OntoGame: Towards Overcoming the Incentive Bottleneck in Ontology Building

  • Katharina Siorpaes
  • Martin Hepp
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4806)


Despite significant advancement in ontology learning, building ontologies remains a task that highly depends on human intelligence, both as a source of domain expertise and for producing a consensual conceptualization. This means that individuals need to contribute time, and sometimes other resources, to an ontology project. Now, we can observe a sharp contrast in user interest in two branches of Web activity: While the “Web 2.0” movement lives from an unprecedented amount of contributions from Web users, we witness a substantial lack of user involvement in ontology projects for the Semantic Web. We assume that one cause of the latter is a lack of proper incentive structures of ontology projects, i.e., settings in which the perceived benefits outweigh the efforts for people to contribute.

As a novel solution, we (1) propose to masquerade collaborative ontology engineering behind on-line, multi-player game scenarios, in order to create proper incentives for humans to help building ontologies for the Semantic Web. Doing so, we adopt the findings from the already famous “games with a purpose” by von Ahn, who has shown that pres-enting a useful task, which requires human intelligence, in the form of an on-line game can motivate a large amount of people to work heavily on this task, and this for free. Then, we (2) describe our OntoGame prototype, and (3) prov-ide preliminary evidence that users are willing to invest a lot of time into those games, and, by doing so, unknowingly weave ontologies for the Semantic Web.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Hepp, M., Bachlechner, D., Siorpaes, K.: OntoWiki: Community-driven Ontology Engineering and Ontology Usage based on Wikis. In: International Symposium on Wikis (WikiSym 2005), San Diego, California, USA (2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gómez-Pérez, A., Fernández-López, M., Corcho, O.: Ontological Engineering. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Marlow, C., et al.: Position Paper, Tagging, Taxonomy, Flickr, Article, ToRead. In: World Wide Web Conference (WWW2006), Edinburgh, Scotland (2006)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Emigh, W., Herring, S.: Collaborative authoring on the web: A genre analysis of online encyclopedias. In: Hawai International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii (2005)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kuznetsov, S.: Motivations of Contributors to Wikipedia. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 36(2) (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Von Ahn, L.: Games with a Purpose. IEEE Computer 29(6), 92–94 (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Von Ahn, L., Dabbish, L.: Labeling Images with a Computer Game. In: Conference on Computer/Human Interaction (CHI 2004), ACM, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Von Ahn, L., Peekaboom: A Game for Locating Objects in Images, SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM Montréal, Québec, Canada (2006)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Von Ahn, L., Kedia, M., Blum, M.: Verbosity: a game for collecting common-sense facts. In: Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Montréal, Canada (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Von Ahn, L., et al.: Improving Accessibility of the Web with a Computer Game. In: SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Uschold, M., King, M.: Towards a Methodology for Building Ontologies. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Basic Ontological Issues in Knowledge Sharing, Montreal, Canada (1995)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dean, M., Schreiber, G.: OWL Reference, W3C Working draft (2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hepp, M., Siorpaes, K., Bachlechner, D.: Harvesting Wiki Consensus: Using Wikipedia Entries as Vocabulary for Knowledge Management. IEEE Internet Computing 11(5), 54–65 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Van Damme, C., Hepp, M., Siorpaes, K.: FolksOntology: An Integrated Approach for Turning Folksonomies into Ontologies. In: Bridging the Gap between Semantic Web and Web 2.0 Workshop at the ESWC, 2007, Innsbruck, Austria (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ding, L., et al.: Swoogle: A Search and Metadata Engine for the Semantic Web. In: 13th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (2004)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Swoogle. Swoogle Semantic Web Search Engine, http://swoogle.umbc.edu/
  17. 17.
    Terziev, I., Kiryakov, A., Manov, D.: BULO: Guidance, SEKT Deliverable 1.8.1 (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Fellbaum, C.: Wordnet: an electronic lexical database. MIT Press, Cambridge (1998)MATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina Siorpaes
    • 1
  • Martin Hepp
    • 1
  1. 1.Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), University of Innsbruck, InnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations