Ontology Maturing: a Collaborative Web 2.0 Approach to Ontology Engineering

, , , , and . Proceedings of the Workshop on Social and Collaborative Construction of Structured Knowledge at the 16th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 07), Banff, Canada, (2007)


Most of the current methodologies for building ontologies rely on specialized knowledge engineers. This is in contrast to real-world settings, where the need for maintenance of domain specific ontologies emerges in the daily work of users. But in order to allow for participatory ontology engineering, we need to have a more realistic conceptual model of how ontologies develop in the real world. We introduce the ontology maturing processes which is based on the insight that ontology engineering is a collaborative informal learning process and for which we analyze characteristic evolution steps and triggers that have users engage in ontology engineering within their everyday work processes. This model integrates tagging and folksonomies with formal ontologies and shows maturing pathways between them. As implementations of this model, we present two case studies and the corresponding tools. The first is about image-based ontology engineering (introducing so-called imagenotions), the second about ontology-enabled social bookmarking (SOBOLEO). Both of them are inspired by lightweight Web 2.0 approaches and allow for realtime collaboration.

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