Introduction: Ontology Engineering in a Networked World
While ontology engineering is rapidly entering the mainstream, expert ontology engineers are a scarce resource. Hence, there is a need for practical methodologies and technologies, which can assist a variety of user types with ontology development tasks. To address this need, this book presents a scenario-based methodology, the NeOn Methodology, which provides guidance for all main activities in ontology engineering. The context in which we consider these activities is that of a networked world, where reuse of existing resources is commonplace, ontologies are developed collaboratively, and managing relationships between ontologies becomes an essential aspect of the ontological engineering process. The description of both the methodology and the ontology engineering activities is grounded in a comprehensive software environment, the NeOn Toolkit and its plugins, which provides integrated support for all the activities described in the book. Here we provide an introduction for the whole book, while the rest of the content is organized into 4 parts: (1) the NeOn Methodology Framework, (2) the set of ontology engineering activities, (3) the NeOn Toolkit and plugins, and (4) three use cases. Primary goals of this book are (a) to disseminate the results from the NeOn project in a structured and comprehensive form, (b) to make it easier for students and practitioners to adopt ontology engineering methods and tools, and (c) to provide a textbook for undergraduate and postgraduate courses on ontology engineering.