Learning Expressive Ontologies

This publication advances the state-of-the-art in ontology learning by presenting a set of novel approaches to the semi-automatic acquisition, refinement and evaluation of logically complex axiomatizations. It has been motivated by the fact that the realization of the semantic web envisioned by Tim Berners-Lee is still hampered by the lack of ontological resources, while at the same time more and more applications of semantic technologies emerge from fast-growing areas such as e-business or life sciences. Such knowledge-intensive applications, requiring large scale reasoning over complex domains of interest, even more than the semantic web depend on the availability of expressive, high-quality axiomatizations. This knowledge acquisition bottleneck could be overcome by approaches to the automatic or semi-automatic construction of ontologies. Hence a huge number of ontology learning tools and frameworks have been developed in recent years, all of them aiming for the automatic or semi-automatic generation of ontologies from various kinds of data. However, both the quality and the expressivity of ontologies that can be acquired by the current state-of-the-art in ontology learning so far have failed to meet the expectations of people who argue in favor of powerful, knowledge-intensive applications based on logical inference. This work therefore takes a first, yet important, step towards the semi-automatic generation and maintenance of expressive ontologies.

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