Ontologies on the Semantic Web

August 20th, 2006

We had hoped to write a paper for IJCAI that gave some data and observations on how ontologies are being used on the Semantic Web based on our experience with Swoogle. We ran out of time so have not really completed the paper, although we did get some of it written. Here, then, are our notes…

Untangling ontologies on the Semantic Web,
Tim Finin and Li Ding, July 2006.

Ontologies are an essential part of the Semantic Web framework and vision. Intuitively, ontologies define terms, e.g., classes and properties, that are subsequently used to publish data and form queries. Like most aspects of the Web, the ways that people define, publish, modify, use and reuse ontologies have evolved from the simple models first envisioned. We have analyzed a collection of over 1.7 million RDF documents harvested from the Web by the Swoogle Semantic Web search engine of which about 1% are ontologies. This analysis has helped us to understand how ontologies are actually being used on the Semantic Web and suggest some new approaches to managing them as it grows.

Comments are welcome, of course.