Data Shapes

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Date: March 24, 2022

Time: 17h CET (Madrid), 16h UTC London, 12pm New York EDT and 9am San Francisco PDT

Location: Online

Registration Count: 105 (2021-12-20)

Describe and Validate Your RDF Data with Data Shapes

RDF is a fundamental part of the web (championed by the semantic web and knowledge graph efforts). It has a versatile data model that enables automatic integration of data from different sources. The RDF ecosystem supports systems which can be available through SPARQL endpoints as well as knowledge representation languages that can be used to infer new data. However, RDF versatility also comes with a price and it is necessary to adopt defensive programming techniques when confronted with it. Although RDF producers usually have an implicit schema of the data, it is not explicitly documented nor is it rigorously followed, requiring consumers to program defensively or write elaborate queries to work around inconsistencies. Shape Expressions (ShEx) has been created as a concise and human readable language to describe and validate RDF data. ShEx schemas declare expectations about the topology of RDF data which can be automatically verified. ShEx is used in large-scale modeling efforts like FHIR and Wikidata. For instance, Wikidata Entity Schemas extensions create a whole ecosystem of ShEx schemas and it has also been increasingly adopted by the community. In this talk, we will describe the language and some of its applications and tools.


Jose Emilio Labra Gayo, WESO research group, University of Oviedo, Spain

Eric Prud’hommeaux, Janeiro Digital, W3C

Jose Emilio Labra Gayo is full Professor at the University of Oviedo, Spain. He founded WESO (Web Semantics Oviedo) research group in 2004 and collaborates with different companies and institutions applying semantic technologies. The development of data portals led to his interest in RDF validation. He was a member of the W3C Data Shapes working group and of the W3C community groups: Shape Expressions and SHACL. He is athe coauthor of the Validating RDF data book and the Knowledge Graphs book. He maintains the ShEx and SHACL library SHaclEX as well as the online tools RDFShape and wikishape. Previously, he was coordinator of the Master in Web Engineering and Dean of the School of Computer Science Engineering - University of Oviedo (2004-2012).

Eric Prud’hommeaux is a long-time Semantic Web proponent who has worked on biomedical and clinical data tooling. To that end, he started a number of significant standardization efforts around RDF storage, query and shape validation. He is currently extending the RDF representation of FHIR and ShEx definitions as well as developing shape-based protocols promoting application interoperability in SOLID. He is coauthor of Validating RDF Data book and the Knowledge Graphs book. He maintains the javascript ShEx.js library and tools for validation, consumption of UML/XMI, FHIR Profiles, and other data model expressions.



Jose E. Labra Gayo, Eric Prud’hommeaux, Iovka Boneva, Dimitris Kontokostas (2018) Validating RDF Data, Synthesis Lectures on the Semantic Web: Theory and Technology, Vol. 7, No. 1, 1-328, DOI: 10.2200/S00786ED1V01Y201707WBE016, Morgan & Claypool

Event Classification

Session-Type: Technology - Coding - W3C Recommendation
Session-Level: Intermediate - Advanced
Session-Language: English
Session-Notes: Please be advised that this is not an introduction to the Semantic Web or RDF. Prior knowledge is required to fully benefit from the guidance offered at this session