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RE: Ontology editor + why RDF?

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 21:42:41 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230942c0524760dd2f@[]>
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>, "deWaard, Anita \(ELS\)" <A.dewaard@elsevier.com>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Vipul wrote:

There are two alternatives for representing ontologies RDF Schema and OWL.
If you plan to use an OWL reasoner then, an OWL 
based ontology editor should be the right choice.
This can help you:
-          track inconsistencies such as concepts are contradictions
-          cycles
-          equivalent concepts
-          re-organizing polyhierarchiesŠ

There will be upfront cost however of converting your thesauri into OWL.

Using RDF Schema will be cheaper initially as the 
mapping of thesauri into RDF Schema can be 
automated to a large

in fact, SKOS, a proposed thesaurus standard 
based in RDF is available (see 
http://www.w3.org/2004/02/skos/) and we've done 
some work with a couple of big thesaurus players 
(esp Natl Agricultural Library) where a student 
was able to write some Perl, work with a 
librarian, and get a good SKOS translation of the 
thesaurus in a small amount of time.  This was a 
smaller thesaurus than the one you (Anita) 
describe, but I think it is a good example that 
this is not rocket science.

I also think the use case for bringing the 
thesaurus to the Web goes beyond the OWL stuff 
Vipal describes.  Essentially, by moving to RDFS 
(SKOS) you get an advantage different than 
reasoning - the terms in your thesaurus become 
URIs that other people can point to.  It means 
that they can use your terminologies in their 
applications, and links back to your terms can be 
maintained (rather than "reverse engineered" by a 
search engine).  Tools people are playing with 
for SKOS (and OWL) include image annotation, 
text/blog indexing, and database indexing/linking 
- and in those cases, the ability to link to 
things outside the ontology space are crucial 
(for example, imagine a lot of bloggers in the 
life science area using your terms as the things 
they subscribe to via RSS - or imagine being able 
to link your content to, for example, Nature's, 
by having mappings between synonyms in each 
others' thesauri, with live links to the content).

Guus Shreiber and Frank van Harmelen, both local 
to your area have been playing with OWL for large 
thesauri (esp. Guus' work with the Getty 
thesaurus) - you might see if they have demos 
worth exploring.

hope that helps
  Jim H

As far an industrial strength ontology editor and 
OWL-reasoner such as Construct and Cerebra from 
Cerebra could be
a good choice.



Vipul Kashyap, Ph.D.
Senior Medical Informatician
Clinical Informatics R&D, Partners HealthCare System
Phone: (781)416-9254
Cell: (617)943-7120

To keep up you need the right answers; to get 
ahead you need the right questions
---John Browning and Spencer Reiss, Wired 6.04.95

From: public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org 
[mailto:public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org] On 
Behalf Of deWaard, Anita (ELS)
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 6:37 AM
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Subject: Ontology editor + why RDF?

Dear all,

A quick question that I was hoping this forum 
might have some thoughts on: we are looking for a 
new editing tool for our life science thesaurus 
EMTREE (proprietary, multi-facted 
polyhierarchical, 260 k terms (50 k 
preferred, 210 k+ synonyms), > 10,000 nodes) and 
I am trying to convince the thesaurus department 
to go to an RDF-based editor. I was wondering if 
anyone had any thoughts on
a- the best professional-grade ontology editor to 
use (serious alternatives to Protege?), and
b- the best arguments to convince my company to 
start using RDF, both internally and externally.

Thanks for any comments!

Anita de Waard
Advanced Technology Group, Elsevier
Radarweg 29, 1043 NX Amsterdam
+31 20 485 3838

Professor James Hendler			  Director
Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery	 	  301-405-2696
UMIACS, Univ of Maryland			  301-314-9734 (Fax)
College Park, MD 20742			  http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler 
Web Log: http://www.mindswap.org/blog/author/hendler
Received on Friday, 31 March 2006 02:42:57 UTC

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