Quantifying the Interoperability of Open Government Datasets

Paper by Pieter Colpaert, Mathias Van Compernolle, Laurens De Vocht, Anastasia Dimou, Miel Vander Sande, Peter Mechant, Ruben Verborgh, and Erik Mannens, to be published in Computer: “Open Governments use the Web as a global dataspace for datasets. It is in the interest of these governments to be interoperable with other governments worldwide, yet there is currently no way to identify relevant datasets to be interoperable with and there is no way to measure the interoperability itself. In this article we discuss the possibility of comparing identifiers used within various datasets as a way to measure semantic interoperability. We introduce three metrics to express the interoperability between two datasets: the identifier interoperability, the relevance and the number of conflicts. The metrics are calculated from a list of statements which indicate for each pair of identifiers in the system whether they identify the same concept or not. While a lot of effort is needed to collect these statements, the return is high: not only relevant datasets are identified, also machine-readable feedback is provided to the data maintainer.”