Semantic Technologies & Linked Data

Lightweight Linked Data Integration

The ubiquitous proliferation of computers and data networks as well as the resulting digitization of data, content and processes leads to profound changes in all business and societal domains. Established value chains and business models are challenged and entirely new ones, based on the technologies of a digital world, are triggered by the altered market mechanisms. These new market mechanisms are based on taking advantage of minimal marginal costs, on reversing the investment pyramid towards marketing and customer acquisition, on serving Long Tail markets, as well as consumer pull and technology push. From a technological standpoint, the digital revolution is particularly driven by the new network technologies (5G, RFID, NFC, IoT), data-centric analysis and integration (Big Data, Smart Data, Deep Learning), new computing paradigms (Cloud or Fog Computing, Everything-as-a-Service, virtualization), or new methods of human-machine interaction (Mobile/Ubiquitous Computing, Augmented Reality, Crowdsourcing).

In terms of digitization, it is of central importance to systematically process, integrate and organise data. Data must be structured, represented and linked in such a way, that existing data silos will be broken down, data value chains will be established and innovative applications can be implemented efficiently. The Linked Data Principles, RDF as the lingua franca of data integration and the related W3C Standards form the basis for the transformation of the traditional enterprise architectures into networked, knowledge-based information networks, which lay the foundation for new digital business models and intelligent applications.

The volume of world-wide data is doubling every two years.

Using the Web as a platform for the analysis, integration and linking of data provides enterprises with a great potential for efficiently exploiting their data, but at the same time poses challenges to research and practice.
In particular, the Enterprise Information Systems department of Fraunhofer IAIS is using semantic technologies for
* integrating,
* processing,
* analysing, and
* exploring
heterogeneous data at a large scale.

The Department of Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) at Fraunhofer IAIS collaborates very closely with the Smart Data Analytics (SDA) research group at the University of Bonn, led by Prof. Dr. Jens Lehmann.


Research focus

Vocabulary-based Data Integration

A common understanding is essential, when exchanging data. The W3C standards (RDF, RDF Schema, OWL, SPARQL) enable the semantic data description and representation.

Federated Search

Sometimes the needle is hidden not only in one but in several haystacks. Federated search helps to access heterogeneous and distributed data sources.

Enterprise Knowledge Graphs

Companies need more brains! By integrating open and internal data as well as information and knowledge sources, a networked enterprise knowledge graph can be developed and evolve into the brain of a company.

Application areas

  • Industry 4.0: Linking data derived from sensors, machines and enterprise-class IT in the production process
  • Mobility: Support of people’s mobility via "mobility" and linking of data
  • Smart Cities: Utilization of open and private data for increasing the quality of life, improving the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and the efficiency in urban areas
  • Enterprise Architecture & Integration: Integration of information systems, databases and documents
  • Digitization: Establishment of data-value chains and digitization of business models.