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How Ontologies are Made: Studying the Hidden Social Dynamics Behind Collaborative Ontology Engineering Projects

20 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2018 Publication Status: Accepted

See all articles by Markus Strohmaier

Markus Strohmaier

University of Koblenz-Landau

Simon Walk

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Jan Pöschko

Graz University of Technology - Knowledge Management Institute

Daniel Lamprecht

Graz University of Technology - Knowledge Management Institute

Tania Tudorache

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Csongor Nyulas

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Mark Musen

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Natalya F. Noy

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

Abstract

Traditionally, evaluation methods in the field of semantic technologies have focused on the end result of ontology engineering efforts, mainly, on evaluating ontologies and their corresponding qualities and characteristics. This focus has led to the development of a whole arsenal of ontology-evaluation techniques that investigate the quality of ontologies as a product. In this paper, we aim to shed light on the process of ontology engineering construction by introducing and applying a set of measures to analyze hidden social dynamics.We argue that especially for ontologies which are constructed collaboratively, understanding the social processes that have led to its construction is critical not only in understanding but consequently also in evaluating the ontology. With the work presented in this paper, we aim to expose the texture of collaborative ontology engineering processes that is otherwise left invisible. Using historical change-log data, we unveil qualitative differences and commonalities between different collaborative ontology engineering projects. Explaining and understanding these differences will help us to better comprehend the role and importance of social factors in collaborative ontology engineering projects. We hope that our analysis will spur a new line of evaluation techniques that view ontologies not as the static result of deliberations among domain experts, but as a dynamic, collaborative and iterative process that needs to be understood, evaluated and managed in itself. We believe that advances in this direction would help our community to expand the existing arsenal of ontology evaluation techniques towards more holistic approaches.

Keywords: Collaborative ontology engineering, evaluation, change logs

Suggested Citation

Strohmaier, Markus and Walk, Simon and Pöschko, Jan and Lamprecht, Daniel and Tudorache, Tania and Nyulas, Csongor and Musen, Mark and Noy, Natalya F., How Ontologies are Made: Studying the Hidden Social Dynamics Behind Collaborative Ontology Engineering Projects (2013). Journal of Web Semantics First Look 20_0_2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3199036 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3199036

Markus Strohmaier (Contact Author)

University of Koblenz-Landau ( email )

56070 Koblenz-Metternich
Germany

Simon Walk

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research ( email )

1265 Welch Road
Stanford, CA
United States

Jan Pöschko

Graz University of Technology - Knowledge Management Institute

Graz
Austria

Daniel Lamprecht

Graz University of Technology - Knowledge Management Institute

Graz
Austria

Tania Tudorache

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

1265 Welch Road
Stanford, CA
United States

Csongor Nyulas

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

1265 Welch Road
Stanford, CA
United States

Mark Musen

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

1265 Welch Road
Stanford, CA
United States

Natalya F. Noy

Stanford University - Center for Biomedical Informatics Research

1265 Welch Road
Stanford, CA
United States

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