Title: Toward Model-Driven Semantic Web Engineering

Principal Investigator: Dr. Dragan Gasevic

Grant Provider: NSERC

Amount: $15,000 per year

Duration: 2008- 2012

Abstract: Today, we need a wider variety of software solutions than ever before, and every advance we can anticipate is going to require software that has not been written yet. It follows that we need methods that will allow for rapid development of software systems in order to be ready for any future technological challenges. This motivated for establishing the model-driven engineering (MDE) discipline with the goal of increasing the productivity of software developers by focusing on domain-specific (non-technical) details; reusing the same design for several platforms; and allowing for early discovery of software errors. However, software is a knowledge repository where knowledge is largely related to the application domain, and not to software as an entity itself. So, we need to be able to share (trace, manage, interoperate) the knowledge encoded in software with the knowledge about all relevant aspects surrounding and influencing software (e.g., requirements, and policies). With today's critical role of the Web and Web-based software systems, the need to be able to share the knowledge based on which a system is build is even higher. This knowledge sharing and management requires the use of explicit definition of knowledge, as that is a basic need for machines to be able to interpret knowledge. It is natural then why the Semantic Web technology is a promising way to address these current problems.

This research explores the integration of the Semantic Web technology into software engineering by using MDE, while the final result should produce synergetic effects for both technologies. These efforts can be in general classified into three general categories: (i) Integration of Semantic Web languages into the MDE theory; (ii) Model-driven engineering of Semantic Web languages; (iii) Semantic Web-enhanced development of domain-specific languages (for service-oriented architectures and e-learning). The major contribution is the semantic enhancement of the MDE process that should increase its efficiency and effectiveness, and assure that developed systems can precisely integrate the knowledge of domains under study. Moreover, the research should provide tools for developing software systems, leveraging benefits of the Semantic Web.