ROC: A Method for Proto-ontology Construction by Domain Experts
Ontology construction is a labour-intensive and costly process. Even though many formal and semi-formal vocabularies are available, creating an ontology for a specific application is hindered in a number of ways. Firstly, the process of elicitating concepts is a time consuming and strenuous process. Secondly, it is difficult to keep focus. Thirdly, technical modelling constructs are hard to understand for the uninitiated. We propose ROC as a method to cope with these problems. ROC builds on well-known approaches for ontology construction. However, we reuse existing sources to generate a repository of proposed associations. ROC assists in efficiently putting forward all relevant concepts and relations by providing a large set of potential candidate associations. Secondly, rather than using intermediate representations of formal constructs we confront the domain expert with ‘natural-language-like’ statements generated from RDF-based triples. Moreover, we strictly separate the roles of problem owner, domain expert and knowledge engineer, each having his own responsibilities and skills. The domain expert and problem owner keep focus by monitoring a well-defined application purpose. We have implemented an initial set of tools to support ROC. This paper describes the ROC method and two application cases in which we evaluate the overall approach.
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