Ontology Development 101: A Guide to Creating Your First Ontology


In recent years the development of ontologies—explicit formal specifications of the terms in the domain and relations among them (Gruber 1993)—has been moving from the realm of ArtificialIntelligence laboratories to the desktops of domain experts. Ontologies have become common on the World-Wide Web. The ontologies on the Web range from large taxonomies categorizing Web sites (such as on Yahoo!) to categorizations of products for sale and their features (such as on Amazon.com). The WWW Consortium (W3C) is developing the Resource Description Framework (Brickley and Guha 1999), a language for encoding knowledge on Web pages to make it understandable to electronic agents searching for information. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), in conjunction with the W3C, is developing DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) by extending RDF with more expressive constructs aimed at facilitating agent interaction on the Web (Hendler and McGuinness 2000). Many disciplines now develop standardized ontologies that domain experts can use to share and annotate information in their fields. Medicine, for example, has produced large, standardized, structured vocabularies such as SNOMED (Price and Spackman 2000) and the semantic network of the Unified Medical Language System (Humphreys and Lindberg 1993). Broad general-purpose ontologies are emerging as well. For example, the United Nations Development Program and Dun & Bradstreet combined their efforts to develop the UNSPSC ontology which provides terminology for products and services (www.unspsc.org). An ontology defines a common vocabulary for researchers who need to share information in a domain. It includes machine-interpretable definitions of basic concepts in the domain and relations among them. Why would someone want to develop an ontology? Some of the reasons are: • To share common understanding of the structure of information among people or software agents • To enable reuse of domain knowledge • To make domain assumptions explicit • To separate domain knowledge from the operational knowledge • To analyze domain knowledge

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@inproceedings{Noy2001OntologyD1, title={Ontology Development 101: A Guide to Creating Your First Ontology}, author={Natalya Fridman Noy and Deborah L. McGuinness}, year={2001} }