self-descriptiveness of hypermedia apis sufficiently describe them to allow for long-envisioned realizations like automatic service discovery and composition. We argue that describing inter-resource links—similarly to what the Linked Data movement has done for data—is the key to machine-driven consumption of apis. In this paper, we explain how the description format restdesc captures the functionality of apis by explaining the effect of dynamic interactions, effectively complementing the Linked Data vision.


Link Data Restful Service Blank Node Automate Agent Link Open Data Cloud 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The described activities were funded by Ghent University, the Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology (ibbt), the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (iwt), the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (fwo), and the European Union.

This work was partially supported by the European Commission under Grant No. 248296 FP7 (i-search project). Joaquim Gabarró is partially supported by TIN-2007-66523 (formalism), and SGR 2009-2015 (alcom).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruben Verborgh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Steiner
    • 2
  • Rik Van de Walle
    • 1
  • Joaquim Gabarro
    • 2
  1. 1.ELIS – Multimedia LabGhent University – iMindsLedeberg-ghentBelgium
  2. 2.Department LSIUniversitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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