W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > December 2010

Re: Any reason for ontology reuse?

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 2010 14:07:42 +0100
Cc: Percy Enrique Rivera Salas <privera.salas@gmail.com>, public-lod@w3.org, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <2AAD2E41-3C5A-4B0F-B45A-61669F88007A@ebusiness-unibw.org>
To: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Simple rules:

1. It is better to use an existing ontology than inventing your own.
2. It is better to use the most popular existing ontology than a less  
popular existing ontology.
3. It is better to publish your data using your own ontology than not  
publishing your data at all.
4. It is better to use a good (*) private ontology for publishing your  
data than using a messy private ontology.

(*) A good ontology is one that preserves the largest share of the  
original conceptual distinctions in your data, i.e. it does not  
require merging entity types that are distinct in the original data,  
as long as this distinction matters for potential data consumers.

Whether option #1 is feasible depends on

1. how much time and money you are willing into lifting / publishing  
your data (that will be a matter of economic incentives).
2. how complicated it is to populate that ontology based on the  
available data and the local schemas.



On 04.12.2010, at 09:27, Toby Inkster wrote:

> On Fri, 3 Dec 2010 18:15:08 -0200
> Percy Enrique Rivera Salas <privera.salas@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I would like to know, which are the specific reason(s),
>> for reuse terms from well-known vocabularies in the process of  
>> Publish
>> Linked Data on the Web?
> Consider this question: I would like to know, which are the specific
> reason(s) for reusing well-known words in the process of publishing
> English text on the Web?
> Answer: When you're writing something in English, you should avoid
> inventing new words unless you're fairly sure that a word for the
> concept you're trying to describe does not exist. This is because if
> you invent a new word, you need to describe what it means for other
> people to be able to understand you. And even when you do that, you've
> increased the cognitive load for your readers.
> URIs are the vocabulary of linked data, just like words are the
> vocabulary of the English language. For analogous reasons, you should
> avoid minting new URIs when an existing URI will do. If you mint a new
> URI that means the same as an existing one, then not only do you have
> to go to the effort of documenting its meaning, but consumers have to
> perform extra work (such as subproperty/subclass inferencing) to
> understand it.
> -- 
> Toby A Inkster
> <mailto:mail@tobyinkster.co.uk>
> <http://tobyinkster.co.uk>

martin hepp
e-business & web science research group
universitaet der bundeswehr muenchen

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Received on Saturday, 4 December 2010 13:08:16 UTC

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