Tools and Strategies for Building the Semantic Desktop


October 7, 2008


Andreas Dengel


German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH)


A Semantic Desktop is a means to manage all personal information across application borders based on Semantic Web standards. It acts as an extended personal memory assisting users to file, relate, share, and access all digital information like documents, multimedia, and messages through a Personal Information Model (PIMO). This PIMO is build on ontological knowledge generated through user observations and interactions and may be seen as a formal and semi-formal complement of the user’s mental models. Thus it reflects experience and typical user behavior and may be processed by a computer in order to provide proactive and adaptive information support or allows personalized semantic search. The Semantic Desktop is build on a middle ware platform allowing to combine information and native applications like the file-system, Mozilla, Thunderbird or MS-Outlook. In this talk I will show how machine learning techniques may be used to support the generation of a PIMO. I will further introduce the main concepts, components, and functionalities of the Semantic Desktop, and give examples which show how the Semantic Desktop may become reality.


Andreas Dengel

Dr. Andreas Dengel is a member of the Management Board as well as Scientific Director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Kaiserslautern where he is leading the Knowledge Management research department. In 1993 he was appointed Professor at the CS Dept of the University of Kaiserslautern where he holds the chair “Knowledge-Based Systems”. From 1980 to 1986 Andreas studied Computer Science and Economics at the University of Kaiserslautern. He subsequently worked at the Siemens research lab in Munich, at Xerox Parc in Palo Alto as well as at the University of Stuttgart where he completed his doctoral thesis in 1989. Andreas is member of many international boards, founded various successful start-up companies, is co-editor of international computer science journals, has written or edited 8 books and is author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications. He supervised more than 100 PhD and master theses, and received a number of prestigious scientific awards. His main research emphasis is in the areas of Knowledge Management, Artificial Intelligence, and Document Understanding.