Distributed Subweb Specifications for Traversing the Web

Bart Bogaerts, Bas Ketsman, Younes Zeboudj, Heba Aamer, Ruben Taelman, Ruben Verborgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Link traversal–based query processing (LTQP), in which a SPARQL query is evaluated over a web of documents rather than a single dataset, is often seen as a theoretically interesting yet impractical technique. However, in a time where the hypercentralization of data has increasingly come under scrutiny, a decentralized Web of Data with a simple document-based interface is appealing, as it enables data publishers to control their data and access rights. While (LTQP allows evaluating complex queries over such webs, it suffers from performance issues (due to the high number of documents containing data) as well as information quality concerns (due to the many sources providing such documents). In existing LTQP approaches, the burden of finding sources to query is entirely in the hands of the data consumer. In this paper, we argue that to solve these issues, data publishers should also be able to suggest sources of interest and guide the data consumer toward relevant and trustworthy data. We introduce a theoretical framework that enables such guided link traversal and study its properties. We illustrate with a theoretic example that this can improve query results and reduce the number of network requests. We evaluate our proposal experimentally on a virtual linked web with specifications and indeed observe that not just the data quality but also the efficiency of querying improves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalTheory and Practice of Logic Programming
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research received funding from the Flemish Government under the “Onderzoeksprogramma Artificiële Intelligentie (AI) Vlaanderen” programme and SolidLab Vlaanderen (Flemish Government, EWI and RRF project VV023/10). Ruben Taelman is a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) (1274521N). Heba Aamer is supported by the Special Research Fund (BOF) (BOF19OWB16).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.


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