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RDF database

RDF database

(also triplestore)

RDF database definition

An RDF database, or a triplestore, is a type of database designed to store and manage data in the format of RDF (Resource Description Framework). RDF data consists of triples, each of which is a combination of a subject, a predicate, and an object. This allows the database to represent complex relationships between different pieces of data.

See also: query language

How an RDF database works

An RDF database works by storing information in a specific format called triples. Each triple consists of three parts:

  • Subject. This is the thing or item you’re talking about.
  • Predicate. This tells something about the subject, like a property or relationship.
  • Object. This is the value or another item that the predicate relates to the subject.

For example, in a triple, you might have ‘Cat (subject) – Color (predicate) – Black (object).’ These triples help the database describe and understand the connections between data points.

To find and use data in an RDF database, you use a query language called SPARQL. It lets you ask specific questions about the data, like finding all items with a certain property or seeing how different items connect.

Use cases of RDF databases

  • Web data and linked data. RDF is key to linking different kinds of web data from different fields, like maps, science, or history.
  • Knowledge graphs. Companies use RDF databases to build knowledge graphs, like the ones that help search engines find better results.
  • Data integration and interoperability. In businesses and research, RDF databases combine data from different places or formats, making it easier to work with.
  • Semantic annotations. RDF is used in semantic annotations of web resources to make them more understandable and searchable.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning. RDF databases provide complex and linked datasets that are useful for AI and machine learning training and research.

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