Report by ISITC Europe to demystify Semantics.
Author: Martin, Sexton, Principal Consultant at London Market Systems, with contributions from Richard Beatch at Bloomberg
With the potential impact of BCBS 239 and financial institutions focus on governance and ownership of risk, there is an appreciation that key to supporting governance is the deployment of the appropriate IT and data architectures. That raises the question, “Does semantics have a role to play in supporting governance?”
Before examining this question, it is appropriate to provide some context to semantics itself.
So, what is semantics?
Put simply it is the study of meaning and without semantics there is no context for understanding information.
A key initiative in the financial sector is the Financial Industry Business Ontology (or FIBO), try searching for FIBO on the Internet and what do you get? Lots of videos of a fitness and wellbeing fair. This experiment highlights the need for being able to understand the context of information.
Semantic web technologies can be used to represent two main types of models:
♦ A Taxonomy is a hierarchy of concepts, the relations are normally parent/child, superClass/subClass, or broader/narrower.
♦ An Ontology is a formal model of concepts, the relationships that connect them, and constraints on the ways that concepts and relationships can be combined. These relationships can be complex and may not result in a single hierarchical structure. An Ontology can use a taxonomy or a set of taxonomies as its base.