FOAF (ontology)  

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FOAF (an acronym of Friend of a Friend) is a machine-readable ontology describing persons, their activities and their relations to other people and objects. Anyone can use FOAF to describe him or herself. FOAF allows groups of people to describe social networks without the need for a centralised database.

FOAF is an extension to RDF Resource Description Framework and is defined using OWL Web Ontology Language. Computers may use these FOAF profiles to find, for example, all people living in Europe, or to list all people both you and a friend of you know. This is accomplished by defining relationships between people. Each profile has a unique identifier (such as the person's e-mail addresses, a Jabber ID, or a URI of the homepage or weblog of the person), which is used when defining these relationships.

The FOAF project, which defines and extends the vocabulary of a FOAF profile, was started in 2000 by Libby Miller and Dan Brickley.

Tim Berners-Lee in a recent essay redefined the Semantic web concept into something he calls the Giant Global Graph, where relationships transcend networks/documents. He considers the GGG to be on equal grounds with Internet and World Wide Web, stating that "I express my network in a FOAF file, and that is a start of the revolution."


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "FOAF (ontology)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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