Archives August 2020

The New OSF Version

The new improvement did away with the need for OSF to interact with the triple store, thus removing the complexity because special handling was no longer needed. All of the default Ubuntu packages could now be used like system administrators usually do, and this greatly simplified the installation and deployment of an Open Semantic Framework.

Another shortcoming of the Open Database Connectivity platform was that it was restricting the amount of various triple stores that could be used for running the Open Semantic Framework. Actually, Virtuoso could only be used with the Open Semantic Framework instance.

The new version of OSF created numerous opportunities. Virtuoso Open Source is still shipped as the default triple store for the Open Semantic Framework. However, all triple stores with the following features could be used in place of Virtuoso in the Open Semantic Framework:

• Features a SPARQL HTTP endpoint.
• Supports SPARQL Update 1.1 and SPARQL 1.1.
• Supports SPARQL1.1 Query results JSON Format
• Supports update queries of SPARQL that can be communicated to the SPARQL HTTP endpoint.
• Supports SPARQL 1.1 Graph Store HTTP protocol through an HTTP endpoint.

Now that the SPARQL HTTP endpoint of the triple store needs to be enabled with updated rights of SPARQL, it’s essential to ensure that the triple store’s SPARQL HTTP endpoint is only available to the Open Semantic Framework web services. You can do this through the configuration of your proxy or firewall, in such a way that only traffic emanating from the Open Semantic Framework web services processes, or local traffic, can reach the endpoint. The SPARQL endpoint that should be accessible externally is the Open Semantic Framework’s SPARQL endpoint, which limits any potentially damaging SPARQL queries by adding an extra authentication layer over the triple store’s endpoint.

OSF version 3.4 was designed with a new deployment capability for CentOS versions 6 and 7. OSF users had requested this feature for a long time and were excited when it was finally implemented. In addition to this, OSF version 3.4 also brought with it a couple of minor upgrades to some of the web service endpoints. This meant that the new version supported CentOS 6, CentOS 7, and Ubuntu 14.04.

With the new version, Open Semantic Framework is much more developed than it was a couple of years ago. The framework is now considerably more stable, and is employed in various types of projects, and is used for all sorts of purposes you can think of.

Since its launch in 2009, the Open Semantic Framework has undergone a lot of improvements that have greatly simplified its maintenance and deployment. The latest Open Semantic Framework version allows other triple stores existing in the market to be used in place of Virtuoso Open Source.…

The Concept

While semantic software-developers rely on tools for engineering and running their applications (like TopBraid Composer and Protege), they do not have a common solution that combines semantics tools and supports generic application development, operation, and deployment. In addition to this integration challenge, there is no existing solution for knowledge acquisition by subject matter experts. No ontology discovery, search, and visualization tools have achieved any significant traction. A great integrated framework for semantic application development should offer moderate access to data models by clients, support users at the initial engineering stages and provide manipulation and visualization tools that allow people who are not versed in ontologies to discover the relationships and contents between models, augment models, and smoothly navigate the model space–therefore enabling continuous “in-field” improvement and maintenance of semantic applications.

Visualizing knowledge in a tangible and easily accessible manner is advantageous for many reasons (and not only in the complex calculation of credit scores) such as the semantic authentication of ontologies by subject matter experts and for helping those who are not experts in ontologies to extend their vocabularies. The Open Semantic Framework facilitates knowledge visualization through specialized, visualization-specific Knowledge packs with queries that allow client applications to discover knowledge models. For example, given a certain semantic node, the queries communicate that node’s properties, links to adjacent nodes, and information about its type. These queries are crucial since they can be used to obtain knowledge from our systems that could undermine economic motivations to contribute to it. Therefore, accessing generic exploration queries is strictly controlled. Using the Visualization Knowledge pack, visualizers assume the form of Open Semantic Framework client applications that use these queries to explore loaded ontologies.

Traditionally, the Open Semantic Framework only used the Open Database Connectivity platform (ODBC) to interact with Virtuoso and made use of iODBC drivers. The use of iODBC drivers in Ubuntu made using the system very complex because you had to recompile a significant amount of PHP packages to access that other Open Database Connectivity drivers.

The Open Semantic Framework version 3.2 refactored the code to allow a person to query all SPARQL HTTP endpoints. The improvement made in OSF’s version 3.2 was to allow users to access any triple store where the SPARQL HTTP endpoint is compatible with Virtuoso as well as the Open Semantic Framework.

The OSF version 3.3 made both these options possible. However one had to ensure that Virtuoso’s latest version was working well with the unixODBC drivers, which Ubuntu ships by default. This allowed people to use the ODBC platform through unixODBC drivers. The enhancement made it much easier to maintain Ubuntu/OSF because no packages were on hold, and the PHP packages could be updated at any time without the need to recompile them using the iODBC drivers. This major OSF release changed how web services interact with triple stores.

As mentioned earlier, OSF web services originally used an ODBC platform to interact with virtuoso. The only change made in the new OSF versions was incorporating SPARQL HTTP endpoints of the Virtuoso to send queries to it. This was a major improvement to the original version. The use of ODBC as the fundamental interaction platform between the triple store and the OSF had been associated with a lot of complexities. This made it necessary to switch to HTTP because the original version of OSF was not compatible with the Ubuntu-shipped PHP5 packages, and a person had to maintain their iODBC compatible packages. A major setback of this was that system administrators could not upgrade their Ubuntu system normally because PHP5 required to be upgraded using specific packages designed for that purpose.…

What is the “Open Semantic Framework”?

The Open Semantic Framework is a software stack that’s integrated through the use of semantic technologies for information management. It comprises a layered architecture that integrates existing open-source software with other software elements. The Open Semantic Framework program was initiated in 2009, as an integrated content program that can be accessed through the web, providing information management capabilities for organizations. It was previously known as structWSF. Since 2009, Structure Dynamics and its partner clients have invested a great deal of time and effort into the program. In this article, we will explore essential aspects of the Open Semantic Framework, including crucial improvements made to it through the years

The Open Semantic Framework facilitates the access, collection, and curation of ontologies that abridges experience and knowledge in a machine-understandable manner. By doing so, it enables automated decision making and reasoning on top of data models and allows semantic applications to use general knowledge and domain-specific models. The Open Semantic Framework also addresses several major challenges to the broad use of integrated semantic models, by helping people who have little knowledge about ontologies to understand and extend them, and by making the models more tangible through advanced human-interface technologies.

The Open Semantic Framework offers access to existing knowledge, both in the Knowledge packs and the core ontologies via a controlled querying interface in a REST API. The interface is based on existing SPARQL query templates inside a Knowledge Pack. Therefore, Knowledge packs not only influence what kind of knowledge is accessible but also how the applications access it. This mechanism is designed to prevent clients from extracting knowledge from the Open Semantic Framework, and to restrict any unnecessary modifications to the knowledge models from taking place. These two aspects are essential for the commercial relevance of any semantic framework.

The Open Semantic Framework can combine and manage all types of content–spreadsheets, structured databases, unstructured documents, and semi-structured files–through best-of-breed data management and indexing engines. The external data is translated into the canonical Resource Distribution Framework data model, which enables common tools and techniques for managing and tagging the entire content. Ontologies offer common vocabulary and the schema for integrating across various datasets. These functions can be stratified over existing data assets for new levels of connectivity and integration. All data within the Open Semantic Framework may be powerfully faceted and searched, and the results datasets can be exported as linked data and in various formats.

To facilitate the use of semantic technologies and the integration of semantic models, we need an integrated and common engineering solution that allows us to access, acquire, maintain, augment, reason over, and interact with machine-understandable knowledge, and make use of scalable semantic applications to various environments. These are critical functions of the Open Semantic Framework.…