Sequential Linked Data: the State of Affairs

Daga, Enrico; Meroño-Peñuela, Albert and Motta, Enrico (2021). Sequential Linked Data: the State of Affairs. Semantic Web, 12(6) pp. 927–958.



Sequences are among the most important data structures in computer science. In the Semantic Web, however, little attention has been given to Sequential Linked Data. In previous work, we have discussed the data models that Knowledge Graphs commonly use for representing sequences and showed how these models have an impact on query performance and that this impact is invariant to triplestore implementations. However, the specific list operations that the management of Sequential Linked Data requires beyond the simple retrieval of an entire list or a range of its elements --e.g. to add or remove elements from a list--, and their impact in the various list data models, remain unclear.
Covering this knowledge gap would be a significant step towards the realization of a Semantic Web list Application Programming Interface (API) that standardizes list manipulation and generalizes beyond specific data models.
In order to address these challenges towards the realization of such an API, we build on our previous work in understanding the effects of various sequential data models for Knowledge Graphs, extending our benchmark and proposing a set of read-write Semantic Web list operations in SPARQL, with insert, update and delete support. To do so, we identify five classic list-based computer science sequential data structures (linked list, double linked list, stack, queue, and array), from which we derive nine atomic read-write operations for Semantic Web lists. We propose a SPARQL implementation of these operations with five typical RDF data models and compare their performance by executing them against six increasing dataset sizes and four different triplestores. In light of our results, we discuss the feasibility of our devised API and reflect on the state of affairs of Sequential Linked Data.

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