A SOLID collaboration between Inria and Startin’blox

With SOLID is an approach, where data can be distributed over multiple storages (PODs) across multiple servers. In such a scenario, finding a piece of information becomes complex and might lead to excessive response time or resource consumption.

The WIMMICS research team (Inria, Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS I3S) is collaborating with the Startin’blox company developing an innovative and ethical technology based on open standards to create federated applications based on linked data and web components. The collaboration also involves the Mycelium and the Data Food Consortium projects. Both are working to make the short supply chain more efficient.

The objective of this collaboration is the design and evaluation of methods for searching, indexing and discovering services and datasets within a Solid ecosystem.  The SOLID project, for SOcial LInked Data, launched in 2015 by Tim Berners-Lee and incubated at the W3C, proposes the specification of a new web application architecture allowing a complete decoupling between data storage and business applications. Thus, the massive deployment of applications respecting Solid standards would make it possible to re-establish decentralization on the web and give users the possibility of keeping control of their data, in storages called PODs.

In this collaboration between Inria and Startin’blox our goal is to design and evaluate methods for searching and querying distributed data in a SOLID ecosystem.  The ability to perform advanced searches on large volumes of data with acceptable performance is one of the foundations of information flow and the construction of social applications.  We are investigating possible solutions to build on top of the SOLID architecture capabilities for service discovery and path-finding and access to distributed datasets, by standardizing the search and filtering capabilities of PODs. We are considering SPARQL traversal or decentralized query approaches to design a pilot architecture that also meets the performance challenges, for example via cache or index systems. This would allow us to support the diffusion of the SOLID ecosystem on a web scale and demonstrate the deployment of real applications based on SOLID.

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