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Ontology Users Roles

Wiki: Taxonomy

Users and Roles in Ontology and Semantics #

Our taxonomy for roles in ontology engineering is based on the research works in [1] and [2]. The main roles involved in this taxonomy are the following:

  • Ontology Provider: it is responsible for the provisioning of ontology services (e.g., ontology querying and browsing) and the maintenance and the evolution of the ontology. As the development of an ontology is a collaborative knowledge engineering task, the following roles can be involved:
    • Knowledge Manager: represents the authority of the domain. It is responsible for the management of the whole ontology. It also arbritrates in case of conflicting proposals provided by some of the other ontology development roles.
    • Knowledge Expert: it is the expert in the domain of the ontology. It is responsible for the continuous adjustment of the ontology structure. Its work is enforced only when validated by the Knowledge Manager.
    • Knowledge Engineer: it is responsible for the enrichment of the ontology through the addition of new knowledge. Its work comes immediately into effect in constrast to the work conduced by the next role.
    • Knowledge Proposer: it is responsible for proposing the addition of new knowledge in the ontology.
  • Ontology User: It is the actual exploitator of the developed ontology. The exploitation can take various forms (e.g., annotating document to enhance the accuracy of their retrieval) by always suits the needs of this role. This role can be distinguished into Passive and Active Users. Passive users just exploit the ontology without imposing any requirement to the quality of this ontology. Active users can be separated into Associates and Partners. Associates are interested in the quality of the ontology so they require to be informed of any ontological change. Partners provide important feedback with respect to the utility of the ontology which can assist in its improvement and further evolution.  

In the context of the CloudSocket project, ontologies will be mainly used for the annotation of business processes by the business process designer. Thus, this designer plays the role of an ontology user which exploits the ontology for its own purposes. We can consider that in some cases, the designer might also require to be notified for ontology changes in order to keep the annotations up-to-date or modify them to make them more precise (e.g., in case of the addition of sub-concepts of a particular concept which was the annotation target in the first place).

[1] L. van Elst and A. Abecker.Ontologies for Information Management: Balancing Formality, Stability, and Sharing Scope.Expert Systems with Applications 23 (4), pp. 357-366, Elsevier, 2002.

[2] M. Li, D. Wang, X. Du, S. Wang: Ontology Construction for Semantic Web: A Role-Based Collaborative Development Method. In APWeb2005: 609-619.

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