Monday, July 30, 2007

Identity and the semantic web

An interesting report, "URI Identity Management for Semantic Web Data Integration and Linkage" has just been released after being presented to the 3rd International Workshop on Scalable Semantic Web Knowledge Base Systems. As the blurb puts it (emphasis added):

"The Semantic Web vision involves the production and use of large amounts of RDF data. There have been recent initiatives amongst the Semantic Web community, in particular the Linking Open Data activity and our own ReSIST project, to publish large amounts of RDF that are both interlinked and dereferenceable. The proliferation of such data gives rise to millions of URIs for non-information resources such as people, places and abstract things. Frequently, different data providers will mint different URIs for the same resource, giving rise to the problem of coreference. This paper describes the phenomenon of coreference, where it occurs in other disciplines and how it is relevant to the Semantic Web. We propose a ‘Consistent Reference Service’ for URI identity management and describe how this is being used in the infrastructure of a scalable Semantic Web system."
Is this a phenomenon that could arise in OpenID and other URI/URL based identifier systems? Or is this simply the mirror of a single identity maintaining mutiple URI-based identifiers, each for use with a different persona?

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