The Semantic Web: Two Decades On

Tracking #: 2303-3516

Aidan Hogan

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editor 10-years SWJ

Submission type: 
More than two decades have passed since the establishment of the initial cornerstones of the Semantic Web. Since its inception, opinions have remained divided regarding the past, present and potential future impact of the Semantic Web. In this paper -- and in light of the results of over two decades of development on both the Semantic Web and related technologies -- we reflect on the current status of the Semantic Web, the impact it has had thus far, and future challenges. We first review some of the external criticism of this vision that has been put forward by various authors; we draw together the individual critiques, arguing both for and against each point based on the current state of adoption. We then present the results of a questionnaire that we have posed to the Semantic Web mailing list in order to understand respondents' perspective(s) regarding the degree to which the original Semantic Web vision has been realised, the impact it can potentially have on the Web (and other settings), its success stories thus far, as well as the degree to which they agree with the aforementioned critiques of the Semantic Web in terms of both its current state and future feasibility. We conclude by reflecting on future challenges and opportunities in the area.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Jens Lehmann submitted on 07/Oct/2019
Review Comment:

The minor revisions, which I requested in the previous round of reviews, have been adequately addressed in my opinions. Therefore, I recommend to accept the manuscript in its current form.

I partially agree with concerns in other reviews and more generally, I see a risk that the Semantic Web community may have a too negative self perception. However, the points in the manuscript are well argued and I believe the article to be a useful resource when looking at the past two decades of research in the field.

Review #2
By Jérôme Euzenat submitted on 10/Oct/2019
Review Comment:

My opinion has not changed from this new version of the paper.
I still like it more the first part than the second.
However, I think that the paper is quite valuable as providing this inventory of criticisms and even if arguable opinion pool on them.

My initial assessment was minor revision and most, if not all, my revision suggestions have been taken into account.


p2, col2, l12-13: repetition of perhaps
p3, col1, l12: these articles=unclear which ones, next line, it is 'found articles' (while I would have thought that these are the criticisms which are found) --> to revise
p13,col2,l10: '(even if not using RDF et al.)' not sure what it means and not sure that et al; is appropriate
p14, col1, l2: 'work creating tools'