SemaDrift: A Hybrid Method and Visual Tools to Measure Semantic Drift in Ontologies

T. G. Stavropoulos, S. Andreadis, E. Kontopoulos, I. Kompatsiaris


Semantic drift is an active field of research, aiming to identify and measure changes in ontologies across versions in time, closely related to several fields such as ontology evolution and versioning. However, practical and widely adopted methods for measuring semantic drift are mostly either not directly applied to Semantic Web formalisms or largely dependent on specific models and domains. This paper presents a novel hybrid method, which combines existing identity-based and morphing-based approaches, and, in turn, introduces further insights such as hybrid chains of concepts across ontology versions and concept stability ranking. Furthermore, it introduces the SemaDrift Application Suite, which integrates both new and existing methods, including structural and text similarity measures, provided as open-source. The applications offer a graphical user interface to calculate and visually explore semantic drift metrics, in order to support and promote their use to SemanticWeb and domain experts alike. Specifically, the SemaDrift plugin for the popular Protégé platform is intended for ontology engineers, while SemaDriftFx allows a wider audience of users to visually investigate drift either as numeric output or visually through graphs. Two use case scenarios demonstrate the applicability and usefulness of the methods and tools in the domain of digital preservation and Web Services, with insights previously hard to obtain. Standard scale and concrete end-user evaluation tasks were used to acquire positive preliminary feedback on the usability of the SemaDriftFx tool.

Full Text: Untitled
Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: Semantic drift, concept drift, semantic change, ontologies, versioning
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