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Ruben Verborgh

Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges

by Ruben Verborgh, Thomas Steiner, Rik Van de Walle, and Joaquim Gabarró Vallés

In an often retweeted Twitter post, entrepreneur and software architect Inge Henriksen described the relation of Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 as: “Web 1.0 connected humans with machines. Web 2.0 connected humans with humans. Web 3.0 connects machines with machines.” On the one hand, an incredible amount of valuable data is described by billions of triples, machine-accessible and interconnected thanks to the promises of Linked Data. On the other hand, REST is a scalable, resource-oriented architectural style that, like the Linked Data vision, recognizes the importance of links between resources. Hypermedia APIs are resources, too—albeit dynamic ones—and unfortunately, neither Linked Data principles, nor the REST-implied self-descriptiveness of hypermedia APIs sufficiently describe them to allow for long-envisioned realizations like automatic service discovery and composition. We argue that describing inter-resource links—similarly to what the Linked Data movement has done for data—is the key to machine-driven consumption of APIs In this paper, we explain how the description format RESTdesc captures the functionality of APIs by explaining the effect of dynamic interactions, effectively complementing the Linked Data vision.

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Published in 2015 in The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events.

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Cite this article easily using its BibTeX entry:

@inproceedings{verborgh_eswc_2012b,
  title = {{Linked Data} and Linked {APIs:} Similarities, Differences, and Challenges},
  author = {Verborgh, Ruben and Steiner, Thomas and Van de Walle, Rik and Gabarr\'o Vall\'es, Joaquim},
  booktitle = {The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events},
  editor = {Simperl, Elena and Norton, Barry and Mladenic, Dunja and Della Valle, Emanuele and Fundulaki, Irini and Passant, Alexandre and Troncy, Rapha\"el},
  year = 2015,
  month = apr,
  volume = 7540,
  pages = {272--284},
  series = {Lecture Notes in Computer Science},
  publisher = {Springer},
  url = {http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-662-46641-4_20},
  doi = {10.1007/978-3-662-46641-4_20},
  isbn = {978-3-662-46640-7},
}

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IEEE
R. Verborgh, T. Steiner, R. Van de Walle, and J. Gabarró Vallés, “Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges,” in The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events, 2015, vol. 7540, pp. 272–284.
ACM
Ruben Verborgh, Thomas Steiner, Rik Van de Walle, and Joaquim Gabarró Vallés. 2015. Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges. In Elena Simperl et al., eds. The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, 272–284.
LNCS
Verborgh, R., Steiner, T., Van de Walle, R., Gabarró Vallés, J.: Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges. In: Simperl, E., Norton, B., Mladenic, D., Della Valle, E., Fundulaki, I., Passant, A., and Troncy, R. (eds.) The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events. pp. 272–284. Springer (2015).
APA
Verborgh, R., Steiner, T., Van de Walle, R., & Gabarró Vallés, J. (2015). Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges. In E. Simperl, B. Norton, D. Mladenic, E. Della Valle, I. Fundulaki, A. Passant, & R. Troncy (Eds.), The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events (Vol. 7540, pp. 272–284). Springer.
MLA
Verborgh, Ruben et al. “Linked Data and Linked APIs: Similarities, Differences, and Challenges.” The Semantic Web: ESWC 2012 Satellite Events. Ed. Elena Simperl et al. Vol. 7540. Springer, 2015. 272–284. Print. Lecture Notes in Computer Science.

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