LSDIS > Projects

The LSDIS lab - a quick research overview

The Semantic Web has emerged as the vision of the next generation of the web, in which meaning is associated with Web resources (data- documents and digital content as well as services) and represented in a machine processable form. LSDIS lab is one of the leading research groups in the world in the emerging area of Semantic Web and Semantic Web Services/Processes. Core faculty expertise includes distributed databases, information systems, knowledge representation, AI, decision theoretic planning, distributed systems, software engineering, workflows and Web processes, and algorithms. This has resulted in substantial body of the work in various areas, including:

  • development, management and visualization of populated ontologies
  • automatic metadata extraction and semantic annotation (with associated challenges in entity identification/recognition and resolution /disambiguation) of all forms of (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured) textual data, digital media as well as scientific experimental data.
  • scalable and high performance query processing and reasoning, including RDF query processing and analysis of large RDF graphs for discovery of complex relationships (called semantic associations)
  • specification of Semantic Web Services as well as use of semantics to specify the complete Web process life cycle

Semantic applications in the areas of biology, health care, national security, financial services, GIS and risk & compliance have been built, and several of these are deployed. Emerging research topics at LSDIS include (a) applying semantics to enable new capabilities at middleware, distributed systems and network levels, (b) development of highly scalable solutions with distributed algorithms on P2P and grid environments, (c) multi-paradigm reasoning spanning thematic, geospatial and temporal reasoning, and (d) virtual interactive interfaces for 3D visualization of digital content and data, metadata, ontological knowledge and results of reasoning.

Faculty members have extensive collaboration with industry (e.g., IBM and CISCO), and are involved with many international bodies and initiatives including W3C, OASIS, and Eclipse. They are also active members of multidisciplinary activities as members of UGA Faculty of Engineering, UGA Institute of Bioinformatics, UGA Biomedical and Health Science Institute, UCGIS, etc. LSDIS’s strength is its vision and people; the latter (as of Fall 2005) consists of five faculty members, two associate faculty members, two research staff, at least sixteen funded students (majority pursuing PhD), and several non-funded students. Their work has led to two commercial products and successful companies based on technology transfer, with over six millions spent on Athens?local economy and many high-tech employments of LSDIS and UGA graduates. LSDIS's PhD students routinely do internships at top places such as IBM Almaden, IBM Watson, Amazon, etc. LSDIS graduates are employed at top companies including IBM research, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, SAP, and other top companies in the field, and some PhDs have chosen academic careers.

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Current Projects:

Sensor Map (Semantic Reconciliation with Disparate Sensor Meta-Data for Automatic Publication): As ontologies become the preferred ways for storing data, sensor data providers are likely to develop detailed ontologies for their sensor data descriptions. However, currently envisioned and realized frameworks for publication of sensor data, such as the SenseWeb, do not provide a way to utilize provider-defined ontological representations of the sensor data. Instead, they require the provider to undertake potentially tedious and complex ways of registering their sensor feed data with them. Our research considers the provider-defined data models and automatically identifies and semantically aligns relevant concepts from the provider-defined data models with those of the publisher's data models. .

SemDis (Semantic Discovery: Discovering Complex Relationships in Semantic Web): This NSF funded medium-ITR project involves modeling, discovering and reasoning about complex relationships on the Semantic Web that will transform the hunt for documents into a more automated analysis leading to insight and knowledge discovery. Among various output from the project are SWETO (Semantic Web Technology Evaluation Ontology), TOntoGen (Test Ontology Generation Tool), BRAHMS (A WorkBench RDF Store And High Performance Memory System for Semantic Association Discovery), and several algorithms for semantic association discovery over large RDF graphs, relationship based document ranking and ranking of complex relationships.

Bioinformatics for Glycan Expression: This project is a part of a larger National Cancer Research Resource center, and involves substantial collaborations between LSDIS researchers and biologists at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center. Key results include GLYDE (a representation standard that is being adopted by community of Glycomics researchers), GlycO (very large and comprehensive with 600+ classes, 11 levels deep), ProPreO (a large ontology that captures the processes used in high throughput experiments), a tool for semantic search and browsing of large populated ontologies, development of bioinformatics semantic web services (using WSDL-S) and directory (semantic UDDI), semantic annotation of non-textual experimental data, etc. Recent work involves investigating pathway development workbench for genomic researchers, with integrated access, analysis and discovery support covering experimental as well as textual data.

SemGrid (Semantic Discovery on Adaptive Services Grid): This early stage NSF funded project collaborates with large EU funded ASG project. It involves investigating the use of semantic associations in Web Service discovery and Dynamic Web Process composition, and computing Semantic Associations over the grid.

Semantic Middleware: This project is doing fundamental research and developing core technologies related to the challenging problems of entity and relationship identification/recognition, extraction/annotation, entity resolution/disambiguation, matching, mapping, and rule processing. An interim outcome is the concept of Active Semantic Documents, which is already deployed as an Active Semantic Electronic Medical Record application at the Athens Heart Center.

SeNS (Semantically Enabled Networking and Services): This new project seeks to take semantics to middleware and network level, starting with the definition and prototyping of semantic overlay network for scalable information dissemination.