An Ontology-Based Approach to Product Customization

  • Carmelo Ardito
  • Barbara Rita Barricelli
  • Paolo Buono
  • Maria Francesca Costabile
  • Rosa Lanzilotti
  • Antonio Piccinno
  • Stefano Valtolina
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6654)


Mass customization refers to the increase in variety and customization of the manufactured products and services. It is now economically feasible thanks to the availability of computer-aided manufacturing systems, which allow people to customize standard products, and to Internet, through which many online retailers now operate, thus eliminating the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution that, in past years, prevented the production of niche products because of their high production costs. To permit mass customization, several software-based product configurators are available on the Web: they guide people in adapting a product to their needs and desires. A drawback of such configurators is the limited range of changes permitted. We present in this paper a system that gives people more freedom in creating products that best fit their desires, thanks to the use of an ontology, which models the possible product compositions that users can perform. The proposed solution is shown through a case study, which refers to furniture production.


product customization long tail end-user development ontology knowledge management 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmelo Ardito
    • 1
  • Barbara Rita Barricelli
    • 2
  • Paolo Buono
    • 1
  • Maria Francesca Costabile
    • 1
  • Rosa Lanzilotti
    • 1
  • Antonio Piccinno
    • 1
  • Stefano Valtolina
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversità degli Studi di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Informatica e ComunicazioneUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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