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Wolfram Data Framework (WDF)

Take data and make it meaningful

Building on the success of Wolfram|Alpha, WDF uses Wolfram Language and the Wolfram Knowledgebase to provide a standardized representation of real-world constructs and data.

WDF finally makes it practical to put a wide range of types of data in truly computable form:

  • Dates
  • Quantities with Units
  • Time Series
  • Geopositions
  • Graphics
  • Sounds
  • Images
  • Colors
  • Networks
  • Symbolic Structures
  • Countries
  • Movies
  • Materials
  • Companies
  • Products
  • Species
  • Stars
  • Airlines
  • Words
  • Oceans
  • Schools
  • Albums
  • Polyhedra
  • Buildings
  • Asteroids
  • People
  • Foods…

The WDF Workflow

Convert unstructured data to WDF
using Wolfram Natural Language
Understanding technology

Store WDF in files,
databases, etc. or
the Wolfram Cloud

Directly compute
with WDF in
Wolfram Language

Wolfram Semantic server, etc.

Wolfram Data Science Platform, etc.

WDF is a human-readable plaintext format that can be rendered in JSON, XML and other forms.

A Symbolic Representation of the World

WDF provides not just a language for representing real-world data, but defines actual canonical forms, based on knowledge about thousands of domains and millions of entities.

Exposing the Ontology of Wolfram|Alpha

As by far the largest computable knowledge system ever built, Wolfram|Alpha has been in a unique position to construct and test a broad ontology—which is now exposed as the basis for WDF.

Millions of Canonical Entities

Cities, stars, people, chemicals, products, mountains, species… : almost anything in the world with a commonly used public name is already assigned a canonical identifier in WDF.

Dynamic, Algorithmic Representation

Through its use of Wolfram Language, WDF can represent not just static ontological relationships, but also dynamic relationships that are defined by real-time computations.

Structures as Well as Entities

WDF represents not just individual entities such as cities or planets, but also structures such as networks, time series, images and geometries.

Units, Properly Treated

WDF includes the world's most sophisticated system for handling units of measure, covering more than 10,000 named units.

Symbolic Missing Data

Because WDF is based on the symbolic Wolfram Language, it can represent missing data in a flexible symbolic way.

Controlled Numerical Precision

WDF inherits from Wolfram Language a well-developed system for handling precision of numbers.

Complete Geodesy

WDF has full support for state-of-the-art high-precision geodesy, with all standard datums and projections.

Converting to WDF

Wolfram Language—as accessed from a variety of Wolfram products and services—lets you convert from unstructured data, including free-form natural language, to precise canonical WDF.

So Many Kinds of Dates

6/23/88, june 23, '88, 4th thursday in june 1988, etc. Dates are a typical example of partially structured data, with many formats, all of which WDF tools let you automatically convert to a canonical WDF form.

A Giant Lexicon

WDF tools include a giant lexicon for converting from common names to the canonical identifiers of WDF.

Understanding Natural Language

WDF tools—like Wolfram|Alpha—can go from standard natural language to the semantic form needed for WDF, including performing knowledge-based computations.

Linguistic Disambiguation Included

WDF tools have extensive linguistic disambiguation techniques, modeled on the highly successful methods used every day by Wolfram|Alpha.

Industrial-Scale Linguistics

WDF tools allow you to import large spreadsheets or databases, learning from collections of elements how best to interpret them, and render them into correct canonical WDF.

Put a Smart Field Anywhere

The Wolfram Smart Field service lets you put an input field into any form and have it automatically interpreted as WDF using natural language understanding implemented by the Wolfram Cloud.

WDF as Knowledge Representation

WDF provides a powerful way to represent data-level knowledge—and dovetails immediately with algorithmic knowledge as supported in Wolfram Language.

Readable by Machine and Human

Through being based on Wolfram Language, WDF is completely human-readable—and can immediately be rendered with full formatting in Wolfram Notebooks.

No Need for Footnotes

Because WDF completes a whole semantic representation of data, you don't need to rely on footnotes to maintain information on how to interpret pieces of data.


WDF can be rendered in Wolfram Language or in formats like JSON and XML.

Metadata Is Included

The symbolic structure of WDF makes it easy to include arbitrary metadata.

Mapping to Other Ontologies

WDF tools maintain mappings between WDF entities and entities in sources like Wikipedia and IMDb.

New Entities Are Just Cloud Objects

WDF is fully extensible, with new private entities being assigned universally unique UUIDs, which can be mapped if desired into entities in the Wolfram Cloud.

Ideal for

Multidomain Organizations

Use WDF to ensure different parts of an organization understand pieces of data the same way.

Long-Term Data Storage

With WDF, you don't need to remember footnotes about data, and if all else fails, it's always human‑readable.

Data Repositories

Store data with meaning attached, for computation or later use.

Research Publishing

Use WDF to create data-backed publications, in which data can immediately be used.

Smart Input Fields

Use WDF to represent data derived from semantically smart input fields on forms.

Internet of Things

WDF provides the connection between real-world measurements and abstract computation.