Coping with Changing Ontologies in a Distributed Environment

Jeff Heflin, James Hendler, and Sean Luke

We discuss the problems associated with versioning ontologies in distributed environments. This is an important issue because ontologies can be of great use in structuring and querying internet information, but many of the Internet’s characteristics, such as distributed ownership, rapid evolution, and heterogeneity, make ontology management difficult. We present SHOE, a web-based knowledge representation language that supports multiple versions of ontologies. We then discuss the features of SHOE that address ontology versioning, the affects of ontology revision on SHOE web pages, and methods for implementing ontology integration using SHOE’s extension and version mechanisms.

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