Singularity World

The promise of data aware applications

by on Feb.11, 2011, under Semantic Web

The web becomes increasingly complex under the hood, to support the increasingly demanding information needs, new information types, formats & capacities. At the same time, on the surface, the web is actually becoming simpler & friendlier.

Information complexity is one of the challenges I’m especially excited about.
As in any other field, the best method to pass the complexity barrier is through introducing new levels of abstraction and modularity.
How far are we from being able to write:
“Use the current user location, display nearby restaurants on a map, add the best real time deals for the restaurants, and list them in a table, sorted by the distance from the user. Display tweets mentioning the restaurants and friends from Facebook nearby at the moment, and perform sentiment analysis on the tweets to display positive and negative feedback on each restaurant”

In the realm of data aware apps, this description is transformed to a data flow graph, which is the DNA of a data aware application.
When you take a multitude of data source, add a semantic abstraction layer over them, a new paradigm emerges. Data sources suddenly have a common language. Information exchange on a higher level is possible.
Applications can now be described in terms of the information flow graph, starting from user input, or real time feed, going through refinement and manipulation, then fed to an API. The results are filtered, sorted & aggregated, directed to a second API, augmented by data from another data source, and displayed using data aware UI elements.

You’re invited to read more on this article on
Also, see slides of my talk at the Big Data meetup, on information complexity & data aware apps.

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