IEEE Sponsors Semantic Web Research for RF Propagation Studies

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The IEEE Vehicular Technology Society has provided a $50,000 grant for Prof. Ted Rappaport and his students to create a prototype semantic web portal for potential use by IEEE members worldwide. The concept of the Semantic Web is a linked data-structure that enables machines to understand the semantics, or meaning, of information on the World Wide Web. Semantic tools are being used in big-science projects in the fields of astronomy, genetics, and molecular research, but have been slow to come to the wireless communications and propagation community. Semantic Web portals promise to extend the network of hyperlinked human-readable web pages by inserting machine-readable metadata, and allow data to be grouped and processed. This enables cross-referencing, much more easily used data across databases, and clearer data representation in a common format, which permits high searchability and usability. With continued growth of wireless technologies, and the growing interest in unexplored frequencies and applications (such as for emerging vehicle-to-vehicle, or sensor communication systems, and new propagation measurements at or above 6 GHz), the wireless research community would greatly benefit from the use of Semantic Web technologies to organize and share wireless measurement and modeling data in a collaborative on-line repository. Rappaport and his students are developing tools that will allow researchers around the world to share their propagation measurements, and to post models and simulation tools in the public domain. Their first step is to use the SIRCIM and SMRCIM public-domain simulators to create examples of typical propagation measurements, and they intend to open up the web environment to researchers throughout the world who are interested in sharing and using such a repository. A Vehicular Technology Magazine article describing this bold vision will appear in the June 2011 issue, and is entitled, An Open Source Archiving System, by Rappaport, his student James Murdock, and colleagues Robert Shapiro and David Michelson.