The first salvo of what we've been hinting about re. server side faceted browsing over Unlimited Data within configurable Interactive Time-frames is now available for experimentation at:

Simple example / demo:

Enter search pattern: Microsoft

You will get the usual result from a full text pattern search i.e., hits and text excerpts with matching patterns in boldface. This first step is akin to throwing your net out to sea while fishing.

Now you have your catch, what next? Basically, this is where traditional text search value ends since regex or xpath/xquery offer little when the structure of literal text is the key to filtering or categorization based analysis of real-world entities. Naturally, this is where the value of structured querying of linked data starts, as you seek to use entity descriptions (combination of attribute and relationship properties) to "Find relevant things".

Continuing with the demo.

Click on "Properties" link within the Navigation section of the browser page which results in a distillation and aggregation of the properties of the entities associated with the search results. Then use the "Next" link to page through the properties until to find the properties that best match what you seek. Note, this particular step is akin to using the properties of the catch (using fishing analogy) for query filtering, with each subsequent property link click narrowing your selection further.

Using property based filtering is just one perspective on the data corpus associated with the text search pattern; thus, you can alter perspectives by clicking on the "Class" link so that you can filter you search results by entity type. Of course, in a number of scenarios you would use a combination of entity types and entity properties filters to locate the entities of interest to you.

A Few Notes about this demo instance of Virtuoso:

  • Lookup Data Size (Local Linked Data Corpus): 2 Billion+ Triples (entity-attribute-value tuples)
  • This is a *temporary* teaser / precursor to the LOD (Linking Open Data Cloud) variant of our Linked Data driven "Search" & "Find" service; we decided to implement this functionality prior to commissioning a larger and more up to date instance based on the entire LOD Cloud
  • The browser is simply using a Virtuoso PL function that also exists in Web Service form for loose binding by 3rd parties that have a UI orientation and focus (our UI is deliberately bare boned).
  • The properties and entity types (classes) links expose formal definitions and dictionary provenance information materialized in an HTML page (of course your browser or any other HTTP user agent can negotiation alternative representations of this descriptive information)
  • UMBEL based inference rules are enabled, giving you a live and simple demonstration of the virtues of Linked Data Dictionaries for example: click on the description link of any property or class from the foaf (friend-of-a-friend vocabulary), sioc (semantically-interlinked-online-communities ontology), mo (music ontology), bibo (bibliographic data ontology) namespaces to see how the data between these lower level vocabularies or ontologies are meshed with OpenCyc's upper level ontology.