The Semantic Web shares many goals with Decision Support Systems (DSS), e.g., being able to precisely interpret information, in order to deliver relevant, reliable and accurate information to a user when and where it is needed. DSS have in addition more specific goals, since the information need is targeted towards making a particular decision, e.g., making a plan or reacting to a certain situation. When surveying DSS literature, we discover applications ranging from Business Intelligence, via general purpose social networking and collaboration support, Information Retrieval and Knowledge Management, to situation awareness, emergency management, and simulation systems. The unifying element is primarily the purpose of the systems, and their focus on information management and provision, rather than the specific technologies they employ to reach these goals. Semantic Web technologies have been used in DSS during the past decade to solve a number of different tasks, such as information integration and sharing, web service annotation and discovery, and knowledge representation and reasoning. In this survey article, we present the results of a structured literature survey of Semantic Web technologies in DSS, together with the results of interviews with DSS researchers and developers both in industry and research organizations outside the university. The literature survey has been conducted using a structured method, where papers are selected from the publisher databases of some of the most prominent conferences and journals in both fields (Semantic Web and DSS), based on sets of relevant keywords representing the intersection of the two fields. Our main contribution is to analyze the landscape of semantic technologies in DSS, and provide an overview of current research as well as open research areas, trends and new directions. An added value is the conclusions drawn from interviews with DSS practitioners, which give an additional perspective on the potential of Semantic Web technologies in this field; including scenarios for DSS, and requirements for Semantic Web technologies that may attempt to support those scenarios.
IOS Press, 2014. Vol. 5, no 3, 177-201 p.