Learning Domain Ontologies for Semantic Web Service Descriptions

Marta Sabou, Chris Wroe, Carole Goble, Heiner Stuckenschmidt


High quality domain ontologies are essential for successful employment of semantic Web services. However, their acquisition is difficult and costly, thus hampering the development of this field. In this paper we report on the first stage of research that aims to develop (semi-)automatic ontology learning tools in the context of Web services that can support domain experts in the ontology building task. The goal of this first stage was to get a better understanding of the problem at hand and to determine which techniques might be feasible to use. To this end, we developed a framework for (semi-)automatic ontology learning from textual sources attached toWeb services. The framework exploits the fact that these sources are expressed in a specific sublanguage, making them amenable to automatic analysis. We implement two methods in this framework, which differ in the complexity of the employed linguistic analysis.We evaluate the methods in two different domains, verifying the quality of the extracted ontologies against high quality hand-built ontologies of these domains. Our evaluation lead to a set of valuable conclusions on which further work can be based. First, it appears that our method, while tailored for the Web services context, might be applicable across different domains. Second, we concluded that deeper linguistic analysis is likely to lead to better results. Finally, the evaluation metrics indicate that good results can be achieved using only relatively simple, off the shelf techniques. Indeed, the novelty of our work is not in the used natural language processing methods but rather in the way they are put together in a generic framework specialized for the context of Web services.

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Type of Paper: Research Paper
Keywords: ontology learning; semantic Web services; ontology learning evaluation
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