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Current academic activities that use ontologies in a business environment


This report is based on current academic activities that use ontologies in a business environment and take the form of literature reviews. Also it includes current work on ontologies and semantic web and business application.

“Ontology is specification of a conceptualization.” [1] Ontology’s main purpose is enabling knowledge sharing and reuse. Also it provides well organised controlled vocabulary. Ontologies are not databases. They are about the classes. It can be used to represent database schemes.  Ontology is becoming essential tool for solving problem in many research areas. It is very complex information object. The main problem is how to manage the ontology. “Ontologies are an important part of the semantic web. The semantic web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation. In the semantic web, ontologies can be used to encode meaning into a web page, so that intelligent agents (applications) can understand what the web page is about, and therefore provide humans with more useful cooperative services (Berners-Lee, 1999).”[2]

There are lot of related ontologies based researchers. The ontology reuse is very important part of the ontology field. Merge and integration are two different ontology reuse process. “Merge is the process of building an ontology in one subject reusing two or more different ontologies on that subject.”[3] “Integration is the process of building an ontology in one subject reusing one or more ontologies in different subjects.”[3] Lot of research work doing under merge area. Ontology is consisting of instance, relation, function and axioms.  Each one can called as knowledge piece. This knowledge piece has documentation and definition.

Ontologies define concept and relationship. When the ontology growing their size it’s difficult to create, understand, maintained, classify, transform and use. There is some solution to the scaling problem. “Google solves the problem of scaling web search by creating partially sorted barrels of keyword indexes. Searches are distributed over a very large cluster of computers”. [4]. such a distributed system can be used for ontologies of the Semantic web, because the ontologies over ten-thousand classes suffer severally with scaling problem. According to web ontology segmentation: analyse, classification and use, they presented and evaluated “several algorithms for extracting relevant segments out of large description logic ontologies for the purposes of increasing tractability for both humans and computers.”[4]

There are different ontologies used in semantic web services fields. “The current approaches for ontology mediation often failed due to their lack of sufficient semantic expressiveness and reasoning capability.”[5] There is an essential thing for the description of the services, when we are developing a semantic web services. It is application ontology of knowledge foundation. It is not only defining particular services, “But also fostering the understanding between machines with services and services with services.” [5] “Currently, developers of SWS often describe their

services locally and independently by using their own ontologies.”[5] As an issue different ontologies are barriers between similar services and occur interoperation communication problem. There is a one of the solution for this problem. It is a uniform application ontology. Ontology can create manually, but it is very hard. Because building an ontology required highly professional knowledge and time consuming. According to Building Application Ontologies from Descriptions of Semantic Web Services journal, they proposed solution for above problem. It is “a novel method to build a uniform application ontology by merging the existing heterogeneous ontologies of semantic service descriptions.”[5] There are some advantages. Such as “preventing repeat work, better service development, standardization of ontology manipulation and formalizing ontology generation.”[5]

Ontology is very important key factor. We use ontology to describe the semantic of the data, which we named as meta data. “The Semantic Web is an extension of the current Web that will allow you to find, share, and combine information more easily. It relies on machine-readable information and metadata expressed in RDF.” (Resource Description Frame work)[6] The semantic web approach for several things. It can represent web content in a form that is more easily machine processable. It uses intelligent technique to take advantage of representation. Ontologies widely used in semantic web. It can be enabling among through heterogeneous system and semantic web application.  Ontology mapping is required for combining distributed and heterogeneous ontologies. Developing such ontology mapping has been a core issue of recent ontology research. According to this survey on ontology mapping journal they provided ontology mapping category and they described each category. There are three categories on ontology mapping. They are “ontology mapping between an integrated global ontology and local ontologies, ontology mapping between local ontologies and ontology mapping in ontology merging and alignment.”[7]

According to IC-based ontology expansion in devouring accessibility journal, they presented “a new mapping technique between the concept in different ontologies, using their identity condition witch give unique value for individuals and determines their identities. Example IC’s are finger print for person, ISBN for book and URL for web object.”[8] Ontologies use for several places, such as e-science, medicines, databases, user integration, linguistics and semantic web. We can give example for e-science.e-science – example-  BioinformaticsThe Genge ontologyThe protein ontology

“Ontology-based systems on the Semantic Web are just a special class of software systems, so the same principles apply. According to one of the journal they present an integrated framework for managing multiple and distributed ontologies on the Semantic Web. It is based on the representation model for ontologies, trading off between expressivity and tractability. In their framework, they provide features for reusing existing ontologies and for evolving them while retaining the consistency.” [9] The semantic web provides great impact for e-business. The semantic web can help for web economy. It is act inter-organisational relation. They involves for several things. Such as “parties shared data, integrated their business process in a transparent and trustful way.”[10] Master data refer for most important part of business entities. A company uses them for many business processes, such as lists or hierarchies of customers, suppliers, accounts and products. Product Information Management is becoming critical for modern Enterprise. “It provides a rich business context for various applications. Existing PIM systems are less flexible and scalable for on-demand business, as well as too weak to completely capture and use the semantics of master data. According to this journal they explore how to use semantic web technologies to enhance a collaborative PIM system by simplifying modelling and representation while preserving enough dynamic flexibility.” [11] There is another article about the “search facility RDF ferret”[12]. It includes ontology-based index and ontology-based searching. In ontology-based searching there is a “On start-up RDFferret presents the user with a text entry box and a drilldown menu.”[12]

There are lot of articles about current work on ontologies and the semantic web and business application. Ontologies are usability, reusability and flexible implementation. Also it’s interworking and information sharing.   Some articles about this area are very complex and technical. Also there are lot of further studies for this area.


[1] Ontology

[2] Mohammad Nazir Ahmad and Robert M. Colomb. Managing ontologies. A comparative study of ontology servers. [online] Last accessed 8th June 2008 at:

key2=8393872121&coll=portal&dl=ACM&CFID=31122306&CFTOKEN=77958270[3] Helena Sofia Pinto & Joao P. Martins. A methodology for ontology integration. [online]. Last accessed 8th June 2008 at:

[4] Julian Seidenberg and Alan Rector. Web Ontology Segmentation: Analysis, Classification and use. [online] Last accessed 8th June 2008 at:

[5] Xia Wang, Tomas Vitvar, Manfred Hauswirth, and Doug Foxvog. Building Application Ontologies from Descriptions of Semantic Web Services. [online]  Last accessed 8th June 2008 at:

[6] Semantic Web.[online]. Last accssed 9th

[7] Namyoun Choi, Il-Yeol Song, and Hyoil Han. A Survey on Ontology Mapping. [online]. Last accessed 8th June 2008 at;

[8] New Ni Tue and Staci Tajo. IC--based ontology expansion in devouring accessibility. [online]. Last accessed 9th June 2008 at:

[9] A. Maedche1, B. Motik, L. Stojanovic. Managing multiple and distributed ontologies on the semantic web. [online]. Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

[10] Semantic Web Methodologies for E-Business Applications.[online]. Last accessed 8th June 2008 at:

[11] Jean-Sébastien Brunner , Li Ma, Chen Wang , Lei Zhang,Daniel C. Wolfson , Yue Pan , Kavitha Srinivas. Explorations in the use of semantic web technologies for product information management. [online].Last accessed 8th June2008at:

[12] Uwe Krohn, John Davies. The search Facility RDF ferret.[online]. Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:


DANIEL OBERLE, STEFFEN STAAB, RUDI STUDER, and RAPHAEL VOLZ Supporting Application Development in the Semantic Web.[online] Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

Christos Kouroupetroglou, Michail Salampasis and Athanasios ManitsarisA Semantic-Web based Framework for Developing Applications to Improve Accessibility in the WWW. [online] Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

Bruno Antunes, Nuno Seco and Paulo Gomes Knowledge Management using Semantic Web Technologies: An Application in Software Development. .[online] Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

Jelena Jovanovic, Sasa Nesic, Mehdi Jazayeri and Dragan Gasevic. Ontology-Based Content Model for Scalable Content Reuse. [online] Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

Yu-Sheng Lai, Ren-Jr Wang and Wei-Tek HsuA DAML+OIL-Compliant Chinese Lexical Ontology.[online]. Last accssed 8th June 2008 at:

Jonathan Yu James A. Thom Audrey TamOntology Evaluation Using Wikipedia Categories for Browsing. .[online] Last accssed 8th June 2008 at: