Session overview

Semantic mediation is a function provided by service brokers to overcome mismatches in community concept vocabularies between service providers and consumers. The “meaning mediation” function has traditionally been carried out by individuals who are familiar with multiple

communities. Distributed computing infrastructure can now at least assist in this function provided that formal representations of the vocabularies in question are available for processing.


The minimum infrastructure required to implement semantic mediation functions will be a registry for vocabularies, each of which may be a simple list, have a more complete taxonomic hierarchy, or at best include ontologic elements such as polymorphism and axioms. Five types of activities are required to leverage the vocabulary registry effectively:


1)    Registration of community vocabularies themselves.

2)    Descriptions and annotations of contributed components and services that make use of the vocabularies - as simple as keyword usage or more involved such as attributed domains and layered annotations.

3)    Mappings from community vocabularies to and between a "lattice" of central ontologies, probably beginning with SWEET concepts and SKOS relationships.

4)    Service broker components that perform expansion of clearinghouse searches utilizing the vocabulary mappings, concept subsumption relationships, and other forms of semantic processing.

5)    Translation of search responses into target vocabularies, for example by way of linked terms.

 Contributions of any of these facilities will be welcomed from AIP participants; registration of relevant vocabularies will be encouraged from all participant communities.