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Fall 2012
"Data and Web Semantics"

Schedule: T-R 2:00-3:15 pm
315 LH


The Blackboard web site for the course has been requested. Once the web site is set, this page will no longer be significantly updated.

About the course

More details will be announced in class and/or e-mailed to the class and/or posted in your Blackboard account ( for the course. If you have never used Blackboard, you can read the <A HREF="">Blackboard 9.0 Learning System User Manual (PDF)</A>.


Instructor: Professor Isabel F. Cruz, SEO 1134
Contact email:
ifc AT cs DOT uic DOT edu (please make sure you mention CS586 in the subject of the message)

Additional help: Cosmin Stroe cstroe AT gmail DOT com

The course and its objectives

The course aims to prepare students to undertake research in the important subjects that comprise the new Semantic Web research area. Material will be formally covered following the textbooks. They range from conceptual modeling (including data modeling languages) to query languages. There will be course projects representative of current research and development in the Semantic Web area, especially designed to further the students' understanding of the main research topics. The exam will be comprehensive of all the material taught in the course.

Recommended background

An advanced undergraduate course or a graduate course (or equivalent experience) in one or more courses in the following areas:

  • Databases
  • Information Retrieval
  • Data Mining
  • Artificial Intelligence
Office Hours and Contact with the Instructor

Office hours will be by appointment only. To communicate with the instructor use email above (please make sure you mention CS586 in the subject of the message).

Research Topics This year we will concentrate on the subject of Ontology Matching also called Ontology Alignment. Here are some of the possible topics that will be covered in detail:

1. Algorithms (including structural based similarity measures, context-based matching)
2. Reasoning
3. Visualization
4. Linked open data
5. Structural ontology parsing
6. Pairing of algorithms with ontologies
7. Semantic explanation of ontology matching
8. Information matching

Readings and References

There are three recommended books for the course:

  • A Semantic Web Primer by Grigoris Antoniou and Frank van Harmelen (The MIT Press, 2nd edition). March 2008 or preferably the 3rd edition (out on August 31, 2012)
  • Ontology Matching by Jerome Euzenat and Pavel Shvaiko (Springer Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg), 2007.
  • Semantic Web Technologies: Trends and Research in Ontology-based Systems by John Davies (Editor), Rudi Studer (Co-Editor), Paul Warren (Co-Editor) (John Wiley & Sons), July 2006.
Further readings will be posted as the semester unfolds.

Class Outline

  • Lectures by instructor (or invited lecturers)
  • Topic presentations (by students)
  • Final project presentations (by students)

First Class: August 23
Thanksgiving break: November 24-25
Last Class: December 1
or during exam week (December 5-9)


There will be a final project out of a list that will be supplied to the students. There are several stages to the project, which will be graded as the semester unfolds. Group projects are allowed (2 students maximum). Exams are individual, as well as certain presentations. Class participation is essential and is graded.

Grading and Deadlines (tentative):

Major ComponentsComponentsDeadlineGradeSummary




Projectintro to project and survey (in class presentation and written pages)




midterm report



demo and presentation (slides and delivery)



final report



Class participation






Grades to the project will be awarded as follows:

  • A: Comprehensive presentations, the quality expected at a conference. As for the project, it should have research value as to be presented at a conference or workshop (applied or theoretical).
  • B: Solid work with attention to detail. Work that is valuable for the class, but which will not necessarily be of interest to a wider audience.
  • C: Completed work but lacking the above qualities.
High quality work is expected both in substance (research depth for the project and breadth for the survey) and presentation (organization, formatting, and spelling). Work that does not satisfy these criteria will not receive a passing grade. Regular feedback will be provided by the instructor so that the students will have a good understanding of their progress. No late submissions are accepted.

Course Policy

Cheating will not be tolerated in this course. In particular, individual work must be performed by the student alone and group projects must be performed only by the elements of the group. Note that plagiarism, including copying information from the web, is a form of cheating. Any form of cheating will result in immediate failing of the course. In addition, the case may be reported to the university.

Students are urged to check with the instructor on what constitutes proper and improper use of references and software both available in printed form or electronic form and on what constitutes proper and improper forms of collaboration and authoring. Understanding such distinctions will be extremely useful in a student's research or professional career.

Isabel F. Cruz

Topic revision: r3 - 2013-08-27 - 06:06:25 - Main.ifcruz
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