Achieving Maturity: The State of Practice in Ontology Engineering in 2009

  • Elena Simperl
  • Malgorzata Mochol
  • Tobias Bürger
  • Igor O. Popov
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5871)


In this paper we give an account of the current state of practice in ontology engineering (OE) based on the findings of a 6 months empirical survey that analyzed 148  OE projects. The survey focused on process-related issues and looked into the impact of research achievements on real-world OE projects, the complexity of particular ontology development tasks, the level of tool support, and the usage scenarios for ontologies. The main contributions of this survey are twofold: 1) the size of the data set is larger than every other similar endeavor; 2) the findings of the survey confirm that OE is an established engineering discipline w.r.t the maturity and level of acceptance of its main components, methodologies, etc. whereas further research should target economic aspects of OE and the customization of existing technology to the specifics of vertical domains.


Ontology Development Semantic Technology Ontology Engineering Ontology Learning Empirical Survey 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Astrova, I.: Reverse engineering of relational databases to ontologies. In: Bussler, C.J., Davies, J., Fensel, D., Studer, R. (eds.) ESWS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3053, pp. 327–341. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benjamin, P.C., et al.: Ontology capture method (IDEF5). Technical report, Knowledge Based Systems, Inc. (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Braun, S., et al.: Ontology Maturing: a Collaborative Web 2.0 Approach to Ontology Engineering. In: Proc. of the Workshop on Social and Collaborative Construction of Structured Knowledge (CKC 2007) at the 16th International WWW 2007 (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cardoso, J.: The Semantic Web Vision: Where Are We?. IEEE Intelligent Systems 22(5), 84–88 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cimiano, P.: Ontology Learning and Population from Text: Algorithms, Evaluation and Applications. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Corcho, O., Fernández-Lopéz, M., Gómez-Pérez, A.: Methodologies, tools and languages for building ontologies: where is their meeting point? Data & Knowledge Engineering 46(1), 41–64 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Euzenat, J., Shvaiko, P.: Ontology Matching. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)MATHGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Fernandez, M., Gomez-Perez, A., Juristo, N.: Methontology: From ontological art towards ontological engineering. In: Proc. of the AAAI 1997 Spring Symposium on Ont. Engin. (1997)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gangemi, A., Pisanelli, D.M., Steve, G.: Ontology integration: Experiences with medical terminologies. In: Formal Ontology in Information Systems, pp. 163–178. Press (1998)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gómez-Pérez, A., Fernández-López, M., Corcho, O.: Ontological Engineering. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Grüninger, M., Fox, M.: Methodology for the design and evaluation of ontologies. In: Proc. of the IJCAI 1995, Workshop on Basic Ontological Issues in Knowledge Sharing (1996)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hepp, M.: Possible ontologies: How reality constrains the development of relevant ontologies. IEEE Internet Computing 11(1), 90–96 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hepp, M., de Bruijn, J.: Gentax: A generic methodology for deriving owl and rdf-s ontologies from hierarchical classifications, thesauri, and inconsistent taxonomies. In: Franconi, E., Kifer, M., May, W. (eds.) ESWC 2007. LNCS, vol. 4519, pp. 129–144. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jones, D., Bench-Capon, T., Visser, P.: Methodologies for ontology development. In: IT & KNOWS Conference of the 15th IFIP World Computer Congress, pp. 62–75 (1998)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Koenderink, N.J.J.P., Top, J.L., van Vliet, L.J.: Expert-based ontology construction: A case-study in horticulture. In: Proc. of the 16th Int. Workshop on DEXA 2005 (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kotis, K., Vouros, G.A.: Human-centered ontology engineering: The HCOME methodology. Knowledge and Information Systems 10(1), 109–131 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lau, T., Sure, Y.: Introducing ontology-based skills management at a large insurance company. In: Proc. of the Modellierung 2002, pp. 123–134 (2002)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lenat, D.B.: Cyc: A large-scale investment in knowledge infrastructure. Communications of the ACM 38(11), 33–38 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Maedche, A.: Ontology Learning for the Semantic Web. Kluwer Academics, Dordrecht (2002)MATHGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Mochol, M., Simperl, E.P.B.: Practical Guidelines for Building Semantic eRecruitment Applications. In: Proc. of International Conference on Knowledge Management (iKnow 2006), Special Track: Advanced Semantic Technologies (AST 2006) (September 2006)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Niemann, M., Mochol, M., Tolksdorf, R.: Improving online hotel search - what do we need semantics for? In: Proc. of Semantics 2006 (Application Paper) (2006)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Noy, N., McGuinness, D.L.: Ontology development 101: A guide to creating your first ontology. Technical Report KSL-01-05 and SMI-2001-0880, Stanford Knowledge Systems Laboratory and Stanford Medical Informatics (March 2001)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Noy, N.F., Hafner, C.D.: The state of the art in ontology design: A survey and comparative review. AI Magazine 18(3), 53–74 (1997)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Paslaru, E.B., Mochol, M., Tolksdorf, R.: Case studies on ontology reuse. In: Priceedings of the 5th International Conference on Knowledge Management I-Know 2005 (June 2005)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Paslaru-Bontas, E., Tempich, C.: Ontology Engineering: A Reality Check. In: Meersman, R., Tari, Z. (eds.) ODBASE 2006. LNCS, vol. 4275, pp. 836–854. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Pinto, H.S., Martins, J.: Reusing ontologies. In: AAAI 2000 Spring Symposium on Bringing Knowledge to Business Processes, pp. 77–84 (2000)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Pinto, H.S., Tempich, C., Staab, S.: Diligent: Towards a fine-grained methodology for distributed, loosely-controlled and evolving engingeering of ontologies. In: Proc. of the 16th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ECAI 2004), pp. 393–397. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Simperl, E., Tempich, C.: A Methodology for Ontology Learning. In: Bridging the Gap between Text and Knowledge - Selected Contributions to Ontology Learning and Population from Text. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2007)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Siorpaes, K., Hepp, M.: Games with a purpose for the semantic web. IEEE Intelligent Systems 23(3), 50–60 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Sure, Y., Staab, S., Studer, R.: Methodology for development and employment of ontology based knowledge management applications. SIGMOD Record 31(4), 18–23 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Sure, Y., Tempich, C., Vrandecic, D.: Ont. Engineering Method. In: Semantic Web Technologies: Trends and Research in Ontology-based Systems, pp. 171–187. Wiley, Chichester (2006)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Tautz, C., Althoff, K.D.: A case study on engineering ontologies and related processes for sharing software engineering experience. In: Proc. of the International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering SEKE 2000 (2000)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tempich, C., Pinto, H.S., Staab, S.: Ontology engineering revisited: an iterative case study with diligent. In: Sure, Y., Domingue, J. (eds.) ESWC 2006. LNCS, vol. 4011, pp. 110–124. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Tempich, C., Simperl, E., Pinto, S., Luczak, M., Studer, R.: Argumentation-based Ontology Engineering. IEEE Intelligent Systems 22(6), 52–59 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Uschold, M., King, M., Moralee, S., Zorgios, Y.: The enterprise ontology. Knowledge Engineering Review 13(1), 31–89 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Van Damme, C., Hepp, M., Siorpaes, K.: Folksontology: An integrated approach for turning folksonomies into ontologies. In: Bridging the Gep between Semantic Web and Web 2.0 (SemNet 2007), pp. 57–70 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Simperl
    • 1
  • Malgorzata Mochol
    • 2
  • Tobias Bürger
    • 1
  • Igor O. Popov
    • 1
  1. 1.Semantic Technology Institute (STI) InnsbruckUniversity of InnsbruckAustria
  2. 2.Netzbasierte Informationssysteme (NBI)Freie Universität BerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations