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This paper presents the notion of Semantic Associations as complex relationships between resource entities. These relationships capture both a connectivity of entities as well as similarity of entities based on a specific notion of similarity called ρ-isomorphism. It formalizes these notions for the RDF data model, by introducing a notion of a Property Sequence as a type. In the context of a graph model such as that for RDF, Semantic Associations amount to specific certain graph signatures. Specifically, they refer to sequences (i.e. directed paths) here called Property Sequences, between entities, networks of Property Sequences (i.e. undirected paths), or subgraphs of ρ-isomorphic Property Sequences. The ability to query about the existence of such relationships is fundamental to tasks in analytical domains such as national security and business intelligence, where tasks often focus on finding complex yet meaningful and obscured relationships between entities. However, support for such queries is lacking in contemporary query systems, including those for RDF. This paper discusses how querying for Semantic Associations might be enabled on the Semantic Web, through the use of an operator ρ. It also discusses two approaches for processing ρ-queries on available persistent RDF stores and memory resident RDF data graphs, thereby building on current RDF query languages.


Presented at the 12th International World Wide Web Conference, Budapest, Hungary, May 20-24, 2003.

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Rho.pdf (515 kB)