Modularizing ontologies

d'Aquin, Mathieu (2011). Modularizing ontologies. In: Suárez-Figueroa, Mari Carmen; Gómez-Pérez, Asunción; Motta, Enrico and Gangemi, Aldo eds. Ontology Engineering in a Networked World. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 213–233.



As large monolithic ontologies are difficult to handle and maintain, the activity of modularizing an ontology consists in identifying components (modules) of this ontology that can be considered separately while they are interlinked with other modules. The end benefit of modularizing an ontology can be, depending on the particular application or scenario, (a) to improve performance by enabling the distribution or targeted processing, (b) to facilitate the development and maintenance of the ontology by dividing it in loosely coupled, self-contained components or (c) to facilitate the reuse of parts of the ontology. In this chapter, we present a brief introduction to the field of ontology modularization. We detail the approach taken as a guideline to modularization existing ontologies and the tools available in order to carry out this activity.

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