Traversing Ontologies to Extract Views, in Ontology Modularization

Monday, January 1, 2007

Noy, N. F. & Musen, M. A. In C. Parent, S. Spaccapietra, H. Stuckenschmidt (eds.), Springer.

One of the original motivations for ontology research was the belief that ontologies can help with reuse in knowledge representation. However, many of the ontologies that are developed with reuse in mind, such as standard reference ontologies and controlled terminologies, are extremely large, while the users often need to reuse only a small part of these resources in their work. Specifying various views of an ontology enables users to limit the set of concepts that they see. In this chapter, we develop the concept of a Traversal View, a view where a user specifies the central concept or concepts of interest, the relationships to traverse to find other concepts to include in the view, and the depth of the traversal. For example, given a large ontology of anatomy, a user may use a Traversal View to extract a concept of Lung and organs and organ parts that surround the lung or are contained in the lung. We define the notion of Traversal Views formally, discuss their properties, present a strategy for maintaining the view through ontology evolution and describe our tool for defining and extracting Traversal Views.