Database and Information Systems Research for
Semantic Web and Enterprises

Invitational Workshop Sponsored by NSF CISE-IIS-IDM,
Co-Sponsored by EU Thematic Network OntoWeb

In cooperation with VP-Research and LSDIS Lab, University of Georgia

April 3 - 5, Amicalola Falls and State Park, Georgia

Organizers: Amit Sheth and Robert Meersman

Description & Agenda

Participants & Position Papers

Proceedings Download

Final Report

Sigmod Record Dec02 Special Issue


Local Arrangements



Organized by


Researchers and practitioners in the database, information systems and internet fields over the years have made significant progress towards the building of solutions that involve such systems for a wide range of application domains. In doing this, solutions necessarily concentrated mainly on syntax as the readily available unifying formalism for representation and structure, rather more than on the broad variety of semantics involved. One of the recent unifying visions is that of Semantic Web, which proposed semantic annotation of data, so that programs can understand it, and help in making decisions.  Researchers have subsequently seen the value of using semantics to understand information and decision making needs of humans, so that data and human’s needs can be semantically intermediated. The scope of semantics-based solutions has also moved from data and information to services and processes.

A review of active research funding and projects shows extensive investigations based AI and knowledge representation branches of computer science.  For example, logic-based descriptions and inferencing techniques are being extensively investigated as part of projects under the Semantic Web umbrella. This includes many projects funded by DARPA and EC 5th Framework Program, including the DAML and OntoWeb initiatives and programs.  There is a visible dearth of investigations from the database and information systems community.  This workshop seeks to investigate relationships between challenges in developing semantic solutions for the Web and Enterprises, and the experience and expertise of the database and information systems community.

Semantics has not been new to the database and information systems community. Semantics in data models was studied intensively in the 1980s, and applied to problems such as query processing, view management, schema transformation, schema integration and transaction processing.  Semantic heterogeneity and interoperability have been studied as part of all major information systems architectures during the last three decades, including federated, mediator, and information brokering architectures.  Many projects in information interoperability and integration have addressed semantic heterogeneity.  In addition to the study of semantics, we believe there are several important areas of expertise within the database and IS community developed as part of successful database management, information interoperability, information retrieval and workflow management systems that will be important to build large scale, high performance and practical Semantic Web and Enterprise solutions.  A partial list of relevant technology for, e.g., semantic web services  includes transaction management, query planning and optimization, distributed scheduling, exception handling, dynamic changes and adaptation, and security.

Research in database management and workflow management has an extensive history of achieving high impact through improving methods of other scientific endeavors as well as in developing new technologies leading to commercialization and in establishing new high-tech industry sectors. This workshop will investigate research directions that can lead to similar long term impact in Semantic Web and Enterprise solutions by our community.

The workshop will be held for 2.5 days and will involve up to 25 invited participants to include some of the most influential researchers and leaders. Formal presentations are not planned, but discussions will be conducted through position papers and statements. A key output of the workshop will be either a white paper or a “manifesto”-style report authored by some of the active participants.

The workshop is being organized by Amit Sheth (University of Georgia) as the PI of the effort sponsored by NSF CISE-IIS (Program Manager: Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham) and co-organized by Robert Meersman (VUB, Brussels) with co-sponsorship from the EU Thematic Network OntoWeb. Large Scale Distributed Information Systems (LSDIS) Lab of the University of Georgia is provide local organization support, and UGA's Vice President for Research and LSDIS lab are providing additional financial support.

    Last update: October 23, 2002