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Supporting Domain Experts to Construct Conceptual Ontologies: A Holistic Approach

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Document pages: 26 pages

Abstract: A recent trend in ontology engineering research aims at encouraging the active participation of domain experts in the ontology creation process. Ontology construction methodologies together with appropriate tools and technologies, such as controlled natural languages, semantic wikis, intelligent user interfaces and social computing, are being proposed to enable the direct input from domain experts and to minimize the dependency on knowledge engineers at every step of ontology development. The time is ripe for consolidating methodological and technological advancements to create intuitive ontology engineering tools which can make Semantic Web technologies usable by a wide variety of people without formal knowledge engineering skills. A novel, holistic approach to facilitate the involvements of domain experts in the ontology authoring process is presented here. It integrates (i) an ontology construction methodology, (ii) the use of a controlled natural language, and (iii) appropriate tool support. The integrated approach is illustrated with the design, implementation and evaluation of ROO - a unique ontology authoring tool which combines intelligent techniques to assist domain experts in constructing ontologies. The benefits and limitations of the proposed approach are analyzed based on user studies with ROO. A broader discussion is provided pointing at issues to be taken into account when assisting the involvement of domain experts in ontology construction.

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