“Google syntax” for semantic queries?

Thought experiment: are there any commonly-expressed semantic queries–the kind of queries you’d run over a triple store, or perhaps a SearchMonkey-annotated web site–expressible in common type-in-a-searchbox query grammar?

As a refresher, here’s some things that Google and other search engines can handle. The square brackets represent the search box into which the queries are typed, not part of the queries themselves.


[term -butnotthis]

[term1 OR term2]

[“phrase term”]

[tem1 OR term2 -“but not this” site:dubinko.info filetype:html]

So what kind of semantic queries would be usefully expressed in a similar way, avoiding SPARQL and the like? For example, maybe [by:”Micah Dubinko”] could map to a document containing a triple like <this document> <dc:author> “Micah Dubinko”. What other kinds of graph queries are interesting, common, and simple to express like this? Comments welcome.


One Response to ““Google syntax” for semantic queries?”

  1. Erik Hennum http://ehennum.wordpress.com/

    Interesting synthesis. Property names might get more use than expression syntax (at least per Don Norman in http://bit.ly/6Zm9vd).

    Wouldn’t a lot of useful property commands identify relationships but actually match literals hanging off the related subjects or objects of the property? For instance, “broader subject” might make a good command to drive a SPARQL query matching a skos:prefLabel literal for a union of a dc:subject and skos:broader concepts.

    More generally, what about matching stemmed query terms and their synonyms against class, predicate, and instance literals and then ranking based on the graph proximity of the matched resources (a kind of clustering)? A required + separator might encourage the user to formulate discrete terms, as in:

    Akira Kurosawa + directed

    director + Rashomon

    director + Mifune + bandit