Ontology Elicitation in Springer Encyclopedia of Database Systems

The Encyclopedia of Database Systems (edited by Ling Liu and M. Tamer Özsu) will be a comprehensive reference to topics in database systems for students, researchers and practitioners who need a quick and authoritative reference to the subject of databases, data management, and database systems, such as basic concept definition, data processing algorithms, key results to date, and references to source materials. The encyclopedia will feature an alphabetical organization of nearly 1000 entries, covering both topics of current interest and key research results of historical significance in all the main areas of database systems.

Publication by Springer is planned for April 2009; the Encyclopedia of Database Systems will be available as a printed volume and an online reference work.

I was invited to write the entry for Ontology elicitation. deleenheer_edb_2007_fig2Ontology elicitation embraces the family of methods and techniques to explicate, negotiate, and ultimately agree on a partial account of the structure and semantics of a particular domain, as well as on the symbols used to represent and apply this semantics unambiguously. Ontology elicitation only results in a partial account because the formal definition of an ontology cannot completely specify the intended structure and semantics of each concept in the domain, but at best can approximate it. Therefore, the key for scalability is to reach the appropriate amount of consensus on relevant ontological definitions through an effective meaning negotiation in an efficient  manner. In this entry we give definitions, historical background, scientific fundamentals, key applications, and finally future directions for ontology elicitation.

This reference is designed to address the needs of a wide audience including researchers, graduate and undergraduate students, and other professionals and practitioners who might need speedy and reliable information in the databases, data management, and database systems subject area. We anticipate many to benefit from this reference, including database specialists, software developers, scientists and engineers who need to deal with (structured, semi-structured or unstructured) large datasets. In addition database and data mining researchers and scholars in the many areas that apply database technologies, such as artificial intelligence, software engineering, robotics and computer vision, machine learning, finance and marketing are expected to benefit from the encyclopedia.

This home page is being updated continuously during the course of this project. The Editor-in-Chiefs and advisory board value feedback from the database community concerning every aspect of the Encyclopedia of Database Systems.

De Leenheer, P. (2009) Ontology Elicitation. In Encyclopedia of Database Systems, eds. Liu, L. and Ôzsu, T., Springer, forthcoming Spring 2009.


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