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Elsevier Sponsors 2012 Semantic Web Challenge

AMSTERDAM, November 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Winners Announced at International Semantic Web Conference

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Semantic Web Challenge (SWC). Determined by a jury of leading experts from both academia and industry, winners were announced at the International Semantic Web Conference held in Boston, MA, this month. The challenge and allocated prizes were sponsored by Elsevier.

SWC contestants competed in any of two challenge categories: 'Open Track' and 'Billion Triples Track'. Open Track contestants are required to submit applications that utilize the semantics (meaning) of data and applications are designed to operate in an open web environment where information sources are under diverse ownership and control; Billion Triples Track contestants have to reason with a pre-supplied, very big data set of mixed quality.

Of this year's 24 submissions, the panel of experts selected 4 Open Track Challenge winners and 1 Billion Triples Track winner.

Open Track challenge:

  • 1st prize: "Event Media" by Houd Khrouf, Vuk Milicic and Raphaël Troncy from EURECOM, Sophia Antipolis, France - This application demonstrates how to use semantic web technology to more efficiently and easily integrate multiple online and social media content sources that evolve over time.
  • 2nd prize:  "Semantic Processing of Urban Data" by S. Kotoulas, V. Lopez, R Lloyd, M. Sbodid, F. Lecue, M. Stephenson, E. Daly, V. Bicer, A. Gkoulalas-Divanis, G. Di Lorenzo, A. Schumann and P. Aonghusa from IBM research's Smart Cities Team -  The mayor of Dublin wanted to know why his ambulances were perennially late so this team 'knowledge mined' hundreds of information sources emanating from the city ranging from usual twitter feeds to garbage collection tags and many more to help the mayor improve city service.
  • 3rd prize: jointly awarded to: "Open Self Medication" by Olivier Curé of Universite Paris-Est, LIGM, CNRS - This application advises on self-medication, using the Linked Open Data cloud to mine contra indications for various over the counter medications and adds to these where they were missing. A mobile geo location price comparison tool enables users to find nearby pharmacies that sell the cheapest drugs, enabling French health care insurance companies to reduce their costs; "Wildfire Monitoring" by K. Kyzirakos, M. Karpathiotakis, G. Garbis, C. Nikoladu, K. Bereta, I Papatousis, T. Herekakis, D. Michail, M. Koubarakis and C. Kontoes from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, National Observatory of Athens and the Harokopeio University of Athens - This application combines multimedia satellite images with ontologies and Linked Geospatial Data to improve the wildfire monitoring service used by the Greek civil protection agencies, military, and firefighters.

Billion Triples Track challenge:

  • "Exploring the linked data cloud" by X. Zhang, D. Song, S.Priya, Z. Daniels, K. Reynolds and J. Heflin of Lehigh University, USA. This system allows users to understand how massive data sets are populated and reveals patterns in within these data sets.

"We were extremely impressed by the demos this year, many of which were interesting, well designed, highly polished, and had clear use cases for both the general public and for domain experts," explained SWC co-chairs Andreas Harth, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Diana Maynard, University of Sheffield.

In 2003 the SWC was set up to showcase the very latest in semantic web technology. Over the years the challenge has attracted over 165 submissions from across the globe. Every year the final rounds of this competition take place at the annual International Semantic Web Conference. The continuing maturity of the tools and components used to build applications has resulted in increasingly more compelling demonstrations.

"Elsevier is a proud sponsor of the Semantic Web Challenge as it clearly illustrates what the Semantic Web can provide to the world by highlighting the state-of-the-art developments in web technology each year. Furthermore, allowing researchers to showcase their work and compare it to others stimulates current research in this exciting and growing field," said Sweitze Roffel, Senior Publisher in Computer Science at Elsevier.

About the Semantic Web Challenge

The Semantic Web Challenge has been organized in cooperation with the Semantic Web Science Association since 2003 with the aim to offer participants the chance to submit their best Semantic Web Applications. The overall objective of the challenge is to apply Semantic Web techniques in building online end-user applications that integrate, combine and deduce information needed to assist users in performing tasks. As the potential of the Semantic Web is very broad, the open challenge intentionally does not define any specific task, data set, or application domain. To allow a broad range of applications to compete with each other, all teams are judged using a number of minimal criteria, as well as additional desired criteria. Based on these predefined criteria the winners are selected by an expert jury.

Full details of the competition, judging, as well as all the competing teams, including their papers, demos and presentations can be found on

About the Semantic Web

The central idea of the Semantic Web is to extend the current human-readable web by encoding some of the semantics of resources in a machine-processable form. Moving beyond syntax opens the door to more advanced applications and functionality on the Web. Computers will be better able to search, process, integrate and present the content of these resources in a meaningful, intelligent manner.

About the International Semantic Web Conference series

The International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) is the premier international forum for the Semantic Web and Linked Data Community. At the conference scientists, industry specialists, and practitioners meet to discuss the future of practical, scalable, user-friendly, and game changing solutions. ISWC is organized annually by the Semantic Web Science Association and typically rotates between America, Europe and Asia.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and close to 20,000 book titles, including major reference works from Mosby and Saunders. Elsevier's online solutions include ScienceDirect, Scopus, Reaxys, ClinicalKey and Mosby's Nursing Suite, which enhance the productivity of science and health professionals, and the SciVal suite and MEDai's Pinpoint Review, which help research and health care institutions deliver better outcomes more cost-effectively.

A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world-leading publisher and information provider, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Media contact
Sweitze Roffel

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