Magpie uses our ontology infrastructure to semantically markup web documents on-the-fly. The existing technologies in this problem domain tend to be rather heavyweight, and often modify the appearance of the actual webpage. Whilst these modifications may sometimes be acceptable, sometimes they may be a cause of a serious annoyance on user's behalf. Often, the existing technologies rely on one very specific ontology...

To alleviate some of these issues, we started work on the Magpie technology that would be lightweight and provide sufficiently robust and flexible features for semantically enriched browsing. Magpie tool aims to identify and filter out the concepts-of-interest from any webpage it is given. The current set of concepts can be influenced by a selection of a particular ontology of concepts and relations.

In addition to identifying the concepts-of-interest that are relevant from the perspective of a particular ontology, each such concept may provide an applicable set of relations or commands that can be executed. Such relationships are both, determined and evaluated dynamically by querying the ontology server. Another feature we believe improves the user's experience is the ability to turn the semantic menus ON or OFF, to highlight all instances belonging to a particular ontological class, to follow and semantically process the links embedded in the document. More later...


Knowledge management, semantic web browser, ontologies, knowledge modelling, dynamic linking, semantic web services

Research Team Back to top

Movies of Magpie in use

The first movie below (available in multiple formats) shows a Magpie user selecting an ontology and invoking semantic services on projects and people. At the moment, the first movie shows the functionality implemented in the public release of the Magpie plug-in.
The second movie shows Magpie collectors: a trigger service, which collects items of interest as they are browsed. Note that the trigger functionality is not enabled in the public release of the Magpie plug-in (yet). If you are interested in testing this functionality, please, contact us.

Demo movie #1: Magpie On-Demand Semantic Services Demo movie #2: Magpie Trigger Semantic Services Demo movie #3: Magpie as a resource aggregator for education Back to top

Related publications

Here are selected publications that are in some respect related to Magpie work. They describe different aspects and parts of what Magpie infrastructure can offer at the moment. In addition to that, they propose several extensions and improvements we are keen to experiment with in very the near future. If you have comments on the papers, feel free to drop us an email.
  • DZBOR, M. - MOTTA, E. - DOMINGUE, J. B.: Opening Up Magpie via Semantic Services, In Proc. of the 3rd Intl. Semantic Web Conference, November 2004, Japan
    ( download PDF version )
  • DOMINGUE, J.B. - DZBOR, M. - MOTTA, E.: Collaborative Semantic Web Browsing with Magpie, In Proc. of the 1st European Semantic Web Symposium (ESWS), May 2004, Greece
    ( download PDF version )
  • DZBOR, M. - DOMINGUE, J. B. - MOTTA, E.: Magpie - towards a semantic web browser, In Proc. of the 2nd Intl. Semantic Web Conf., October 2003, Florida US
    ( download PDF version )

  • DOMINGUE, J. B. - DZBOR, M.: Magpie: Browsing and Navigating on the Semantic Web, In Proc. of the Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces, January 2004, Portugal
    ( download PDF version )
  • DOMINGUE, J. B. - DZBOR, M. - MOTTA, E.: Semantic layering with Magpie, book chapter in Handbook on Ontologies in Information Systems (edited by Staab, S. & Studer, R.), Springer Verlag, 2003
    ( download PDF version )
Back to top

KMi Contact point

Email: Martin Dzbor (m.dzbor [at]

Back to top


Research activities related to the Magpie project are or have been supported by the, Dot.Kom, KnowledgeWeb and Advanced Knowledge Technologies (AKT). is a project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council and UK Department of Trade and Industry e-Science Initiative. Dot.Kom project is supported by European Union IST Framework V grant no.IST-2001-34038; KnowledgeWeb is an IST Framework VI Network of Excellence (grant no.FP6-507482) sponsored by European Union. AKT is an Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (IRC) sponsored by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council by grant no.GR/N15764/01.

Back to top

2002-2005 © Knowledge Media Institute, The Open University (amended 28 Oct 2005)
Locations of visitors to this page