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February 02 , 2010

Ontology Engineering in a Networked World


The Semantic Web is characterized by the existence of a very large number of distributed semantic resources, which together define a network of ontologies. These ontologies in turn are interlinked through a variety of different meta-relationships such as versioning, inclusion, and many more. This scenario is radically different from the relatively narrow contexts in which ontologies have been traditionally developed and applied, and thus calls for new methods and tools to effectively support the development of novel network-oriented semantic applications.

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This book by Suárez-Figueroa et al. provides the necessary methodological and technological support for the development and use of ontology networks, which ontology developers need in this distributed environment. After an introduction, in its second part the authors describe the NeOn Methodology framework. The book’s third part details the key activities relevant to the ontology engineering life cycle. For each activity, a general introduction, methodological guidelines, and practical examples are provided. The fourth part then presents a detailed overview of the NeOn Toolkit and its plug-ins. Lastly, case studies from the pharmaceutical and the fishery domain round out the work.

The book primarily addresses two main audiences: students (and their lecturers) who need a textbook for advanced undergraduate or graduate courses on ontology engineering, and practitioners who need to develop ontologies in particular or Semantic Web-based applications in general. Its educational value is maximized by its structured approach to explaining guidelines and combining them with case studies and numerous examples. The description of the open source NeOn Toolkit provides an additional asset, as it allows readers to easily evaluate and apply the ideas presented.

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