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Oyster - Sharing and Re-using Ontologies in a Peer-to-Peer Community

Currently, ontology re-use is rather difficult, as it is hard to find and share ontologies available among the community. This leads to the problem of having many isolated ontologies created by many different parties. Besides the costs of the duplicate efforts this also hampers interoperability between ontology-based applications. Oyster1 is a Peerto- Peer application that exploits semantic web techniques in order to provide a solution for exchanging and re-using ontologies. To achieve this, Oyster implements a proposal for a standard set of ontology metadata (i.e. an ontology of ontologies) developed in the Knowledge Web project2 as the way to describe ontologies. Furthermore, exchanging ontology metadata is an interesting use case for the semantic web application for the following characteristics: The information sources (ontologies) are geographically distributed among the community and at the same time the developers are willing to share the information about the ontologies they created provided they do not have to invest much work in doing so and they are able to mantain the ownership of their ontologies. Finally, since ontologies can be represented in different languages (such as OWL, DAML+OIL, RDF-S), Oyster provides the possibility to exchange heterogeneous information through the use of the metadata standard.




Raul Palma, Peter Haase
Ontology Engineering Group
Laboratorio de Inteligencia Artificial
Facultad de Informatica
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
Email: rpa@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de