Thursday, 24 of July of 2014

RDF triple stores

Less than a week ago I spent a lot of time trying to install and configure a few RDF triple stores, with varying degrees of success:

  • OpenRDF- This was the easiest system to install so far. First, identify, download, install, configure, and turn on a Java servlet container. I used Tomcat. Then copy the OpenRDF .war files into the webapps directory. Restart the servlet container. Use your Web browser to connect to OpenRDF. Using the Web interface I was able to import RDF/XML and then query it.
  • Virtuoso Open-Source Edition – This took a long time to compile, but it seemingly complied flawlessly. I have yet to actually install it and give it a whirl.
  • 4store – Many of my colleagues suggested this application, but I had one heck of a time installing it on my Linux host. When I finally finished installation I was able to fill the store with triples from the command-line and then query it from an HTTP interface.
  • Jena/Fuseki – After all the time I spent on the previous applications, I ran out of energy. Installing Jena/Fuseki is still on my to-do list.
  • D2R Server – I should probably give this one a whirl too.

What’s the point? Well, quite frankly, I’m not sure yet. All of these “stores” are really databases of RDF triples. Once they are in the store a person can submit queries to find triples. The query language used is SPARQL, and SPARQL sort of feels like Yet Another Kewl Hack. What is the problem trying to be solved here? The only truly forward thinking answer I can figure out is the implementation of an inference engine used to find relationships that weren’t obvious previously. Granted, my work has just begun and I’m more ignorant than anything else.

Please enlighten me?


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