A journey to Semantic Web query federation in the life sciences

Cheung, Kei-Hoi and Frost, H. Robert and Marshall, M. Scott and Prud'hommeaux, Eric and Samwald, Matthias and Zhao, Jun and Paschke, Adrian (2009) A journey to Semantic Web query federation in the life sciences. BMC Bioinformatics, 10 (Suppl.). ISSN 1471-2105

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Abstract

Background As interest in adopting the Semantic Web in the biomedical domain continues to grow, Semantic Web technology has been evolving and maturing. A variety of technological approaches including triplestore technologies, SPARQL endpoints, Linked Data, and Vocabulary of Interlinked Datasets have emerged in recent years. In addition to the data warehouse construction, these technological approaches can be used to support dynamic query federation. As a community effort, the BioRDF task force, within the Semantic Web for Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group, is exploring how these emerging approaches can be utilized to execute distributed queries across different neuroscience data sources. Methods and results We have created two health care and life science knowledge bases. We have explored a variety of Semantic Web approaches to describe, map, and dynamically query multiple datasets. We have demonstrated several federation approaches that integrate diverse types of information about neurons and receptors that play an important role in basic, clinical, and translational neuroscience research. Particularly, we have created a prototype receptor explorer which uses OWL mappings to provide an integrated list of receptors and executes individual queries against different SPARQL endpoints. We have also employed the AIDA Toolkit, which is directed at groups of knowledge workers who cooperatively search, annotate, interpret, and enrich large collections of heterogeneous documents from diverse locations. We have explored a tool called "FeDeRate", which enables a global SPARQL query to be decomposed into subqueries against the remote databases offering either SPARQL or SQL query interfaces. Finally, we have explored how to use the vocabulary of interlinked Datasets (voiD) to create metadata for describing datasets exposed as Linked Data URIs or SPARQL endpoints. Conclusion We have demonstrated the use of a set of novel and state-of-the-art Semantic Web technologies in support of a neuroscience query federation scenario. We have identified both the strengths and weaknesses of these technologies. While Semantic Web offers a global data model including the use of Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI's), the proliferation of semantically-equivalent URI's hinders large scale data integration. Our work helps direct research and tool development, which will be of benefit to this community.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
BMC Bioinformatics
Additional Information:
© 2009 Cheung et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1700/1706
Subjects:
ID Code:
70477
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
21 Aug 2014 14:09
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Nov 2020 02:17