The Humanitarian eXchange Language: Coordinating Disaster Response with Semantic Web Technologies

Tracking #: 537-1740

Authors: 
Carsten Keßler
Chad Hendrix

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors Semantic Web For All

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Abstract: 
The Humanitarian eXchange Language (HXL) is a project by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that aims at refining data management and exchange for disaster response. Data exchange in this field, which often has to deal with chaotic environments heavily affected by an emergency such as a natural disaster or an armed conflict, still happens mostly manually. The goal of HXL is to contribute to the automatization of many of these processes, saving valuable time for staff in the field and improving the information flow for decision makers who have to allocate resources for response activities. This paper gives an overview of this initiative, which is set to significantly improve information exchange in the humanitarian domain. We introduce the HXL vocabulary, which provides a formal definition of the terminology used in this domain, and an initial set of tools and services that produce and consume HXL data. The HXL system infrastructure is introduced, along with its data management principles. The paper concludes with an outlook on the future of HXL and its role in the humanitarian ecosystem.
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Tags: 
Reviewed

Decision/Status: 
Accept

Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Stefan Boyera submitted on 27/Sep/2013
Suggestion:
Accept
Review Comment:

This version compared to the original version has minor changes, but the pieces that have been added are making the reading more easy (section related work) or are helpful to understand where HXL is going (section 8 and the description of future work in the conclusion). Liek for my first review, I think it is a very good paper that is worth accepting

Review #2
By Mike Powell submitted on 14/Oct/2013
Suggestion:
Accept
Review Comment:

I think the authors have responded well to the various comments. The pare is very clearly written and offers given a better understanding of the many difficulties of collecting and assessing data during humanitarian emergencies.

Review #3
By Christophe Guéret submitted on 05/Nov/2013
Suggestion:
Accept
Review Comment:

This revised submission responds to all the concerns raised by the reviewers. With respect to my own remarks, I was pleased to read more about the decentralisation of the approach and the motivation of table conversion with the goal of integrating into current practices. This is a good paper which is clearly in scope with the topic of the special issue it has been submitted to.

Review #4
By Martin Murillo submitted on 05/Nov/2013
Suggestion:
Accept
Review Comment:

The authors have addressed all the original issues.The authors have provided a good piece of work. The authors may note that, in real life, they must address issues aliases (nicknames) and biometrical information in their vocabulary.


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