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Re: process to discover and adopt/adapt relationships

From: Mathieu D'Aquin <m.daquin@open.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 08:02:10 +0000
Cc: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <0FE5F8C1-EDA3-42A0-BD8A-92432EA10605@open.ac.uk>
To: John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org>
Hi John,

Not precisely what you ask, but there are a number of tools to  
facilitate the integration of "elements" of existing ontologies when  
building a new one, including the Watson Plugin [1,2] and others (e.g.  

The approach we take in the Watson plugin is that, instead of reusing  
a few whole ontologies, we help with the reuse of ontology statements,  
directly in the ontology engineering environment. As the name  
indicate, it uses Watson to find statements related to the entity of  
the edited ontology, and allow the user to simply add these statements  
in the edited ontology, maintaining links with the ontologies from  
which things are reused.

Of course there are many things that still need to be sorted out with  
such tools, including the assessment of the elements to reuse and of  
the original ontologies to make sure they fit the requirements for the  
new ontology.

Another thing that might be related is the work on ontology  
modularization for ontology reuse [4].   There are again a number of  
tools to make use of such techniques in ontology editors, including  
Protege [5] and the NeOn Toolkit [6].

Hope that helps.

[1] http://watson.kmi.open.ac.uk/editor_plugins.html
[2] d'Aquin, M., Sabou, M., Motta, E., (2008) Reusing Knowledge from  
the Semantic Web with the Watson Plugin. Demo at ISWC 2008.
[3] Nicole J. J. P. Koenderink, Mark van Assem, J. Lars Hulzebos, Jeen  
Broekstra, Jan L. Top:
ROC: A Method for Proto-ontology Construction by Domain Experts. ASWC  
2008, 152-166
[4] d'Aquin, M., Sabou, M., Motta, E., (2006) Modularization: a Key  
for the Dynamic Selection of Relevant Knowledge Components. First  
International Workshop on Modular Ontologies at ISWC'06
[5] E. Jiménez-Ruiz, B. Cuenca Grau, U. Sattler, T. Schneider and R.  
Berlanga. Safe and Economic Re-Use of Ontologies: A Logic-Based  
Methodology and Tool Support. ESWC 2008.
[6] M. d'Aquin, P. Haase, C. LeDuc, and A. Zimmermann. NeOn Formalism  
for Modularization:
Implementation and Evaluation. NeOn Project Deliverable D1.1.4.  
(should end up on neon-project.org very soon).

On 11 Mar 2009, at 01:39, John Graybeal wrote:

> I have a question of 'best practice' (uh oh).
> When you need an ontology for a purpose (like creating a controlled  
> set of terms to describe a domain area, let's say for  
> authoritatively populating a drop-down list), there are two stages  
> of work: (1) Find what exists. [2] If what exists doesn't fit the  
> need, subset or expand it.
> For step [1], I go to Watson and Swoogle and Google-('.owl' only),  
> enter some appropriate search terms, and try to weed through the  
> morass of sources that result, eliminating mail lists and other  
> irrelevancies.
> What else should I be doing to have a reasonable shot at finding the  
> almost perfect, already existing ontology?
> [2] Now, inevitably, there are many ontologies that have some piece  
> of what I want, and a few that have way more than what I want.  Now  
> what?  I can (a) piece together parts of each ontology (means  
> importing them all?), (b) use one of the mother-of-all-ontologies or  
> vocabularies (cyc, wordnet, others?) as is (means importing the  
> whole thing?), (c) create a new ontology that associates concepts to  
> those in other ontologies (either sameAs or more subtle  
> relationships), or (d) some combination of the above.
> It looks to me like if I want to provide a specific list of terms,  
> that don't overlap, have clear definitions, are unambiguous, and  
> fill the domain space, I will almost always have to create that  
> entire list on my own (then I can map it to other concepts if I want  
> to be a good boy).
> Even if I find a very solid ontology that meets these criteria,  
> inevitably it has more or fewer concepts than I want to show the  
> users of my ontology. So presenting just the right variation of the  
> ontology requires...another ontology.  (I guess extension can be  
> done by importing, and adding the few extra terms. But subsetting  
> seems awkward, unless one can import and _deprecate_ a few terms?)
> Is there something fundamental I've missed in the best practices and  
> technologies that people are using for this use case?  Or are we  
> inevitably in a world full of duplications, possibly with some  
> extensions and specializations?
> John
> --------------
> John Graybeal   <mailto:graybeal@mbari.org>  -- 831-775-1956
> Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
> Marine Metadata Interoperability Project: http://marinemetadata.org
Received on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 08:02:54 UTC

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