Freebase’s data and knowledge models

March 12th, 2007

What are Freebase’s data and knowledge models?

There has been a lot of discussion about Metaweb’s Freebase, mostly centered about whether it has a centralized or distributed model. While that’s an interesting and significant question, there are other important ones, perhaps even more important.

Are there any details about the data and knowledge models that Freebase is using or will use? I’ve not seen any information or even any speculation.

Take the underlying data model — it could be relational (~SQL), object oriented (~Google Base), FOL based (~Common Logic), graph oriented (~RDF), tree based (XML), or something else. On top of that we might have a familiar knowledge model, something different, or no real knowledge model at all. Can it handle uncertainty? How about procedures? We’ll all (well, some of us) be disappointed if it’s a Wikified version of Google Base. That would be very interesting, but wouldn’t address many issues that the Semantic Web is facing.

Freebase has a FAQ but it’s behind their registration screen, unfortunately.

Does anyone know of any descriptions, published or informal? How about guesses based on the backgrounds of Metaweb’s technical people?