Ontology development is always dependent on application requirements, and so development of the ontology has to fit in with the development of the application.
Across the full lifecycle. In many cases, viewed abstractly, a very successful, sound ontology can be part of a failed application. In which case, failure can taint the ontology too, or worse, the prospects and value of ontological engineering/science.
That is why, in our discussions, we have talked so much about “ontology and application lifecycle”. For example, developing an ontology may require also developing
or promoting a vocabulary, even multiple vocabularies, that map to the ontology. These enable user communities to use their words and phrases, their presentations, while also ensuring the representation provided by the ontology. Vocabularies can include user
interfaces (forms, graphics), but also data schemas, both relational and XML-based.
So it seems to many of us that ontology evaluation has to address also application use and intent.
From: ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontology-summit-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Alan Rector
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 10:00 AM
To: Ontology Summit 2013
Subject: [ontology-summit] Scope of ontology: Issues:
An issue that I don't see clearly in the correspondence is:
How does ontology development fits into the larger life cycle of information system development? Answering requires some statement on the scope of ontologies and how they relate to other knowledge and information models.
* What are the different paradigms for roles for an ontology in information or knowledge systems? As a terminology to be carried by the information model? As part of the the information model?
As a means of validating the information model? Reconciling multiple information models? Other? In each case is it one model or several? If several, how are the interfaces defined? Maintained?
* How does this integration into use affect the life cycle? Can we avoid too close a coupling between the ontology development and
other developments so that one does not become a drag on the other. In particular how to front loading development with the work on ontology development that the applications never get built. This has been a major issue in the Health
Informatics area, with enormous effort going into developing resources such as SNOMED CT and the NCI Thesaurus with much less attention to how they will be used (not to mention the related front-loaded efforts in other areas of information modelling, e.g.
both HL7-v3 ).
Are these issues the Summit should address? (Or have I just not looked int the right place or interpreted the comments correctly)
Professor of Medical Informatics
School of Computer Science
TEL +44 (0) 161 275 6149/6188