W3C issues report on uncertainty reasoning for the Web

April 16th, 2008

Many tasks require representing and reasoning with uncertain knowledge and data. Current Semantic Web languages are grounded firmly in classical logic and no extensions to manage uncertainty have gained popularity. In our lab, Professor Yun Peng and his students have been developing systems to integrate Bayesian reasoning with OWL and explore applications to ontology mapping.

The W3C’s Uncertainty Reasoning for the World Wide Web Incubator Group has released a report, Uncertainty Reasoning for the World Wide Web, surveying requirements for “reasoning with and representing uncertain information available through the World Wide Web and related WWW technologies”. The report

  • identifies and describes situations on the scale of the World Wide Web for which uncertainty reasoning would significantly increase the potential for extracting useful information,
  • identifies methodologies that can be applied to these situations and the fundamentals of a standardized representation that could serve as the basis for information exchange necessary for these methodologies to be effectively used,
  • includes a set of use cases illustrating conditions under which uncertainty reasoning is important,
  • provides an overview and discusses the applicability to the World Wide Web of prominent uncertainty reasoning techniques and the information that needs to be represented for effective uncertainty reasoning to be possible,
  • includes a bibliography of work relevant to the challenge of developing standardized representations for uncertainty and exploiting them in Web-based services and applications.”