Semantic technologies are usually based on ontologies. Ontologies provide a shared understanding of a domain of interest to support communication among human and computer agents, typically being represented in a machine-processable language. Thus, ontologies are seen as key enablers for the Semantic Web. Therefore semantically rich descriptions of resources allow a seamless discovery and integration.
Ontologies rely on explicit conceptualizations, in contrast to the internal data models of common applications such as database-schemes. They support knowledge acquisition by declarative means, while reasoning mechanisms needed to solve particular problems are provided by ontology-processing tools.

Vision of Semantic Integration

Goals and Achievements

Ontology Infrastructure which consists of (1) Service Reasoning to discover, select and combine services, (2) an Ontology Service to create, store and maintain ontologies and (3) various use case specific services such as e.g. an Annotation Service to annotate documents with metadata according to ontologies and a Knowledge Integration Service to integrate existing data sources such as databases.

The goals regarding the application of semantic technologies within SIMDAT are:

Role in SIMDAT

The Pharma sector  as other sectors such as engineering  suffers from a lack of common definitions of objects and processes. Naming and defining objects and their relationships and naming and defining processes therefore plays a key role in all industry activities represented in SIMDAT.
Ontologies play a crucial role in the logical integration of previously separated data sources. In automotive applications design, analysis and test data are still largely isolated today, although product development requires a close interaction of the respective development disciplines. In the meteorology and the aero space sector they face similar problems. In meteorology ontologies play a major role in creating a single, consistent view of the various meteorological databases and provide a standardized query mechanism. In the aero sector ontologies are fundamental to generalise and automate the transmission of data across a heterogeneous and multi-disciplinary VO.
In different application areas the discovery of services matching certain requirements is a crucial goal. Using ontologies and semantic technology allows service discovery on a semantic level.

The results of this technology can be found under Grid Solution Portfolio at Information and Data.