Ontologies and Their Definition

Authored by: Jos de Bruijn , Dieter Fensel

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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This entry introduces ontologies as a potential “silver bullet” for knowledge management, enterprise application integration, and e-commerce. Ontologies enable knowledge sharing and knowledge reuse. The degree to which an ontology is machine-understandable, its formality, is determined by the language used for the specification of the ontology. There exists a trade-off between the expressiveness of an ontology language and the modeling support it provides for the ontology developer. This entry also describes how different knowledge representation formalisms, together with the Web languages XML and RDF, have influenced the development of the Web ontology language OWL.

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