DBpedia, an open project with an inclusive model.

August 18, 2017

DBpedia is an open project with an inclusive model. We have improved ways to interface with industry partners. We have a long history in proliferate high-quality data to users, joint internships, text linking and other industry collaborations. We also include backlinks to other data sources as a hub to boost traffic of partners and increase their data usage. SEMANTiCS is an excellent venue and we are having a DBpedia booth, where you can talk to us.

Sebastian Hellmann is the Executive Director of the DBpedia Association and the Director of the Knowledge Integration and Linked Data Technologies (KILT) Competence Center at the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI). We had the chance to do a brief interview and ask him about DBpedia and the upcoming DBpedia Day.


Can you tell something about the work/research focus of DBpedia?

DBpedia is an open, free and comprehensive knowledge base constantly improved and extended by a large global community. DBpedia can be used to directly answer fact questions about a wide range of topics. Users exploit DBpedia as background knowledge for document ranking, natural language understanding, as well as data integration methods. Our data grows with Wikipedia and Wikidata. The extractors are updated frequently to build our 14 billion fact, large-scale-cross-domain knowledge graph. DBpedia has thousands of industrial and academic users, for example large companies such as Wolters Kluwer and Siemens as well as over 40 universities worldwide.


Which trends and challenges you see for linked data/semantic web, especially from the viewpoint of DBpedia?

DBpedia has grown beyond expectations in the last ten years and will become the encyclopedia in database form for the world to use. We have seen many other projects trying, some were discontinued and closed like Freebase. Some are focusing on manual data curation like Wikidata, which may be successful in maintaining a small core of data but will not scale eventually. DBpedia is a database built by state-of-the-art methods and machines with high impact on academic and industrial stakeholders. The DBpedia Association driving the development provides a sustainable model and has no limits for growth. As the web of data emerges, we as DBpedia with the help of our partners accept the challenge and the responsibility to build an open Google-scale knowledge graph. Our community is working on technologies to discover, clean, enrich and integrate all data available on the web in a consistent graph. Our challenge is to create a business community around this data with symbiotic relations that scales in terms of data quality and size. We are confident to achieve this as we experience high industry demand or better phrased industry pressure to move on.     


What are your expectations about Semantics 2017 in Amsterdam and the DBpedia meeting?

I am looking forward to Semantics 2017 for vital discussions about Linked Data, semantic technologies and data integration technologies. Especially, I am eagerly awaiting the last day of the conference, the DBpedia Day (http://wiki.dbpedia.org/meetings/Amsterdam2017). More than 150 DBpedia enthusiasts joined the largest DBpedia Community Meeting, which was co-located with the SEMANTiCS 2016 in Leipzig last year. We would like to exceed this number of participants this year in Amsterdam. The success of the last community meetings and the increasing number of specific language chapters proves that the DBpedia Community is constantly growing and gaining more and more significance and impact in the Semantic Web Community.

Co-located with the Semantics, the DBpedia Community Meeting will be held on September 14th. The community will get together for the 10th edition of the DBpedia Community Meeting, which comes along with a showcase session on current developments, an ontology and DBpedia Dev session about technical issues and challenges in DBpedia as well as the DBpedia Association Hour where we will discuss new strategies and which direction is important for DBpedia. Furthermore there will be a DBpedia Dutch session organized by the DBpedia Dutch language chapter for it’s community members.

We look forward to sharing our ideas and visions at SEMANTiCS 2017.