• Meaningful content-based discovery of information sources
• Fusion of information from multiple sites
• E-marketplaces—for example, auction houses
• Convenient querying by users—for example, using natural language
• The integration of conventional office workflow with Web publishing
• A unifying data model such as RDF (Resource Description Framework)
• Languages with defined semantics, built on RDF, such as DAML+OIL (DARPA Agent Markup Language plus Ontology Inference Layer)
• Ontologies of standardized terminology for marking up Web resources, used by semantically rich service-level descriptions (such as DAML-S, the DAML-based Web Service Ontology), and support tools that assist the generation and processing of semantic markup
Alun Preece is a lecturer in the Department of Computing Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. His main research interests are distributed knowledge-based systems, software agents, and industrial knowledge management. He is a member of the AAAI and the British Computer Society Specialist Group on Knowledge-Based Systems and Applied Artificial Intelligence, and he is on the editorial boards of the Knowledge Engineering Review, Intelligent Data Analysis, and IEEE Intelligent Systems. He received his BSc in computer science and his PhD from the University of Wales. Contact him at the Dept. of Computing Sciences, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3UE, UK; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.csd.abdn.ac.uk/~apreece.
Stefan Decker is a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University's Department of Computer Science, where he works on realizing the Semantic Web in DARPA's DAML program. His research interests include information integration and mediation, Web Services, and, in general, the integration of knowledge representation and database technology for the World Wide Web. He did his PhD studies in computer science at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany, where he worked on ontology-based access to information. As a consulting activity, he designed and co-implemented a Web Service composition language for LastMileServices, a startup company in the Silicon Valley. Contact him at Stanford Univ., Gates Hall 4A, Rm. 425, Stanford, CA 94305-9040.