Why Ontology?


Q: Why Ontologies?  Why does someone want to develop an ontology?

A: We collect from various sources, among others the reasons/motivation are:

  1. To share common understanding of the structure of information among people or software agents (Noy & McGuiness, 2001)
  2. To enable reuse of domain knowledge (Noy & McGuiness, 2001)
  3. To make domain assumptions explicit (Noy & McGuiness, 2001)
  4. To separate domain knowledge from the operational knowledge (Noy & McGuiness, 2001)
  5. To analyze domain knowledge (Noy & McGuiness, 2001)
  6. A help in structuring knowledge complex definitions and arrive at shared understanding
  7. Facilitate knowledge sharing
  8. Facilitate communication: between people and organisations with different needs and viewpoints arising from their differing contexts.
  9. Facilitate re-use of knowledge
  10. Facilitate interoperability (Colomb, 2005) between systems is severely hindered by the use of disparate modelling methods, paradigms, languages and software tools. Ontologies could be used as an inter-lingua to unify the field.
  11. Analysing of knowledge
  12. Used to describe and represent an area of knowledge
  13. Standardize metadata terms within a community
  14. Used for information extraction
  15. Used for automatic reasoning
  16. For information integration
  17. Ontologies have been already used in medicine, mainly focused on the specification of medical terminology.
  18. Ontologies are particularly useful for the development of distributed and interoperable systems, which are especially interesting in complex and distributed domains, such as Home Care assistance.
  19. To detect ontological structure of business process. For business process re-engineering (Dietz, 2005)

Q: When can you employ ontology as a solution to your research problem?

A: If there are clear needs or potential problem which ontology can offer to overcome. The ontology-based solution then would be able to make a knowledge contribution to the current literatures.


Q: Any real or prominent examples of ontology and its application?

A: Yes.

A.1-Business model canvas (BMC) from business model ontology

A.2-Friend of Friend ontology in Facebook

A.3-Gene Ontology

A.4-Yahoo!

A.5-Ontology for IPhone SiRi


Q: There are many upper ontologies has been published in ontology literatures either for representing endurant or perdurant things. In the context of perdurant perspective, one of them is an enterprise ontology based on DEMO methodology proposed by Dietz (2006). Why DEMO?

A: There are many reason why DEMO.

A.1-DEMO has a strong theoretical foundation.

A.2-DEMO has a strong principle in separating business process from information systems process. Separation of concern is key in DEMO.

A.3-DEMO has defined several key important characteristics: essentials, complete, coherent, modular, consistent and objective. 

A.4-DEMO metaconcepts (C-acts, P-acts) are good to be used for modeling perdurant entitities of the domain ontology.


Q: There are many upper ontologies has been published in ontology literatures either for representing endurant or perdurant things. In the context of endurant perspective, one of them is a UFO proposed by Guizzardi (2005). Why UFO?

A: There are many reason why UFO.

A.1-UFO has a strong theoretical foundation. It is developed based on a number of theories from Formal Ontology, Philosophical Logics, Philosophy of Language, Linguistics and Cognitive Psychology

A.2-UFO is rooted with very strong and prominent other upper ontologies such as OntoClean, DOLCE, and BWW.

A.3-UFO is the second-most used foundational ontology in conceptual modeling and the one with the fastest adoption rate (Verdonck & Gailly, 2016)

A.4-UFO has its own ontology modeling language namely, OntoUML.  The OntoUML has been successfully employed in a number of industrial projects in several different domains such as petroleum and gas, digital journalism, complex digital media management, offshore software engineering, telecommunications, disaster management, lesson learned management, retails product recommendation, quality assurance in education and government. Study also shows OntoUML is among the most used languages in ontology-driven conceptual modeling together with UML, EER, OWL and BPMN. 


++Further links:

  1. Are you spending way too much on software - Dave McComb
  2. Domain information model (ontology) for healthcare