Using ontologies: understanding the user experience

Warren, Paul; Mulholland, Paul; Collins, Trevor and Motta, Enrico (2014). Using ontologies: understanding the user experience. In: Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, pp. 579–590.



Drawing on 118 responses to a survey of ontology use, this paper describes the experiences of those who create and use ontologies. Responses to questions about language and tool use illustrate the dominant position of OWL and provide information about the OWL profiles and particular Description Logic features used. The paper suggests that further research is required into the difficulties experienced with OWL constructs, and with modelling in OWL. The survey also reports on the use of ontology visualization software, finding that the importance of visualization to ontology users varies considerably. This is also an area which requires further investigation. The use of ontology patterns is examined, drawing on further input from a follow-up study devoted exclusively to this topic. Evidence suggests that pattern creation and use are frequently informal processes and there is a need for improved tools. A classification of ontology users into four groups is suggested. It is proposed that the categorisation of users and user behaviour should be taken into account when designing ontology tools and methodologies. This should enable rigorous, user-specific use cases.

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