- Gebundene Ausgabe: 404 Seiten
- Verlag: Springer; Auflage: 1st ed. 2004. Corr. 2nd printing 2004 (31. August 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1852335513
- ISBN-13: 978-1852335519
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,6 x 2,4 x 23,4 cm
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- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.201.472 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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Ontological Engineering: with examples from the areas of Knowledge Management, e-Commerce and the Semantic Web. First Edition (Advanced Information and Knowledge Processing) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 31. August 2004
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Ontologies provide a common vocabulary of an area and define, with different levels of formality, the meaning of the terms and the relationships between them. Ontological engineering refers to the set of activities concerning the ontology development process, the ontology life cycle, the methods and methodologies for building ontologies, and the tool suites and languages that support them. During the last decade, increasing attention has been focused on ontologies. Ontologies are now widely used in knowledge engineering, artificial intelligence and computer science; in applications related to areas such as knowledge management, natural language processing, e-commerce, intelligent information integration, bio-informatics, education; and in new emerging fields like the semantic web. The book presents the major issues of ontological engineering and describes the most outstanding ontologies currently available. It covers the practical aspects of selecting and applying methodologies, languages, and tools for building ontologies. "Ontological Engineering" will be of great value to students and researchers, and to developers who want to integrate ontologies in their information systems.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Dr Ascuncion Gomez Perez is Associate Professor at the Computer Science School at Universidad Politecnica De Madrid, Spain. Since 1995 she has lectured a Ph.D. course on ontologies at the Artificial Intelligence Department at UPM. Her current research activities include, among others: Ontological Engineering, Knowledge Management on the web and Electronic Commerce.
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In the information age however, ontology has become a word that has taken on enormous practical significance. Business and scientific research are both areas that have increasingly relied on information technology not only to organize information but also to analyze data and make accurate predictions. In addition, financial constraints have forced many businesses to automate most of their internal processes, and this automation has brought about its own unique challenges. This push to automation usually involves being able to differentiate one thing from another, or one collection of data from another, or one concept from another. Thus one needs to think about questions of ontology, and this (very practical) need has brought about the rise of the field of `ontological engineering', which is the topic of this book.
The authors have given a good general overview of the different approaches to the creation of ontologies. There are many of them, some of which seem "natural", while others seem more esoteric. The reader though will obtain an objective discussion of the ontologies that the authors chose to include in the book. Discussions of the ones that are not included can readily be found on the Internet.
Given the plethora of ontologies that have been invented, it would be of interest to the ontological engineer to find common ground between them. The re-use of a particular ontology may be stymied by the different ontological commitments it is adhering to or it's actual content. In order to use it, it must therefore be "re-engineered". The authors discuss this prospect in the book, and define `ontological re-engineering' as the process where a conceptual model of an implemented ontology is transformed into one that is more suitable. The code in which the ontology is written is first reverse engineered, and then the conceptual model is reorganized into the new one. The new conceptual model is then implemented.
Also discussed in the book, and of enormous practical interest, is the automation of the ontology building process. Called `ontology learning' by the authors, they discuss a few of the ways in which this could take place. One of these methods concerns ontology learning using a `corpus of texts', and involves being able to distinguish between the `linguistic' and `conceptual' levels. Knowledge at the linguistic level is described in linguistic terms, while at the conceptual level in terms of concepts and the relations between them. Ontology learning is thus dependent on how the linguistic structures are exemplified in the conceptual level. Relations at the conceptual level for example could be extracted from sequences of words in the text that conform to a certain pattern. Another method comes from data mining and involves the use of association rules to find relations between concepts. The authors discuss two well-known methods for ontology learning from texts. Both of these methods are interesting in that they can apparently learn in contexts or environments that are not domain-specific. Being able to learn over different domains is very important from the standpoint of the artificial intelligence community and these methods are a step in that direction. The processes of `alignment', `merging', and `cooperative construction' of ontologies that are discussed in the book are also of great interest in artificial intelligence, since they too will be of assistance in the attempt to design a machine that can reason over multiple domains.
The ontologies that are actually built are of course not unique. This results in a kind of semantic or cognitive relativism between the environments that might be built on different ontologies, even in the same domain. Merging and alignment both address this relativism, along with other techniques that are discussed in the book. The selection of the actual language that is used to create an ontology is also somewhat arbitrary. The authors devote a fair amount of space in the book to the different languages that have been used to build ontologies. Through an elementary example, they discuss eleven different languages, namely KIF, Ontolingua, LOOM, OCML, Flogic, SHOE, XOL, RDF(S), OIL, DAML+OIL, and OWL. The choice of a language is dictated by what one is seeking in terms of `expressiveness' and what kind of reasoning patterns are to be deployed when using the ontology. The authors point to a tradeoff between the expressive power of the language and the reasoning patterns that are attached to the language. The expressiveness of a language is directly proportional to the complexity of the reasoning patterns that are used.
Ontological engineering as it presently exists is still carried out by a human engineer. To create an ontology every time from scratch would be tedious, and so it is no surprise that tools were invented to make ontology creation more straightforward. Some of these tools are discussed in the book, such as KAON, OilEd, Ontolingua, OntoSaurus, Protege-2000, WebODE, and WebOnto, along with assessments as to their utility. The discussion is helpful for newcomers to ontological engineering who need guidance as to what direction to take. The automation of ontology building would of course be a major advance. To accomplish this however would require that the machine be able to simultaneously and recursively construct the knowledge base and reason over it effectively. This is a formidable challenge indeed.
A large portion of the book describes the acute problem of somehow extracting meaning in a programmatic manner from data. Because the manual making of an ontology simply does not seem to scale, given the realities of gigabyte databases. We see that there is a natural decomposition of the problem into a linguistic step and a conceptual step. The former is tied to a particular human language. The latter is the nut of the problem. Current methods look promising, but are certainly not the last word.
I was disappointed only when I learnt that the book will not cover Ontology learning tools. The author argues for limiting the scope of the book. I feel the book would have been more valuable had it contained at least an overview of the learning tools!