A Holistic Approach to Collaborative Ontology Development Based on Change Management

Raul Palma, Oscar Corcho, Asunción Gómez-Pérez, Peter Haase


Abstract: This paper describes our methodological and technological approach for collaborative ontology development in inter-organizational settings. It is based on the formalization of the collaborative ontology development process by means of an explicit editorial workflow, which coordinates proposals for changes among ontology editors in a flexible manner. This approach is supported by new models, methods and strategies for ontology change management in distributed environments: we propose a new form of ontology change representation, organised in layers so as to provide as much independence as possible from the underlying ontology languages, together with methods and strategies for their manipulation, version management, capture, storage and maintenance, some of which are based on existing proposals in the state of the art. Moreover, we propose a set of change propagation strategies that allow keeping distributed copies of thesame ontology synchronized. Finally, we illustrate and evaluate our approach with a test case in the fishery domain from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The preliminary results obtained from our evaluation suggest positive indication  on the practical value and usability of the work here presented.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Collaborative Ontology Development; Ontology Changes; Ontology Metadata
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