Notes on codes, projects and everything

Drafting my first progress report

Just managed to migrate all my blog sites to one centralized multi-site, so no more half-baked solution and hopefully this brings better plugin compatibility. I have not check with other related services (like Google Webmaster Tools) whether this cause any breakage though. Well, the main purpose of this blog post is actually a draft of what I did for the past two months for my postgraduate programme. Yea, I should have posted more stuff to this blog (just realized that my last post here is already like half a year ago).

Long story short, I have been working on my research project two months ago. Throughout the mentioned time period, I basically spent a lot of time trying to read and understand some of the related topics in semantic web, information retrieval as well as machine learning as suggested by my supervisor.

I first started with revisiting RDF by putting more emphasis on how it is usually implemented. Yea, I know I did some when I was preparing my research proposal, but I didn’t go to the detail and skipped the section describing RDF/XML all together.

Recently there have been some debates on whether JSON should be used as another data serialization format. I personally like JSON for its simplicity (especially comparing it to XML), but I find RDF/XML actually makes sense (read: good enough) because I find RDF is very URI dependent and it would probably be a bit awkward to see a lot of URI popping up in JSON. However, I am still very interested to see how this is sorted out, as W3C initiated a group to work on it. (Some thought-provoking read on this by nathan@webr3)

I have also read on RDFS for the first time and the more I read it, the more I find it related to my classes on AI (especially Prolog) in my Bachelor Degree. However, I am also slightly surprised to see how tolerant it is (leaving too much room for error?). Besides RDFS, I also read on OWL and find more similarity with Prolog (I really should post the summary of the readings here, yeah, too much to blog about, but lack of time and motivation).

What really surprised me was that with the combination of these (RDF, RDFS and OWL) technologies, I actually tried re-inventing the same thing for my last task in my previous job (over and over again). Although usage of RDF may not exactly fit the problem, but I feel it is close enough to solve the problem.

While looking for some articles on Linked Data Principle, I came across this TED talk by Sir Tim-Berners-Lee. Yeah, I do feel sorry for not publishing enough semantic data online after watching that, the talk was very motivating indeed (but is posting personal info that is machine readable without limit actually a good idea, I don’t feel like injecting a great portion of my life into social networking site, but that’s a different story).

I also read the beginner’s guide to SPARQL, and this is the real wow-factor to me. Although I don’t really like the SQL-like syntax, but the similarity to Prolog makes everything looks cool now. Yeah, I am pretty new in this, so I keep referring everything to Prolog XD.

Then I started to read on information retrieval, this is when everything suddenly seems not cool anymore. However, it did force me to do a lot of revision on statistics and some basic maths stuff (you will be surprised to see how much I forget after working for 2 years). And it wasn’t encouraging when I began to watch a video lecture on machine learning hoping to pick up in shorter time span because I find myself not understanding most of the lectures XD.

Yeah, that’s basically wraps up my progress for the past 2 months, getting myself excited with new stuff for the first month, and getting frustrated in the second month not able to understand the material.

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@nathan thanks for the comment 😀


Sounds very familiar, from experience though, the good news is that if you make it past the frustrations, it gets even more exciting 🙂

And if there’s anything I can do, or help with, to get you there, just let me know.



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