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TraceALL: a semantic web framework for food traceability systems

Michail Salampasis (Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria)
Dimitrios Tektonidis (Research Programmes Division, ALTEC Software Development S.A., Thessaloniki, Greece)
Eleni P. Kalogianni (Department of Food Technology, ATEI of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 9 November 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe TraceALL which is a Semantic Web (SW), ontology‐based, service‐oriented framework which aims to provide the necessary infrastructure enabling food industry (particularly SMEs) to implement traceability applications using an innovative generic framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The framework builds upon the idea of the Semantic Web and provides an open and extensible underlying platform that allows different traceability interconnected applications to be designed and developed. More specifically, the framework provides a formal, ontology‐based, general‐purpose methodology to support knowledge representation and information modelling in traceability systems. Additionally, it suggests an open application framework based on widely used Semantic Web standards. Finally it provides a set of core services for storing, processing and retrieving traceability information in a scalable way. These components, taken together, facilitate the efficient development of next generation traceability applications.

Findings

Based on a case study which the authors executed as a proof of concept and studying the relevant literature it was found that TraceALL facilitates the development of next generation traceability applications because, from a food safety perspective, it enables all stakeholders in the food supply chain to have an information trail that follows the product's physical trail, but at the same time is cost effective, easy to manage and applicable within a globalised, networked, interoperable economic environment.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first food traceability system based completely on solid existing standards of the Semantic Web initiative. The authors consider that the inspiring analogy between resources such as those described in the Semantic Web initiative and the core traceability concept of a Traceable Resource Unit (TRU) is an extremely useful concept for developing cost‐effective traceability applications that possess many key requirements, which are described in the paper.

Keywords

Citation

Salampasis, M., Tektonidis, D. and Kalogianni, E.P. (2012), "TraceALL: a semantic web framework for food traceability systems", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 302-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/13287261211279053

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited