Social annotation systems such as del.icio.us, Flickr and others have gained tremendous popularity among Web 2.0 users. One of the factors of success was the simplicity of the underlying model, which consists of a resource (e.g., a web page), a tag (e.g., a text string), and a user who annotates the resource with the tag. However, due to the syntactic nature of the underlying model, these systems have been criticised for not being able to take into account the explicit semantics implicitly encoded by the users in each tag. In this article we: a) provide a formalisation of an annotation model in which tags are based on concepts instead of being free text strings; b) describe how an existing annotation system can be converted to the proposed model; c) report on the results of such a conversion on the example of a del.icio.us dataset; and d) show how the quality of search can be improved by the semantic in the converted dataset.
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