Friday, December 08, 2006

Ontology Maturing with Lightweight Collaborative Ontology Editing Tools

Another publication. Will be presented at the Workshop on Productive Knowledge Work : Management and Technological Challenges (ProKW), 4th Conference on Professional Knowledge Management - Experiences and Visions (WM 2007).

Authors are Simone Braun, Andreas Schmidt and me.

Ontology building is an important prerequisite for state-of-the-art semantic technologies for knowledge worker support. But ontology engineering methods have so far neglected the early phase of ontology building where a conceptualization only exists rather informally and underlies continuous evolution through collaboration and interaction within the community. We have to view ontology building as a maturing process that requires collaborative editing support and the integration into the daily work processes of knowledge workers. In spirit of current Web 2.0 applications, we present an AJAX-based lightweight ontology editor as a first approach to this problem.

I won't be at the conference, but the other two will be. My role in writing the paper was rather small anyway. I did, however, do most of the work in defining and implementing one "lightweight collaborative ontology editing tool" presented in the paper. A rather nice AJAX application. A collaborative editor for a subset of SKOS. The cool thing about the editor is that it really support truly collaborative work - Google Spreadsheet style;  i.e. two people can really change the same concept at exactly the same time and nothing will break. Users see almost realtime* updates of the changes other people do to the same taxonomy.

The paper is not yet online, but someday you'll find it here.

* depending on configuration and connection - but the delay is maybe a third of a second.