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Logic−based support for Ontology Development in Open Environments

Ernesto Jimenez−Ruiz


The benefits of exploiting the underlying logic of ontologies are theoretically proved, although further evidence of their usability is still needed. The research conducted on this dissertation has been based on the hypothesis that logic formalisms can be useful in practice to avoid, detect and repair errors in evolving ontologies. Current logic-based machinery has been adapted and applied to help ontology developers and domain experts in the resolution of several real use cases. We have designed general principles based on logic formalisms and we have implemented a set of prototype systems to support users in different stages of development of ontologies, namely: reuse of knowledge, concurrent evolution, and integration of independent resources.


We have designed general principles based on description logic formalisms and we have implemented techniques following those principles. Then, these techniques have been applied in interesting use cases to show the benefits of using logic based methods.

The designed logic-based principles and implemented techniques aim at being integrated within the correspondent development activities of the ontology lifecycle. Thus, they are complementary to state-of-the-art methodologies and workflows to develop ontologies.


The goal of this dissertation has been to provide logic-based support in knowledge reuse, concurrent ontology development and ontology integration. Knowledge reuse has been supported with semantic techniques to adapt domain thesauri and to safely reuse knowledge from ontologies. Concurrent changes in collaborative development scenarios have been assessed enhancing current logic-based debugging techniques.

Finally, ontology integration has been audited applying semi-automatic and automatic methods based on designed logic-based principles and state-of-the-art formalisms.

These logic-based methods and techniques have been integrated in a set of prototype systems. Generated results have also been published and disseminated in prestigious international workshops, conferences and journals.

Proposed methods and techniques are complementary to state-of-the-art technology where we have contributed in different ways. Future research lines will involve the integration of our methods with this technology in order to enrich current operation. Further dedication would be also necessary to provide a precise evaluation of our methods in complex and real use cases.

knowledge representation‚ ontology‚ thesaurus‚ OWL‚ description logics‚ ontology integration‚ ontology modularization‚ concurrent ontology development