A Hitchhiker’s guide to ontology

by prof. Fabian Suchanek, Telecom ParisTech University

October 30th 2014 @ 11:00, in Levico

In this invited talk prof. Fabian Suchanek will present his work about

A Hitchhiker’s guide to ontology


Recent advances in the field of information extraction have paved the way for the automatic construction and growth of large, semantic knowledge bases from Web sources. Knowledge bases like DBpedia or YAGO today contain hundreds of millions of facts about real-world entities and their relationships among each other, which are captured in the popular Resource Description Framework (RDF) format. However, the very nature of the underlying extraction techniques entails that the resulting RDF knowledge bases may face a significant amount of incorrect, incomplete, or even inconsistent factual knowledge, which makes efficient and reliable query answering over this kind of uncertain RDF data a challenge. Our query engine, coined URDF, performs query answering in uncertain RDF knowledge bases via a combination of Datalog-style deduction rules, consistency constraints, and probabilistic inference, which will be the main subject of this talk. Specifically, by casting the above scenario into a probabilistic database setting, we develop a new top-k algorithm for query answering, which - for the first time in the context of probabilistic databases - allows us to fully integrate data and confidence computations over this kind of probabilistic input data. Extensions of our framework include the automatic learning of these deduction rules from RDF data sources, as well as the consideration of temporal deduction rules and consistency constraints over time-annotated, probabilistic facts.


Fabian M. Suchanek is a Maître de Conférences (comparable to an associate professor) at the Telecom ParisTech University in Paris.

He obtained his PhD at the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics under the supervision of Gerhard Weikum. In his thesis, Fabian developed inter alia the YAGO-Ontology, one of the largest public ontologies, which earned him a honorable mention of the SIGMOD dissertation award. Fabian was a postdoc at Microsoft Research in Silicon Valley (reporting to Rakesh Agrawal) and at INRIA Saclay/France (reporting to Serge Abiteboul). He continued as the leader of the Otto Hahn Research Group "Ontologies" at the Max-Planck Institute for Informatics in Germany. Fabian taught classes on the Semantic Web, Information Extraction and Knowledge Representation in France, in Germany, and in Senegal. With his students, he works on information extraction, rule mining, ontology matching, and other topics related to large knowledge bases. He has published around 40 scientific articles, among others at ISWC, VLDB, SIGMOD, WWW, CIKM, ICDE, and SIGIR, and his work has been cited more than 3000 times