Computer Laboratory

Technical reports

Web data knowledge extraction

Juan M. Tirado, Ovidiu Serban, Qiang Guo, Eiko Yoneki

March 2016, 60 pages

Acknowledgement: The research is funded by the H2020 DIGIWHIST project (645852) and is part-funded by the EPSRC DDEPI Project, EP/H003959.


A constantly growing amount of information is available through the web. Unfortunately, extracting useful content from this massive amount of data still remains an open issue. The lack of standard data models and structures forces developers to create ad-hoc solutions from scratch. The advice of an expert is still needed in many situations where developers do not have the correct background knowledge. This forces developers to spend time acquiring the necessary background from the expert. In other directions, there are promising solutions employing machine learning techniques. However, increasing accuracy requires an increase in system complexity that cannot be endured in many projects.

In this work, we approach the web knowledge extraction problem using an expert centric methodology. This methodology defines a set of configurable, extendible and independent components that permit the reutilisation of large pieces of code among projects. Our methodology differs from similar solutions in its expert-driven design. This design makes it possible for a subject specialist to drive the knowledge extraction for a given set of documents. Additionally, we propose the utilization of machine assisted solutions that guide the expert during this process. To demonstrate the capabilities of our methodology, we present a real use case scenario in which public procurement data is extracted from the web-based repositories of several public institutions across Europe. We provide insightful details about the challenges we had to deal with in this case and additional discussions about how to apply our methodology.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Tirado, Juan M. and Serban, Ovidiu and Guo, Qiang and
          	  Yoneki, Eiko},
  title = 	 {{Web data knowledge extraction}},
  year = 	 2016,
  month = 	 mar,
  url = 	 {},
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-881}