Jack Verhoosel


Semantics in Dairy Farming: towards a Common Dairy Ontology

In the Dutch SmartDairyFarming project, better decision support for the dairy farmer on daily questions around feeding, insemination, calving and milk production processes is made possible using a variety of big data sources containing static and dynamic sensor data of individual cows. This presentation is concerned with the inherent semantic interoperability problem between the information in these data sources. Semantic alignment is achieved using ontologies and linked data mechanisms on a large amount of sensor data, such as grazing activity, feed in-take, weight, temperature and milk production of individual cows at 7 dairy farms in The Netherlands. A Common Dairy Ontology (CDO) and a specific measurement ontology have been developed and used to transform the sensor data into 310GB of RDF triples, made accessible via a SPARQL interface on a triplestore. A few example applications have been developed to show how the CDO can be used for decision support and historic analysis. The performance of our linked data semantic solution is acceptable for analysis queries on large sets of data. Without optimization of queries the time for answering queries ranged from a few seconds to a couple of minutes.


Jack Verhoosel is Senior Consulting Data Scientist at TNO and is part of the group Connected Business of the Data Science department within TNO. This group focuses on interoperability, i.e. the efficient and effective use of IT for the cooperation and information sharing between organisations. He specialises in semantic technology, data analytics and interoperability architecture. Research topics include (1) modelling of information and knowledge in ontologies, (2) semantic web and linked data technology for data accessibility and (3) data analytics technology for big data applications. He applies his knowledge in various industry sectors, among others agriculture, industry and the electronic government domain. He conducts applied research for national standardisation institutes and coordinates and manages applied research projects for customers. Specifically, in the government sector he is involved in the eSENS project that works on a platform for multi-domain cross-border public services for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). He also applies this knowledge in several EC tenders on the development and stimulation of the Digital Service Infrastructures promoted by DG Connect and DIGIT. In the agricultural sector he was/is involved in European projects like SmartAgriFood, ERANET ICT-AGRI, FoodIntegrity, GreenGrowing and Odysseus as well as in Dutch national projects like SmartDairyFarming and BigDataHorticulture. In these projects, specifications, ontologies and applications are developed for the information provisioning and exchange in the agri-food logistic chains including greenhouses. In the industry domain, he is active in the Dutch FlexMan project in which an ontology is developed for the support of flexible manufacturing.