Modelling Ontology Evaluation and Validation

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We present a comprehensive approach to ontology evaluation and validation, which have become a crucial problem for the development of semantic technologies. Existing evaluation methods are integrated into one sigle framework by means of a formal model. This model consists, firstly, of a meta-ontology called O 2, that characterises ontologies as semiotic objects. Based on O 2 and an analysis of existing methodologies, we identify three main types of measures for evaluation: structural measures, that are typical of ontologies represented as graphs; functional measures, that are related to the intended use of an ontology and of its components; and usability-profiling measures, that depend on the level of annotation of the considered ontology. The meta-ontology is then complemented with an ontology of ontology validation called oQual, which provides the means to devise the best set of criteria for choosing an ontology over others in the context of a given project. Finally, we provide a small example of how to apply oQual-derived criteria to a validation case.