Explaining Answers from the Semantic Web.

Reference: McGuinness, D.L.; Pinheiro da Silva, P. Explaining Answers from the Semantic Web: The Inference Web Approach. Journal of Web Semantics Vol.1 No.4, pages 397-413, October 2004.

Abstract: The Semantic Web lacks support for explaining answers from web applications. When applications return answers, many users do not know what information sources were used, when they were updated, how reliable the source was, or what information was looked up versus derived. Many users also do not know how implicit answers were derived. The Inference Web (IW) aims to take opaque query answers and make the answers more transparent by providing infrastructure for presenting and managing explanations. The explanations include information concerning where answers came from (knowledge provenance) and how they were derived (or retrieved). In this article we describe an infrastructure for IW explanations. The infrastructure includes: IWBase -- an extensible web-based registry containing details on information sources, reasoners, languages, and rewrite rules; PML -- the Proof Markup Language specification used for encoding portable proofs; and a proof and explanation browser. Source information in the IWBase is used to convey knowledge provenance. Representation and reasoning language axioms and rewrite rules in the IWBase are used to support proofs, proof combination,and Semantic Web agent interoperability. The IW browser is used to support navigation and presentations of proofs and their explanations. The Inference Web is in use by four Semantic Web agents, three of them using embedded reasoning engines fully registered in the IW. Additional reasoning engine registration is underway in order to help provide input for evaluation of the adequacy, breadth, and scalability of our approach. Inference Web also provides explanation infrastructure for a number of DARPA and ARDA projects.

Expanded version of: McGuinness, D.L. and Pinheiro da Silva, P. Infrastructure for Web Explanations. In Proceedings of 2nd International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2003), Sanibel Is., FL, USA. Springer, October 2003.

Full paper available as pdf.

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