Ontologies Come of Age
Knowledge Systems Laboratory
Abstract: Ontologies Come of Age
Ontologies have moved beyond the domains of library science, philosophy,
and knowledge representation. They are now the concerns of marketing
departments, CEOs, and mainstream business.
Research analyst companies such as Forrester Research report on the critical
roles of ontologies in support of browsing and search for e-commerce and in
support of interoperability for facilitation of knowledge management and
One now sees ontologies used as central controlled vocabularies that are
integrated into catalogues, databases, web publications, knowledge management
Large ontologies are essential components in many online applications
including search (such as Yahoo and Lycos), e-commerce (such as Amazon and
eBay), configuration (such as Dell and PC-Order), etc.
One also sees ontologies that have long life spans, sometimes in multiple
projects (such as UMLS, SIC codes, etc.).
Such diverse usage generates many implications for ontology environments.
In this paper, we will discuss ontologies and requirements in their current instantiations on the web today.
We will describe some desirable properties of ontologies.
We will also discuss how both simple and complex ontologies are being
and may be used to support varied applications.
We will conclude with a discussion of emerging trends in ontologies
and their environments and briefly mention our evolving ontology
Deborah L. McGuinness
``Ontologies Come of Age
Dieter Fensel, Jim Hendler, Henry Lieberman, and Wolfgang Wahlster, editors.
Spinning the Semantic Web: Bringing the World Wide Web to Its
MIT Press, 2003.
This pre-print version of the paper to be published
is available in
Selected Papers of Deborah L. McGuinness.
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