Requirements-oriented methodology for evaluating ontologies

Yu, J 2008, Requirements-oriented methodology for evaluating ontologies, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Computer Science and Information Technology, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Requirements-oriented methodology for evaluating ontologies
Author(s) Yu, J
Year 2008
Abstract Ontologies play key roles in many applications today. Therefore, whether using a newly-specified ontology or an existing ontology for use in its target application, it is important to determine the suitability of an ontology to the application at hand. This need is addressed by carrying out ontology evaluation, which determines qualities of an ontology using methodologies, criteria or measures. However, for addressing the ontology requirements from a given application, it is necessary to determine what the appropriate set of criteria and measures are.

In this thesis, we propose a Requirements-Oriented Methodology for Evaluating Ontologies (ROMEO). ROMEO outlines a methodology for determining appropriate methods for ontology evaluation that incorporates a suite of existing ontology evaluation criteria and measures. ROMEO helps ontology engineers to determine relevant ontology evaluation measures for a given set of ontology requirements by linking these requirements to existing ontology evaluation measures through a set of questions. There are three main parts to ROMEO. First, ontology requirements are elicited from a given application and form the basis for an appropriate evaluation of ontologies. Second, appropriate questions are mapped to each ontology requirement. Third, relevant ontology evaluation measures are mapped to each of those questions.

From the ontology requirements of an application, ROMEO is used to determine appropriate methods for ontology evaluation by mapping applicable questions to the requirements and mapping those questions to appropriate measures. In this thesis, we perform the ROMEO methodology to obtain appropriate ontology evaluation methods for ontology-driven applications through case studies of Lonely Planet and Wikipedia.

Since the mappings determined by ROMEO are dependent on the analysis of the ontology engineer, the validation of these mappings is needed. As such, in addition to proposing the ROMEO methodology, a method for the empirical validation of ROMEO mappings is proposed in this thesis. We report on two empirical validation experiments that are carried out in controlled environments to examine the performance of the ontologies over a set of tasks. These tasks vary and are used to compare the performance of a set of ontologies in the respective experimental environment. The ontologies used vary on a specific ontology quality or measure being examined.

Empirical validation experiments are conducted for two mappings between questions and their associated measures, which are drawn from case studies of Lonely Planet and Wikipedia. These validation experiments focus on mappings between questions and their measures. Furthermore, as these mappings are application-independent, they may be reusable in subsequent applications of the ROMEO methodology. Using a ROMEO mapping from the Lonely Planet case study, we validate a mapping of a coverage question to the F-measure. The validation experiment carried out for this mapping was inconclusive, thus requiring further analysis. Using a ROMEO mapping from the Wikipedia case study, we carry out a separate validation experiment examining a mapping between an intersectedness question and the tangledness measure. The results from this experiment showed the mapping to be valid. For future work, we propose additional validation experiments for mappings that have been identified between questions and measures.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Computer Science and Information Technology
Keyword(s) Ontologies (Information retrieval)
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