The Semantic Web, Semantic Web Services and more…

RDF : An Introduction

Posted by Aditya Thatte on November 16, 2008

HTML is used for formatting data and representing it in the form of a web page. XML is used to describe and exchange data over different software systems. XML defines and uses metadata , since it has the ability to use ” user defined” tags.  The “user defined” tags add meaning to data , however it is only understood by humans.

For example,

  <model> Honda Civic coupe TS1 </model>

Human can understand this as ” The model of the car is Honda Civic Coupe TS1″.

Resource Description Framework extends the XML model by adding semantics (meaning), to enable machine capable ( machine interpretable ) processing. It is based on triples, also called N-3 notation ( Subject , predicate , object ).

Subject : A data resource ( person , thing ) that a statement describes . Identified by a URI.

Predicate : The property of the subject ( resource ) being described. It can be name , title , color , weight etc , and is also identified by a URI.

Object : The value of the property ( Aditya Thatte , Yamaha etc ).

A simple statement can be represented as triples in the following manner,

Statement : Aditya Thatte works in TIBCO.

The triple can be expressed as ( Aditya Thatte , works in , TIBCO ).

Subject : Aditya Thatte

Predicate : works in

Object : TIBCO


The above figure shows the graphical representation of the RDF statement. Such a graphical representation is referred to as a “Semantic net ” . For more information on RDF visit “;.

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