SoKNOS – Using Semantic Technologies in Disaster Management Software

  • Grigori Babitski
  • Simon Bergweiler
  • Olaf Grebner
  • Daniel Oberle
  • Heiko Paulheim
  • Florian Probst
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6644)


Disaster management software deals with supporting staff in large catastrophic incidents such as earthquakes or floods, e.g., by providing relevant information, facilitating task and resource planning, and managing communication with all involved parties. In this paper, we introduce the SoKNOS support system, which is a functional prototype for such software using semantic technologies for various purposes. Ontologies are used for creating a mutual understanding between developers and end users from different organizations. Information sources and services are annotated with ontologies for improving the provision of the right information at the right time, for connecting existing systems and databases to the SoKNOS system, and for providing an ontology-based visualization. Furthermore, the users’ actions are constantly supervised, and errors are avoided by employing ontology-based consistency checking. We show how the pervasive and holistic use of semantic technologies leads to a significant improvement of both the development and the usability of disaster management software, and present some key lessons learned from employing semantic technologies in a large-scale software project.


Domain Expert Disaster Management Semantic Annotation Integration Rule Semantic Technology 
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.


  1. 1.
    Paulheim, H., Döweling, S., Tso-Sutter, K., Probst, F., Ziegert, T.: Improving Usability of Integrated Emergency Response Systems: The SoKNOS Approach. In: Proceedings of 39 Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V (GI) - Informatik 2009 LNI, vol. 154, pp. 1435–1449 (2009)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Masolo, C., Borgo, S., Gangemi, A., Guarino, N., Oltramari, A.: WonderWeb Deliverable D18 – Ontology Library (final) (2003), (accessed August 2, 2010)
  3. 3.
    Döweling, S., Probst, F., Ziegert, T., Manske, K.: SoKNOS - An Interactive Visual Emergency Management Framework. In: Amicis, R.D., Stojanovic, R., Conti, G. (eds.) GeoSpatial Visual Analytics. NATO Science for Peace and Security Series C: Environmental Security, pp. 251–262. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Paulheim, H., Probst, F.: Application Integration on the User Interface Level: an Ontology-Based Approach. Data & Knowledge Engineering Journal 69(11), 1103–1116 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Paulheim, H.: Efficient semantic event processing: Lessons learned in user interface integration. In: Aroyo, L., Antoniou, G., Hyvönen, E., ten Teije, A., Stuckenschmidt, H., Cabral, L., Tudorache, T. (eds.) ESWC 2010. LNCS, vol. 6089, pp. 60–74. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Angele, J., Erdmann, M., Wenke, D.: Ontology-Based Knowledge Management in Automotive Engineering Scenarios. In: Hepp, M., Leenheer, P.D., Moor, A.D., Sure, Y. (eds.) Ontology Management. Semantic Web and Beyond, vol. 7, pp. 245–264. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Angele, J., Lausen, G.: Ontologies in F-Logic. In: Staab, S., Studer, R. (eds.) Handbook on Ontologies.International Handbooks on Information Systems, 2nd edn., pp. 45–70. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Voigt, K., Ivanov, P., Rummler, A.: MatchBox: Combined Meta-model Matching for Semi-automatic Mapping Generation. In: Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, pp. 2281–2288. ACM, New York (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sonntag, D., Deru, M., Bergweiler, S.: Design and Implementation of Combined Mobile and Touchscreen-based Multimodal Web 3.0 Interfaces. In: Arabnia, H.R., de la Fuente, D., Olivas, J.A. (eds.) Proceedings of the 2009 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ICAI 2009), pp. 974–979. CSREA Press (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Babitski, G., Bergweiler, S., Hoffmann, J., Schön, D., Stasch, C., Walkowski, A.C.: Ontology-based integration of sensor web services in disaster management. In: Janowicz, K., Raubal, M., Levashkin, S. (eds.) GeoS 2009. LNCS, vol. 5892, pp. 103–121. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Liu, B., Chen, H., He, W.: Deriving User Interface from Ontologies: A Model-Based Approach. In: ICTAI 2005: Proceedings of the 17th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, pp. 254–259. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bizer, C., Heath, T., Berners-Lee, T.: Linked Data - The Story So Far. International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems 5(3), 1–22 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Paulheim, H., Meyer, L.: Ontology-based Information Visualization in Integrated UIs. In: Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI), pp. 451–452. ACM, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    García-Barriocanal, E., Sicilia, M.A., Sánchez-Alonso, S.: Usability evaluation of ontology editors. Knowledge Organization 32(1), 1–9 (2005)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Babitski, G., Probst, F., Hoffmann, J., Oberle, D.: Ontology Design for Information Integration in Catastrophy Management. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Applications of Semantic Technologies, AST 2009 (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Paulheim, H., Plendl, R., Probst, F., Oberle, D.: Mapping Pragmatic Class Models to Reference Ontologies. In: 2nd International Workshop on Data Engineering meets the Semantic Web, DESWeb (2011)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hepp, M.: Possible Ontologies: How Reality Constrains the Development of Relevant Ontologies. IEEE Internet Computing 11(1), 90–96 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Katifori, A., Halatsis, C., Lepouras, G., Vassilakis, C., Giannopoulou, E.G.: Ontology Visualization Methods - A Survey. ACM Comput. Surv. 39(4) (2007)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hendler, J.: On Beyond Ontology (2003),; Invited Talk at the International Semantic Web Conference (2003)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grigori Babitski
    • 1
  • Simon Bergweiler
    • 2
  • Olaf Grebner
    • 1
  • Daniel Oberle
    • 1
  • Heiko Paulheim
    • 1
  • Florian Probst
    • 1
  1. 1.SAP ResearchGermany
  2. 2.DFKI GmbHGermany

Personalised recommendations