Collaborative ontology engineering: a survey
Knowledge engineering review (Print)
Building ontologies in a collaborative and increasingly community-driven fashion has become a central paradigm of modern ontology engineering. This understanding of ontologies and ontology engineering processes is the result of intensive theoretical and empirical research within the Semantic Web community, supported by technology developments such as Web 2.0. Over 6 years after the publication of the first methodology for collaborative ontology engineering, it is generally acknowledged that, in
... order to be useful, but also economically feasible, ontologies should be developed and maintained in a community-driven manner, with the help of fully-fledged environments providing dedicated support for collaboration and user participation. Wikis, and similar communication and collaboration platforms enabling ontology stakeholders to exchange ideas and discuss modeling decisions are probably the most important technological components of such environments. In addition, process-driven methodologies assist the ontology engineering team throughout the ontology life cycle, and provide empirically grounded best practices and guidelines for optimizing ontology development results in real-world projects. The goal of this article is to analyze the state of the art in the field of collaborative ontology engineering. We will survey several of the most outstanding methodologies, methods and techniques that have emerged in the last years, and present the most popular development environments, which can be utilized to carry out, or facilitate specific activities within the methodologies. A discussion of the open issues identified concludes the survey and provides a roadmap for future research and development in this lively and promising field. 1 While collaboration is not characteristic to decentralized scenarios, we argue that methodological and tool support becomes a critical issue particularly when the ontology engineering team is diverse in terms of location, skills, experience, responsibilities and interests. Collaborative ontology engineering emerged as an independent research topic in the ontology engineering community in response to the needs of process and technology-level support in such decentralized scenarios.