On the Collaborative Development of Application Ontologies: A Practical Case Study with a SME

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8876)


With semantic technologies coming of age, ontology-based applications are becoming more prevalent. These applications exploit the content encoded in ontologies to perform different tasks and operations. The development of ontologies to be used by a specific application presents some peculiarities compared to the modelling process of other types of ontologies. These peculiarities are related to the choice of the ontology metamodel which should be optimised for the application, and the possibility of an indirect evaluation of the ontology by running the application. In this paper we report the experience of collaboratively building an ontology for an application that supports the development of Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) for pupils with special needs. This application is a commercial product of a Small-Medium Enterprise (SME). The ontology is the result of a one-year long modelling experience that involved more than a dozen users having different expertise and competences, such as educationalists, psychologists, teachers, knowledge engineers, and application engineers. Beside describing the modelling process and tool, we report the lessons learned in collaboratively modelling an application ontology in a very concrete case. We believe our experience is worth reporting as our findings and lessons learned may be beneficial for similar modelling initiatives regarding the development of application ontologies.


Modelling Activity Functional Ability Domain Expert Knowledge Engineer Editing Activity 
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.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fondazione Bruno Kessler—IRSTTrentoItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Informatics and Telematics—IIT-CNRRendeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Information and Communication TechnologyUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

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