Semantic Web Applications:
Fields and Business Cases.  The Industry Challenges the Research


Alain Leger, France Telecom R&D


Semantic web technology is more and more often applied to a large spectrum of applications where domain knowledge is conceptualized and formalized (Ontology) as a support for diversified processing (Reasoning) operated by machines. Moreover through a subtle joining of human reasoning (cognitive) and mechanical reasoning (logic-based), it is possible for humans and machines to share complementary tasks. To name few of those applications areas: Corporate Portals and Knowledge Management, E-Commerce, E-Work, Healthcare, E-Government, Natural Language understanding and Automated Translation, Information search, Data and Services Integration, Social networks and collaborative filtering, Knowledge Mining, etc. From a social and economic perspective, this emerging technology should contribute to growth in economic wealth, but it must also show clear cut value in our everyday activities in being technology transparent and efficient. The uptake of Semantic Web technology by industry is progressing slowly. One of the problems is that academia is not always aware of the concrete problems that arise in industry. Conversely, industry is not often well informed about the academic developments that can potentially meet its needs. In this paper we present an ongoing work in the cross-fertilization between industry and academy. In particular, we present a collection of applications fields and use cases from enterprises which are interested in the promises of Semantic Web technology. We explain our approach in the analysis of the industry needs. We summarize industrial knowledge processing requirements in the form of a typology of knowledge processing tasks. These results are intended to focus academia on the development of plausible knowledge-based solutions for concrete industrial problems, and therefore, facilitate the uptake of Semantic Web technology within industry.