Re: Ontology Naming Conventions

Dear Kevin, when building large conceptual frameworks, any vocabulary  
is usually insufficient, and thus (as in natural language) terms will  
have different meanings depending on the context. I also saw many  
conceptual schemes that use very long labels to refer their concepts.  
e.g., look at XBRL. Usually, these labels are concatenations of a  
number of parameters that determine the context of the label. This may  
be ok for one single person who build the ontology, and actually chose  
the labels, but is not understandable for machines, or even other  

I cannot point you to ontologies that have long labels for concepts  
and are still readable: they simply do not exist. I only can point you  
to methodologies that enact you in representing and maintaining  
ontologies in the best possible way. In principles, an ontology should  
refer to context-independent and language-neutral concepts. However,  
natural language is still needed to represent these concepts.  
Therefore context is an inexorable construct when representing  

For example, in my PhD ( I developed a  
methodology that enacts a community to collaboratively construct an  
ontology architecture consisting of several layers (upper common,  
lower common, stakeholder level). The top layer refers to language- 
neutral and context-independent concepts that are already agreed and  
applied by the community. The lowest layer consists of "stakeholder  
perspectives" on these upper layers, specialising the upper layer with  
locally relevant concepts represented by local vocabularies. Gradually  
these lower perspectives are reconciled in the lower common layer, and  
when a new version is produced parts are promoted the upper common  


On 08 Jul 2009, at 18:57, Kevin Jenkins wrote:

> Greetings,
> Iím working on an IT company, people and products ontology that is  
> very large.  Iím running into problems with naming properties  
> because it is difficult to not reuse the same names.  As a result,  
> the names are getting very long.  I was wondering if anybody would  
> be so kind as to point me in the direction of some ontologies that  
> use longer names but are still considered to be well structured and  
> intelligent.  I need some inspiration.  Many thanks!  Regards, Kevin.

Dr. Pieter De Leenheer

Semantics Technology & Applications Research Laboratory
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

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Received on Friday, 10 July 2009 12:19:00 UTC