ESWC Workshop on «Semantics in Governance and Policy Modelling»

Extended Semantic Web Conference 2011

Workshop on «Semantics in Governance and Policy Modelling»

May 30, 2011 - Crete, Greece


Today, Governments struggle to regulate an increasingly interconnected, complex, fast-evolving and unpredictable world, as the recent financial crisis has shown. At the same time, the amount of data available to any interested stakeholder for making sense of the socio-economic environment has increased exponentially, provided either through sensors in the Internet of Objects and “crowdsourced” citizens’ reports in Social Media, or with the help of open government initiatives that have already started to emerge and impact governments’ operation, efficiency and reputation.

Moving in the strategic directions of the “Research Roadmap in ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling” prepared by the CROSSROAD Project (, data-powered collective intelligence and action has been unanimously recognized as a key challenge towards a better, evidence-based, timely, truly transparent and participative decision making process. In such a Collaborative Governance vision, citizens are engaged in all the phases of policy making: in collecting available data through open linked data and participatory sensing techniques; in analyzing the data through data mining, information visualization and visual analytics tools; and in acting on relevant data upon conducting interactive simulations and serious games experimentations that accompany and stimulate government policies.

Semantics are bound to play an important role in these new governance grand challenges, supporting policy modeling, citizen opinion mining, data visualization, automated and personalized service provision.

Topics and Papers

The papers presented in this workshop are targeting novel approaches, methods, practices and tools for turning the public information overload into an opportunity for Governance and Policy Modelling with the help of semantics, open data and Public Sector Information reuse, linked data and visual analytics. Specific importance is placed in multidisciplinary approaches, combining theoretical policy making methodologies, advanced ICT and Government 2.0 collaboration practices.

The workshop provided a stand for real-life application examples, showing how stakeholders can gain insight and take action into complex and unpredictable real-life situations at international, national or local level, including: Semantic components for digital public service definition and provision; Semantics for policy modelling, including policy planning and policy impact assessment; Open, governmental data publication and promotion; Linking of open governmental data; Linked data in government data mash-ups; Collaborative analysis and collective intelligence for policy-making, Semantic annotation of public policy and citizen opinion; Semantic components for public deliberation and argument visualization.

The papers selected among submissions and made publishable in the workshop are following, organized under two sessions, as for presentation. The first session gathers papers in the areas of Open and Linked Data in Governance, including also structural components approaches:

· Fenareti Lampathaki, Yannis Charalabidis, Dimitris Askounis: “Open Linked Data and Visual Analytics in Electronic Governance: State of Play and Perspectives”

· Konstantin Hypponen, Miika Alonen, Sami Korhonen, and Virpi Hotti: “XHTML with RDFa as a Semantic Document Format for CCTS Modelled Documents and its Application for Social Services”

· Kelli de Faria Cordeiro, Maria Luiza Machado Campos, Marcos R. S. Borges: “Empowering Citizens and Government with Collaboration on Linked Open Data”

· Lucas de Ramos Araújo, Pablo N. Mendes, Jairo Francisco de Souza: “Publishing Linked Data from Brazilian Politicians on the Web”

The second part touches upon issues relative to more participative approaches, mainly at the policy support and deliberation areas. As such, Semantically-enriched Policy Making is a new direction for several existing categories of research artefacts, attracting papers such as:

· Riccardo Boero, Enrico Ferro, Michele Osella, Yannis Charalabidis, Euripidis Loukis: “Policy Intelligence in the Era of Social Computing: Towards a Cross-Policy Decision Support System”

· Christos Tsarouchis, Declan O’Sullivan, David Lewis: “Balancing system expressivity and user cognitive load in semantically enhanced policy modeling”

· George Anadiotis, Panos Alexopoulos, Konstantinos Kafentzis, Efrosyni Konstantinou, Milan Stankovic, and Manuel Waeckerle: “Semantics-powered Virtual Communities and Open Innovation for a Structured Deliberation Process”

· Alessio Gugliotta, Franco Alberti, Igor Jogan: “Comelicopedia: a Collaborative, Semantically-enriched Knowledge Base for the Sustainable Development in Mountain Areas”

All presentations and papers available at

Audience, Organisers

The audience of the workshop includes researchers and practitioners spanning the domains of Semantic Web, Electronic Governance and Policy Modelling, university students and professors of Computer, Management, Social and Public Administration sciences, ICT industry staff engaged in relevant projects and solutions, policy makers and decision drivers at local, national or international levels, public administration officials and industry executives, engaged both in organisational design and ICT deployment.

Workshop Chairs

Yannis Charalabidis (Corresponding Chair), University of Aegean,

Fenareti Lampathaki, National Technical University of Athens,

Gianluca Misuraca, JRC - European Commission, IPTS, Spain,

Workshop Programme Committee

Dimitris Askounis, National Technical University of Athens, Greece

Enrico Ferro, ISMB, Italy

Marko Grobelnik, Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia

Euripidis Loukis, University of Aegean, Greece

Michele Missikoff, IASI-CNR, Italy

David Osimo, Tech4i2, Belgium

Maria Wimmer, University Koblenz-Landau, Germany