Lotico Washington Semantic Web Message Board › Vocabulary Round-Up

Vocabulary Round-Up

Brian E.
user 6323472
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 1
This thread is to prepare for our ontology meeting tomorrow, and for follow-up discussion afterwards.

I welcome questions for the panel, as well as general discussion on ontologies. Any RDF vocabulary (whether ontology, taxonomy, or "folksonomy") is a potential topic for discussion.

We will have four panelists. Rick Murphy will be physically present, and the others will be on teleconference. Our panelists are:

Kingsley Idehen, OpenLink Software
Kingsley will represent financial ontologies such as the XBRL OWL initiative.

Rick Murphy, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Rick will present the initial talk on shared concepts, and speak with us about government ontology efforts.

Adam Pease, Articulate Software
Adam will represent upper-level ontologies such as SUMO and Wordnet.

Dr. Nigam Shah, National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO)
Nigam will represent ontologies for the biomedical industry.
Brian E.
user 6323472
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 2
Bio for Dr. Nigam Shah

Dr. Shah's research is focused on developing applications of bio-ontologies, specifically building ontology-based applications in the biomedical sciences and using semantic web technologies to improve search and integration of biomedical information. Dr. Shah's graduate work was focused on developing formal methods for the representation, manipulation and integration of diverse high throughput biological data with prior biological knowledge for the purpose of evaluating alternative hypotheses about biological systems. He lectures regularly on how to make and use biomedical ontologies, current trends & future directions in biomedical ontologies and reasoning with biomedical data – both at professional conferences and in Stanford graduate courses. Dr. Shah holds an MBBS from Baroda Medical College, India and a PhD from Penn State University, USA.

Background Reading
The National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO) website describes the work being done to integrate dozens of biological ontologies into a single comprehensive ontology.
http://www.obofoundry...­
Brian E.
user 6323472
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 3
Bio for Adam Pease

Adam Pease is the Principal Consultant and CEO of Articulate Software, a consulting firm based in the San Francisco area, specializing in ontology, formal reasoning and natural language understanding. He and his colleagues provide development of custom ontologies based on open standards, including the Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO). His other projects are the Controlled English to Logic Translation (CELT) and the Sigma ontology environment. He is a frequent speaker on formal semantics and the author of numerous papers on formal ontology, logical inference and linguistics. All of his work is released under open source licenses to encourage application and experimentation.

Background Reading

The Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO) and its domain ontologies form the largest formal public ontology in existence today. They are being used for research and applications in search, linguistics and reasoning. SUMO is the only formal ontology that has been mapped to all of the WordNet lexicon. SUMO is written in the SUO-KIF language. SUMO is free and owned by the IEEE. The ontologies that extend SUMO are available under GNU General Public License. Adam Pease is the Technical Editor of SUMO.

SUMO can be found at http://www.ontologypo...­
Wordnet can be found at http://wordnet.prince...­

Adam would like to make two initial points for the panel discussion. He advocates that work in ontology and the semantic web is at a very early stage of adoption, where best practices have yet to be universally agreed on and disseminated. But that is not to say that they don't exist, or that some main points are drastically different from the best practices learned from software engineering.

The first point is that the community should be engaging in reuse rather than re-creation. It's always fun to rewrite code that does something you're interested in. Most programmers think they can do better if given the chance to rewrite something. However, in order to get work done reuse is an imperative. Unfortunately, this lesson has not been taken to heart on the semantic web, where most people engage in only the most minimal reuse (such as of FoaF or the dozen terms in the OWL spec) and recreate terms that already exist in large ontologies like SUMO.

The second point that Adam would like to make is farther removed from software engineering, that of formalization. Before ontology became a popular buzzword we had taxonomies, particularly in carefully engineered object oriented projects. Most "ontology" work these days is really just taxonomy dressed up with a new name. Term hierarchies are created with simple English definitions of each term. Maybe some relations are created with role (argument type) restrictions. But most of the meaning of the terms must be understood by humans reading English definitions. Very limited automated checking is possible. In contrast, in a formal ontology such as SUMO the terms mean only what their mathematical definitions state explicitly that they mean. The mathematical definitions are stated in first order logic (with some extension in SUMO's case) and are objectively and automatically testable with a theorem prover, such as those in the Sigma Knowledge Engineering Environment. If terms are only defined in English, the only way to test correct usage is by human inspection. This is only practical for very small ontologies. If we truly want semantic interoperability and shared semantics, we must be able automatically to test ontologies, and extensions and use of ontologies for logical consistency.
Brian E.
user 6323472
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 5
Bio for Kingsley Idehen

Kingsley Idehen is the founder and CEO of OpenLink Software Inc. He is an industry-acclaimed technology innovator and entrepreneur, and one of the very few individuals who have actively participated in standards compliant technology innovation across several eras ranging from early Data Access Middleware and Database Virtualization, to XML-based Web Services and Web 2.0, and now to the Semantic Web. He is also one of the handful of founding CEOs from the early '90s who remain at the helm of the companies they founded.

Kingsley's Blog: http://www.openlinksw...­

Background Reading

The Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is a royalty-free, open specification to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. It is an XML document structure, the use of which is now required for all public companies in the United States.
http://www.xbrl.org/...­

The term ontology is somewhat unknown for people unfamiliar with the Semantic Web, so Kingsley prefers to use the term "Data Dictionary" for most purposes. An XBRL ontology would address the strong need for a Linked Data Web of Financial Data Objects (Entities). Kingsley's group has done some work in this area and can produce low fidelity RDF Linked Data graphs from XBRL documents today ("on the fly"). The XBRL OWL ontology work is currently still under development.
A former member
Post #: 1
Bio for Kingsley Idehen

Kingsley Idehen is the founder and CEO of OpenLink Software Inc. He is an industry-acclaimed technology innovator and entrepreneur, and one of the very few individuals who have actively participated in standards compliant technology innovation across several eras ranging from early Data Access Middleware and Database Virtualization, to XML-based Web Services and Web 2.0, and now to the Semantic Web. He is also one of the handful of founding CEOs from the early '90s who remain at the helm of the companies they founded.

Kingsley's Blog: http://www.openlinksw...­

Background Reading

The Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is a royalty-free, open specification to describe financial information for public and private companies and other organizations. It is an XML document structure, the use of which is now required for all public companies in the United States.
http://www.xbrl.org/...­

The term ontology is somewhat unknown for people unfamiliar with the Semantic Web, so Kingsley prefers to use the term "Data Dictionary" for most purposes. An XBRL ontology would address the strong need for a Linked Data Web of Financial Data Objects (Entities). Kingsley's group has done some work in this area and can produce low fidelity RDF Linked Data graphs from XBRL documents today ("on the fly"). The XBRL OWL ontology work is currently still under development.


Some Examples or XBRL in Linked Data Form:
1. http://linkeddata.uri...­

2. http://linkeddata.uri...­

You can install our Firefox extension called: OpenLink Data Explorer to get the same experience from you local browser instance. See: http://ode.openlinksw...­
Brian E.
user 6323472
Fairfax, VA
Post #: 6
The following site does a decent job of explaining thesauri, ontologies and taxonomies. It is more focused on an XML metadata and topic map perspective than RDF.

http://www.ontopia.ne...­

The W3C has done some work on integrating topics maps with RDF.

http://www.w3.org/TR/...­

Has anyone in our group worked with integrating topic maps and RDF/OWL? What benefits or drawbacks does this approach have?
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