Harvesting, Searching, and Ranking Knowledge from the Web

author: Gerhard Weikum, Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Max Planck Institute
published: March 12, 2009,   recorded: February 2009,   views: 7608

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There are major trends to advance the functionality of search engines to a more expressive semantic level. This is enabled by employing large-scale information extraction of entities and relationships from semistructured as well as natural-language Web sources. In addition, harnessing Semantic-Web-style ontologies and reaching into Deep-Web sources can contribute towards a grand vision of turning the Web into a comprehensive knowledge base that can be efficiently searched with high precision.

This talk presents ongoing research towards this objective, with emphasis on our work on the YAGO knowledge base and the NAGA search engine but also covering related projects. YAGO is a large collection of entities and relational facts that are harvested from Wikipedia and WordNet with high accuracy and reconciled into a consistent RDF-style "semantic" graph. For further growing YAGO from Web sources while retaining its high quality, pattern-based extraction is combined with logic-based consistency checking in a unified framework. NAGA provides graph-template-based search over this data, with powerful ranking capabilities based on a statistical language model for graphs. Advanced queries and the need for ranking approximate matches pose efficiency and scalability challenges that are addressed by algorithmic and indexing techniques.

YAGO is publicly available and has been imported into various other knowledge-management projects including DBpedia. YAGO shares many of its goals and methodologies with parallel projects along related lines. These include Avatar, Cimple/DBlife, DBpedia, KnowItAll/TextRunner, Kylin/KOG, and the Libra technology (and more). Together they form an exciting trend towards providing comprehensive knowledge bases with semantic search capabilities.

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