Knowledge and Information Systems

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 380–401 | Cite as

Ontologies for Knowledge Management: An Information Systems Perspective

  • Igor Jurisica
  • John Mylopoulos
  • Eric Yu
Ontology Paper


Knowledge management research focuses on concepts, methods, and tools supporting the management of human knowledge. The main objective of this paper is to survey basic concepts that have been used in computer science for the representation of knowledge and summarize some of their advantages and drawbacks. A secondary objective is to relate these techniques to information science theory and practice.

The survey classifies the concepts used for knowledge representation into four broad ontological categories. Static ontologies describe static aspects of the world, i.e., what things exist, their attributes and relationships. A dynamic ontology, on the other hand, describes the changing aspects of the world in terms of states, state transitions and processes. Intentional ontologies encompass the world of things agents believe in, want, prove or disprove, and argue about. Finally, social ontologies cover social settings – agents, positions, roles, authority, permanent organizational structures or shifting networks of alliances and interdependencies.


Ontologies Knowledge management Knowledge representation Information science Information systems 


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© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Information StudiesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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