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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 13:16 GMT
Web professor scoops tech award
People accessing the internet through a public telephone in China
The Semantic Web will allow computers to communicate faster
A professor at the University of Manchester has won an award for personal endeavour and distinguished research in computer science.

Ian Horrocks, Professor of Computer Science, won the 2005 Roger Needham Award for professional achievement in IT from the British Computer Society.

His work on the so-called "Semantic Web" will help computers communicate more efficiently over the internet.

It does this by allowing computers to talk using a single language.

Professor Horrocks' work helps computers to automatically understand information stored on internet pages.

It also helps to minimise the amount of irrelevant results web users often experience when using search engines.

This is achieved by attaching pages with a description of their contents in a language that computers can understand quickly.

Many industry observers say the Semantic Web will be far more "intelligent" than today's internet.

Professor Horrocks said: "My own work was inspired by and builds on the work of many talented researchers to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude."

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