This software is for people who need something, have something to offer, want to discuss something etc. - in short: who wish to connect with others for some reason.
- They publish a posting about it online
- They get recommendations on matching postings created by other people
- They start chatting with some of the creators of these other postings
- Maybe they'll meet. Maybe one will buy from the other. Maybe they will start a company, plant a tree, get married, found a party...
The Web of Needs is a decentralized infrastructure that allows people to publish documents on the Web which make it possible to contact each other. The document may contain a description of a product or service required or offered, a description of a problem to be solved with the help of others, an invitation to social activities, or anything else users may think of. Some concrete use cases are described here. On the abstract level of description, the document can be said to represent an interest in or a need for some kind of interaction with others.
Therefore, we refer to this document as a need. Each need has a globally unique identifier and an owner, i.e., a person or other entity that creates and controls it. When need owners want to communicate with each other, a connection object is created for each need involved.
Web of needs is built out of three main components. Owner applications enable users to create and manage their need objects. They can be any type of UI application like web applications or mobile apps for example. Owner applications publish needs as RDF documents to won nodes on the Web. When needs are published on the Web, independent matching services can crawl them (or subscribe for need updates at won nodes) and look for suitable matches. A protocol is in place to inform the won nodes and need owners of possible matches using hint messages. Based on this process need owners can initiate connections to other needs and start communication and other transactions.
Anyone can run any of these components. They can all talk to each other.
A demo deployment of the Web of Needs with a simple owner application, one won node and one matching service can be tested at www.matchat.org
If you want to set up your own deployment of Web of Needs components, here you find requirements for getting started:
- follow the instructions here to set up all the neccessary components of web of needs locally
- Try Chatting with the Debug Bot and Viewing the RDF that the owner webapp and won nodes are exchanging
- Learn how to Run your own WoN services
- Build-instructions and Troubleshooting
- Security architecture and how to Set up the Keys and Certificates
- Linked Data interface
- Matching Service Architecture
- Bot Framework for interacting with WoN nodes programmatically
- Ontologies defined for this project