GSA probes semantic technologies

The General Services Administration is looking for vendors conversant in advanced Semantic Web technologies.

The agency issued a Request for Information relating to the semantic representation of knowledge. The RFI name-dropped more than a few of the advanced technologies now being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium and researchers. It seems GSA wants to use such cutting-edge tools to better share information.

The March 28 RFI called for companies with capabilities in the following:

*The Resource Description Framework (RDF), a method for specifying the syntax of metadata.

*Web Ontology Language (OWL), a markup language for sharing classification schemes.

*Knowledge Interchange Format (KIF), a specification for exchanging data across different computer systems in such a way as to capture semantic relationships among the data elements.

*Common Logic (CL), an update of KIF that uses formal logic to describe the relationship among the data elements.

In addition to these languages and frameworks, the GSA is seeking expertise in using "open-source rules engines, reasoners and theorem provers," according to the solicitation. It is also seeking insight into "knowledge representation, semantic integration, information flow, formal concept analysis, category theory and the semantic Web."

No word was provided about how the agency plans to use these advanced tools and capabilities, but interested parties are encouraged to provide contact details at GSA's Open Source eGov Reference Architecture Web site. Deadline is April 12.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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