Semantic Web Best Practices: WordNet Task Force

last updated: $Date: 2004/06/03 18:44:04 $

WordNet Tast Force
Aldo Gangemi <>



This task force of the Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment WG is in support of the group's chartered aim of supporting the deployment in RDF/OWL of WordNet and similarly structured lexica ("wordnets").

short-term objectives

To document strategies, examples and resources for representing wordnet-like content using RDF/OWL
The TF should produce guidelines for transforming existing wordnets into an RDF/OWL representation. Guidelines should describe strategies for converting wordnets-like structures into an RDF representation, as well as strategies for re-describing in RDF/OWL the content originally conveyed in the wordnets.
To provide links to tools, applications, papers on this topic.
The TF should seek to avoid duplicating existing work, and should provide links to existing efforts, encouraging feedback from implementors on the pros- and cons- of the approaches explored.
To encourage dialog between RDF and Semantic Web developers and members of the lexical semantics community
Many existing researchers in the lexical semantics community (including Princeton WordNet developers and related initiatives, see list at bottom of page) are using wordnets, and some are not yet familiar with the facilities offered by RDFS and OWL. It is important to engage these communities rather than offer them solutions couched in the language of RDFS and OWL. In particular, concepts from the wordnet world, such as 'synsets' and 'hyperonymy' relate in non-obvious ways to similar, but more formalised, mechanisms offered by W3C's OWL technology.
To recommend an RDF/OWL vocabulary for representing wordnet structures ('synset' etc.) within RDF
Existing wordnets are mostly maintained in large databases with heterogeneous, although comparable schemas (or datamodels). Having a common RDF/OWL vocabulary for each element of original datamodels would help wordnet developers to approach the Semantic Web, and to create namespaces that can be used uniformly by SW developers.

long term goals


Involving people developing wordnets and related lexical ontologies: Princeton, Global WordNet, Eurowordnet, OntoWordNet, WebKB, etc.

Proposing the inclusion of RDF or OWL versions of wordnets and lexical ontologies into the official distributions.

Distilling the most agreed-upon parts of practices for developing ontologies out of wordnets, and including them in a set of recommendations.

Collecting existing resources, and pointing to them in a classified way.

Integrating existing datamodels in order to provide a unified OWL vocabulary for RDF versions of wordnets.


Everything that complies with the previous goals is in the scope of the WNET Task Force.


Description of expected results:

Note: When ACTIVE: link to drafts

When: CLOSED: link to published deliverables

Target Audience and use cases

Description of the users who are expected to be interested plus some usage examples.