Ontologies

The term ontology means a formal representation of the real world that “translates” the natural language (ambiguous by its nature) into a formal (unambiguous) language that can be used for the creation of integrated information systems.

Therefore, a computational ontology – for a domain of interest – is a representation:

  • formal, expressed in a symbolic non ambiguous language that can be processed by computers;
  • shared, resulting from the approval of a plurality, the widest possible, of domain experts;
  • explicit, every assumption is made as explicit.

The main advantages of the representation of the domains of interest through ontologies are:

  1. conceptual representation not requiring the knowledge of how data are physically organized;
  2. high expressivity, a concept is not a list of attributes but is the recursive composition of logical constructs (intersection, union, complement, disjunction or enumeration of several concepts);
  3. availability of automatic reasoning tools, more complete and exhaustive information are achievable and more complex and efficient searches can be carried out;
  4. sharing of knowledge and common vocabularies, achieving semantic interoperability between human-to-human, human- to-machine and machine-to-machine;
  5. separation between the domain knowledge and the operational knowledge.

The formal language that we used to model the ontologies is OWL –  Web Ontology Language that is a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standard.

Ontologies are published in several serialization formats including RDF-XML, Turtle and Json-ld formats.

red arrow List of available ontologies

Last edit: 10 September 2018