International Semantic Web Working Symposium
sponsored by the
National Science Foundation, Information and Data Management Program
Stanford University, California, USA
July 30 - August 1, 2001
The International Semantic Web Working Symposium (SWWS) took place in Stanford,
California, July 30 through August 1, 2001. The Semantic Web is a vision: the idea of having data on the Web defined
and linked in a way that it can be used by machines not just for display purposes, but for automation, integration
and reuse of data across various applications. In order to make this vision a reality for the Web, supporting standards,
technologies and policies must be designed to enable machines to make more sense of the Web, with the result of
making the Web more useful for humans. Facilities and technologies to put machine-understandable data on the Web
are rapidly becoming a high priority for many communities. For the Web to scale, programs must be able to share
and process data even when these programs have been designed totally independently. The Web can reach its full
potential only if it becomes a place where data can be shared and processed by automated tools as well as by people.
The technical program of SWWS presented the state of the art in the development of the principles and technology that will allow for the Semantic Web to become a reality. There were two invited talks, one by Eric Miller (W3C Semantic Web activity lead) and the other one by Michel Biezunski and Steven Newcomb (co-editors of the ISO Topic Map norm), and one panel chaired by Vipul Kashyap of Telcordia on Emerging Semantics. The 35 full papers were selected from 58 submissions (29 from Europe, 21 from the USA, 3 from Australia and New Zealand, 2 from China, Japan/Thailand, and 3 from unidentified countries) by a Program Committee of 36 people. The rate of acceptance was approximately two out of three for each group. The papers were organised in three tracks: "Ontology and Ontology Maintenance", chaired by Deborah McGuinness and Mark Tuttle, "Interoperability, Integration, and Composition", chaired by Vipul Kashyap, and "Services and Applications", chaired by Jim Hendler and Sheila McIlraith. A tutorial track was chaired by Charles Petrie, which featured tutorials by Natalya Friedman-Noy (on Ontology Engineering), Christoph Bussler (on Semantic B2B Integration), Fabio Casati and Ming-Chien Shan (on Models and Languages for Describing and Discovering E-services). The track chairs have summarized in reports the lessons learned from the various presentations and from the discussions among the participants of the various tracks, thus demonstrating that the symposium was a rich working forum. In addition, 50 position papers that have also been included in the proceedings.The social program included a banquet at the Stanford Faculty Club and a joint reception with ICCS 2001. The joint reception featured an invited talk by Douglas Engelbart, Bootstrap Institute founder and Director.
While originally SWWS was planned for an attendance of 100, it actually gathered more than 245 participants from all over the world, encompassing a wide range of scientific backgrounds. The interest that was demonstrated from a highly technical participation from academia and industry demonstrates the emergence of a dynamic and vital community centered on the idea of a Semantic Web.
The event was sponsored by the Information and Data Management Program of the National Science Foundation. Additional support was given by the European IST OntoWeb network, DARPA (DAML program), INRIA, and by the following corporate sponsors: VerticalNet, Nokia, SpiritSoft, Enigmatec.net, empolis, Language and Computing, Network inference, Mondeca, LC4, Connotate technologies, and Ontoprise.
During the workshop, a steering committee was established for monitoring future editions and the second edition has been planned for Europe next year, under the name International Semantic Web Conference (Sardinia, June 10-12, 2002).