Technical Report MSC-2012-19

Title: Programming Applications over the Semantic Web
Authors: Vadim Eisenberg
Supervisors: Yaron Kanza
Abstract: One of the hardest problems in programming applications for information processing, is the impedance mismatch—the inherent discrepancy between data models and models of popular programming languages, for example between the relational model and the Object Oriented model. The Semantic Web technologies—RDF, RDFS, OWL, SPARQL—can be beneficial for information processing, in particular for information integration. However, the impedance mismatch, which stems from inherent differences between RDF and OO, still remains. In this work we illustrate a solution to the impedance mismatch problem—a hybrid model between RDF and OO. Essentially, we modify an OO language so that RDF data items become first-class citizens of the language, and objects of the language become first-class citizens of RDF. The benefits of the hybrid model and of the modified programming language are: (1) it becomes natural to use the language as a persistent programming language, relieving the programmers from handling persistence issues explicitly, (2) tools from both models, such as optimizers, syntax checkers, query and reasoning engines, can be applied to the artifacts of the unified model, (3) programmers in the modified language will have to understand only one conceptual model instead of two, and will be able to mix, without translation, artifacts from both models. In this work we present the hybrid model and the modified programming language, explain their benefits, evaluate code examples written in the programming language, provide examples of possible code optimizations and illustrate the effectiveness of these optimizations.
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