Welcome to the metaphacts Blog!

Hi there - and welcome to the metaphacts Blog! We're really excited to see our blog system go live and we thought we'd give you a brief introduction into our aims for this blog, the benefits you can extract from it and best practices for interacting with the system. » Continue reading

Federation in metaphactory

(Reading time: 6 - 12 minutes)
Federation in metaphactory

With metaphactory, we serve customers of various sizes and across multiple industries, but no matter whether we're talking about a clinical trial scoping or a bill of materials use case, customers are looking for solutions to address hybrid information needs. That means that end users usually have questions or information needs that are not limited to one single data source or just RDF graph data, but involve simultaneously dealing with a multitude of data sources, a multitude of data modalities and a multitude of data processing techniques.

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GraphDB & metaphactory Part II: An RDF Database and A Knowledge Graph Platform in Action

(Reading time: 6 - 11 minutes)
GraphDB & metaphactory Part I: Generating Value from Your Knowledge Graph in Days

This article was co-written by Todor Primov (Ontotext).

In our previous post, we covered the basics of how the Ontotext and metaphacts joint solution based on GraphDB and metaphactory helps customers accelerate their knowledge graph journey and generate value from it in a matter of days.

This post looks at a specific clinical trial scoping example, powered by a knowledge graph that we have built for the EU funded project FROCKG, where both Ontotext and metaphacts are partners. It demonstrates how GraphDB and metaphactory work together and how you can employ the platform's intuitive and out-of-the-box search, visualization and authoring components to empower end users to consume data from your knowledge graph.

You can also listen to our on-demand webinar on the same topic or check out our use case brief.

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An Interconnected System for Reference Data

(Reading time: 8 - 15 minutes)
An Interconnected Reference Data System

This article is co-authored by Florian Kräutli of SARI and Wolfgang Schell and Irina Schmidt of metaphacts.

Publishing FAIR data in the humanities sector

Reference data is a crucial element of data curation in the cultural heritage and humanities sector. Using reference data brings multiple benefits, such as consistent cataloguing, easier lookup and interaction with the data, or compatibility with other data collections that use the same reference data. Overall, the use of reference data can support the publication of FAIR data - data that is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

In museum collection management, for example, various thesauri can be used as reference data to ensure the accurate and consistent cataloguing of items in a controlled manner and according to specific terminologies. Thesauri exist for various areas of expertise. One example is the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus® (AAT) which describes the different types of items of art, architecture and material culture, such as "cathedral" as a type of religious building. Authority data has also been published to support the unique identification of specific entities such as persons, organizations, or places, for example, "Cologne cathedral" as a specific instance of the type "cathedral". Such authority data sources include The Integrated Authority File (GND) or the Union List of Artist Names® Online (ULAN) and are specifically important for disambiguating over entities with the same name, e.g., Boston, the town in the UK, and Boston, the city in the USA.

Digital humanities projects often combine several research directions and use materials that cover multiple disciplinary areas. This makes the implementation of reference data difficult, as several reference data sources need to be used to cover all aspects and facets of a project. Moreover, technical access to reference data is inconsistent, with systems using different interfaces and APIs, which makes integration challenging.

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Investigative knowledge graph exploration & targeted problem solving with metaphactory’s pathfinding interface

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)
metaphactory 4.3 delivers new interactive pathfinding interface

Finding paths in a graph is a well defined space in mathematics and computer science. The Seven Bridges of Königsberg problem from 1736 - which asked to devise a roundtrip through the city of Königsberg in Prussia while crossing each bridge in the city only once - is one of the most famous real world problems and resulted in the foundations of today's graph theory.

While the term pathfinding might often be associated with finding the shortest path (for example, in a geographical context or in computer networks), the seven bridges problem is a good example showing that the shortest path is not necessarily the optimal or desired path for a given problem or information need.

Although they are graph databases, semantic graph databases lacked native support for pathfinding algorithms for a time (with a few exceptions). This was initially mainly due to the slightly different focus on data integration and a very expressive and standardized query language, SPARQL. SPARQL itself is a graph pattern matching language, which may naturally come with some trade-offs (e.g., in terms of index design, query optimization and computing cost) when applied to other use cases such as pathfinding.

With matured technology, evolution of standards and increased availability of computing resources, nowadays, most RDF databases natively support pathfinding algorithms. Most recently, our partner Ontotext released GraphDB 9.9 featuring sophisticated pathfinding algorithms which are fully compliant with and accessible through standard SPARQL 1.1 service extensions. See [1] and [2].

Following our mission, we have taken up the challenge to enable business users and domain experts to utilize this functionality without having knowledge about SPARQL or the particulars of pathfinding algorithms. When designing metaphactory's new visual pathfinding interface - released just last week with metaphactory 4.3, we focused on two primary usage scenarios:

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GraphDB & metaphactory Part I: Generating Value from Your Knowledge Graph in Days

(Reading time: 5 - 10 minutes)
GraphDB & metaphactory Part I: Generating Value from Your Knowledge Graph in Days

This article was co-written by Todor Primov (Ontotext).

Large enterprises have identified knowledge graphs as a solid foundation for making data FAIR and unlocking the value of their data assets. Data fabrics built on FAIR data drive digital transformation initiatives that put companies ahead of the competition.

But while the benefits of knowledge graphs have become clear, the road to their implementation has often been long and complex, and success has relied on the involvement of seasoned knowledge graph experts.

This blog post goes through the basics of the joint solution delivered by Ontotext and metaphacts to speed up this journey.

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