Magpie: Experiences in supporting Semantic Web browsing

Martin Dzbor, Enrico Motta, John Domingue


Magpie has been one of the first truly effective approaches to bringing semantics into the web browsing experience. The key innovation brought by Magpie was the replacement of a manual annotation process by an automatically associated ontology-based semantic layer over web resources, which ensured added value at no cost for the user. Magpie also differs from older open hypermedia systems: its associations between entities in a web page and semantic concepts from an ontology enable link typing and subsequent interpretation of the resource. The semantic layer in Magpie also facilitates locating semantic services and making them available to the user, so that they can be manually activated by a user or opportunistically triggered when appropriate patterns are encountered during browsing. In this paper we track the evolution of Magpie as a technology for developing open and flexible Semantic Web applications. Magpie emerged from our research into user-accessible Semantic Web, and we use this viewpoint to assess the role of tools like Magpie in making semantic content useful for ordinary users. We see such tools as crucial in bootstrapping the Semantic Web through the automation of the knowledge generation process.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Semantic Web; Navigation; User interaction; Semantic browsing; Annotation; Services; Application development framework
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