Data Governance and semantics

Approaches and practices for efficient data management

Paul Knowles


Decentralised Semantics

Submitted Jun 7, 2022

This presentation focuses on decentralised semantics and how the segregation of task-oriented objects within a standard layered architecture can provide a long-term solution for unifying a data language within (and between) distributed data ecosystems. From that lens, decentralised semantics is ontology-agnostic, offering a harmonisation solution between data models and data representation formats while providing a roadmap to resolve privacy-compliant data sharing between servers, networks, and across sectoral or jurisdictional boundaries.

What is “Decentralised semantics”?
Data semantics is the study of the meaning and use of data in any digital environment. In data semantics, the focus is on how a data object represents a concept or object in the real world. That definition also underpins the concept of decentralised semantics, the only difference being that the decentralised version is specific to distributed data ecosystems.

Decentralised semantics describes a data modelling methodology of layering and cryptographically binding task-specific objects (overlays) to a standard capture base, which, when combined, defines a complex digital object. The segregation of task-specific overlays enables dynamic semantic interoperability in the construction process of any digital object without compromising the objectual integrity of the semantic structure, its modular components, or the relationship between those objects.

Decentralised semantics provides a powerful solution for semantic interoperability, data harmonisation, internationalisation, and dynamic presentation.

Short presenter bio
Introducing Paul Knowles, a true pioneer in Big Data initiatives

Paul Knowles is Head of the Advisory Council at The Human Colossus Foundation, a non-profit technological organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, and Chief Data Officer at MeDDEa Solutions AG, a Dynamic Data Economy (DDE) consultancy and service provider based in Basel, Switzerland. He is the inventor of Overlays Capture Architecture (OCA), a next-generation core public utility technology to harmonise data and semantics across data models and data representation formats. His reputation as a Decentralised Semantics expert and innovator stems from a 25-year career in Healthcare Data Science, where he has worked with companies including Roche, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, and Pfizer.


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