The 12th International Semantic Web Conference
and the 1st Australasian Semantic Web Conference
21-25 October 2013, Sydney, Australia

Keynote - Ramanathan V. Guha

R.V. Guha

Light at the End of the Tunnel

A signi ficant fraction of the pages on the web are generated from structured databases. A longstanding goal of the semantic web initiative is to get webmasters to make this structured data directly available on the web. The path towards this objective has been rocky at best. While there have been some notable wins (such as RSS and FOAF), many of the other initiatives have seen little industry adoption. Learning from these earlier attempts has guided the development of, which appears to have altered the trajectory. Two years after its launch over 4 million Internet domains are are using markup. In this talk, we recount the history behind the early efforts and try to understand why some of them succeeded while others failed. We will then give an update on, its goals, accomplishments and where it is headed. We will also discuss some of the interesting research problems being addressed in the context of this effort.

Ramanathan V. Guha is a Fellow at Google, heading initiatives such as Custom Search, Search based keyword tool, SMS Channels and He graduated with B.Tech (Mechanical Engineering) from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, MS from University of California Berkeley and Ph.D from Stanford University. Guha was one of the early co-leaders of the Cyc Project where he worked from 1987 through 1994 at Microelectronics and Computer Technology Corporation. Leaving what became Cycorp, Guha founded Q Technology, which created a database schema mapping tool called Babelfish. In 1994, he moved to work at Apple Computer, reporting to Alan Kay, where he developed the Meta Content Framework (MCF) format. In 1997 he joined Netscape Corporation where together with Tim Bray, he created a new version of MCF that used the XML language and which became the main technical precursor to W3C's Resource Description Framework (RDF) standard. Guha also contributed to the "smart browsing" features of Netscape 4.5 and was instrumental in Netscape's acquisition of the Open Directory Project. In March 1999, he created the first version of RSS as part of Netscape's personalized home page project. In 1999 he left Netscape and in May co-founded Epinions where he worked until 2000. Guha founded Alpiri in late 2000 which created TAP, a semantic web application and knowledge base. In 2002, he became a researcher at IBM Almaden Research Center.