Integrating Product Classification Standards into eCl@ss and UNSPSC on the Web of Data

  • Alex StolzEmail author
  • Martin Hepp
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10697)


Product classification standards like eCl@ss and UNSPSC define tens of thousands of product categories, and some standards additionally provide specific product property definitions and enumerated values. Many organizations hold respective meta-data for their products readily available in back-end databases. While many approaches have been presented for using such standards for more granular product information on the Web of Data, none has so far received mainstream adoption. This can be partly explained by legal, technical, and administrative barriers for adoption. In this paper, we describe a novel approach for using product classification standards in Web data markup in Microdata and JSON-LD syntax that does not require the availability of proper Web ontology variants of the underlying standards. We can show that the approach can provide the very same effect for the consumption and interpretation of the resulting mark-up in a Linked Data and Semantic Web context. Our proposal has already been integrated into the official version of and can be readily used for research and business applications.

Keywords Microdata JSON-LD eClass UNSPSC GPC additionalType additionalProperty B2B e-commerce Product ontologies Product classification standards Linked Data Semantic Web Conceptual modeling 


  1. 1.
    McGuinness, D.L.: UNSPSC Ontology in DAML+OIL.
  2. 2.
    Klein, M.: DAML+OIL and RDF Schema Representation of UNSPSC.
  3. 3.
    Fensel, D., Ding, Y., Omelayenko, B., Schulten, E., Botquin, G., Brown, M., Flett, A.: Product data integration in B2B e-commerce. IEEE Intell. Syst. 16, 54–59 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hepp, M.: eClassOWL: a fully-fledged products and services ontology in OWL. In: Poster and Demo Proceedings of the 4th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2005), Galway, Ireland (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Hepp, M.: Products and services ontologies: a methodology for deriving OWL ontologies from industrial categorization standards. Int. J. Semant. Web Inf. Syst. 2, 72–99 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stolz, A., Rodriguez-Castro, B., Radinger, A., Hepp, M.: PCS2OWL: a generic approach for deriving web ontologies from product classification systems. In: Presutti, V., d’Amato, C., Gandon, F., d’Aquin, M., Staab, S., Tordai, A. (eds.) ESWC 2014. LNCS, vol. 8465, pp. 644–658. Springer, Cham (2014). Scholar
  7. 7.
    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). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hepp, M.: Possible ontologies: how reality constrains the development of relevant ontologies. IEEE Internet Comput. 11, 90–96 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    eCl@ss e.v.: Category:Products –
  10. 10.
    Daigle, L., van Gulik, D., Iannella, R., Faltstrom, P.: URN Namespace Definition Mechanism.
  11. 11.
    Harris, S., Seaborne, A.: SPARQL 1.1 Query Language.
  12. 12.
    McCathie Nevile, C., Brickley, D.: HTML Microdata.
  13. 13.
    United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE): Recommendation No. 20: Codes for Units of Measure Used in International Trades (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hepp, M., Radinger, A.: eClassOWL - The Web Ontology for Products and Services.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität der Bundeswehr MünchenNeubibergGermany

Personalised recommendations