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The NeOn Methodology for Ontology Engineering


In contrast to other approaches that provide methodological guidance for ontology engineering, the NeOn Methodology does not prescribe a rigid workflow, but instead it suggests a variety of pathways for developing ontologies. The nine scenarios proposed in the methodology cover commonly occurring situations, for example, when available ontologies need to be re-engineered, aligned, modularized, localized to support different languages and cultures, and integrated with ontology design patterns and non-ontological resources, such as folksonomies or thesauri. In addition, the NeOn Methodology framework provides (a) a glossary of processes and activities involved in the development of ontologies, (b) two ontology life cycle models, and (c) a set of methodological guidelines for different processes and activities, which are described (a) functionally, in terms of goals, inputs, outputs, and relevant constraints; (b) procedurally, by means of workflow specifications; and (c) empirically, through a set of illustrative examples.


  • Ontology Language
  • Life Cycle Model
  • Ontology Module
  • Building Ontology
  • Ontology Developer

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  2. 2.

    Skill Ontology from the University of Essen, which defines concepts representing the competencies required to describe job position requirements and job applicant skills. Available at

  3. 3.

    North American Industry Classification System, which provides industry-sector definitions for Canada, Mexico, and the United States to facilitate uniform economic studies across the boundaries of these countries. Available at

  4. 4.

    Standard Occupational Classification, which classifies workers into occupational categories (23 major groups, 96 minor groups, and 449 occupations). Available at

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    A phase is a distinct period or stage in a process of development.

  6. 6.

  7. 7.

    In this book, ontology developers refer to software developers and ontology practitioners involved in the development of ontologies.

  8. 8.

    An example of CQ can be “where is located the device Z? The device Z is at coordinates X, Y”.

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    See, for example, a list of novel ontology search engines described at:

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Correspondence to Mari Carmen Suárez-Figueroa .

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Suárez-Figueroa, M.C., Gómez-Pérez, A., Fernández-López, M. (2012). The NeOn Methodology for Ontology Engineering. In: Suárez-Figueroa, M., Gómez-Pérez, A., Motta, E., Gangemi, A. (eds) Ontology Engineering in a Networked World. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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