TagNet: Using Soft Semantics to Search the Web

Geert Vanderhulst, Lieven Trappeniers


Semantic annotations are key to efficiently retrieve resources on the Web. On the one hand, ontologies underlying Web resources give rise to linked data. On the other hand, tagging has become increasingly popular to bring order in data across Web applications and social networks. While taxonomies and folksonomies serve the same purpose (i.e. classification), there is a large gap in semantics between uncontrolled keywords used for tagging and hierarchical concepts found in a taxonomy. In this paper we introduce sematags as light-weight `soft semantics' which aim to bridge the gap between `no semantics' and `hard semantics'. Sematags define aliases (synonyms) and isas (hypernyms) which overcome the typical issues conventional tags cope with such as ambiguity. Furthermore, we present TagNet, a framework that extracts sematags from lexicons and existing knowledge bases and exploits them to annotate, link and retrieve resources on the Web. We evaluate how soft semantics can be used to semi-automatically map tagged photos in Flickr on DBpedia concepts and vice versa.


  1. Araujo, S., Houben, G.-J., and Schwabe, D. (2010). Linkator: Enriching Web Pages by Automatically Adding Dereferenceable Semantic Annotations. In 10th International Conference on Web Engineering (ICWE'10), pages 355-369. Springer-Verlag.
  2. Auer, S., Bizer, C., Kobilarov, G., Lehmann, J., Cyganiak, R., and Ives, Z. (2008). DBpedia: A Nucleus for a Web of Open Data. In 6th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC'07), pages 722-735.
  3. Ben-Yitzhak, O., Golbandi, N., Har'El, N., Lempel, R., Neumann, A., Ofek-Koifman, S., Sheinwald, D., Shekita, E., Sznajder, B., and Yogev, S. Beyond Basic Faceted Search. In International Conference on Web Search and Web Data Mining (WSDM'08).
  4. Fellbaum, C., editor (1998). WordNet: An Electronic Lexical Database. The MIT Press.
  5. Garcia-Castro, L. J., Hepp, M., and Garcia, A. (2009). Tags4Tags: Using Tagging to Consolidate Tags. In 20th International Conference on Database and Expert Systems Applications (DEXA'09), pages 619- 628. Springer-Verlag.
  6. Golder, S. and Huberman, B. A. (2006). The structure of collaborative tagging systems. Journal of Information Science, 32(2):198-208.
  7. Gruber, T. (2007). Collective Knowledge Systems: Where the Social Web meets the Semantic Web. Web Semantics Science Services and Agents on the World Wide Web, 6(1):4-13.
  8. Hepp, M. (2010). HyperTwitter: Collaborative Knowledge Engineering via Twitter Messages. In 17th International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Management by the Masses (EKAW'10), pages 451- 461. Springer-Verlag.
  9. Kim, H.-L., Breslin, J., Yang, S.-K., and Kim, H.-G. (2008). Social Semantic Cloud of Tag: Semantic Model for Social Tagging. Agent and Multi-Agent Systems: Technologies and Applications, pages 83-92.
  10. Matuszek, C., Cabral, J., Witbrock, M., and DeOliveira, J. (2006). An Introduction to the Syntax and Content of Cyc. In AAAI Spring Symposium on Formalizing and Compiling Background Knowledge and Its Applications to Knowledge Representation and Question Answering, pages 44-49.
  11. Newman, R. (2005). Tag Ontology Design. http:// www.holygoat.co.uk/projects/tags.
  12. Niles, I. and Pease, A. (2001). Towards a Standard Upper Ontology. In International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS'01), pages 2-9. ACM.
  13. Passant, A. and Laublet, P. (2008). Meaning Of A Tag: A Collaborative Approach to Bridge the Gap between Tagging and Linked Data. In WWW'08 workshops: Linked Data on the Web (LDOW'08).
  14. Sigurbjörnsson, B. and van Zwol, R. (2008). Flickr Tag Recommendation Based on Collective Knowledge. In 17th International Conference on World Wide Web, pages 327-336. ACM.
  15. Song, Y., Zhuang, Z., Li, H., Zhao, Q., Li, J., Lee, W.- C., and Giles, C. L. (2008). Real-time Automatic Tag Recommendation. In 31st International Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR'08), pages 515-522. ACM.
  16. Specia, L. and Motta, E. (2007). Integrating Folksonomies with the Semantic Web. In 4th European Semantic Web Conference (ESWC'07), pages 624-639. Springer.
  17. Suchanek, F. M., Kasneci, G., and Weikum, G. (2007). YAGO: A Core of Semantic Knowledge. In 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW'07), pages 697-706. ACM Press.
  18. Vander Wal, T. (2007). Folksonomy Coinage and Definition. http://vanderwal.net/folksonomy.html.
  19. Weller, K. (2007). Folksonomies and Ontologies: Two New Players in Indexing and Knowledge Representation. In Applying Web 2.0. Innovation, Impact and Implementation, pages 108-115.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Vanderhulst G. and Trappeniers L. (2013). TagNet: Using Soft Semantics to Search the Web . In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST, ISBN 978-989-8565-54-9, pages 179-188. DOI: 10.5220/0004325001790188

in Bibtex Style

author={Geert Vanderhulst and Lieven Trappeniers},
title={TagNet: Using Soft Semantics to Search the Web},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Web Information Systems and Technologies - Volume 1: WEBIST,
TI - TagNet: Using Soft Semantics to Search the Web
SN - 978-989-8565-54-9
AU - Vanderhulst G.
AU - Trappeniers L.
PY - 2013
SP - 179
EP - 188
DO - 10.5220/0004325001790188