Toward Principles for the Design of Ontologies Used for Knowledge Sharing

Thomas R. Gruber (1993). Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing. Originally in N. Guarino and R. Poli, (Eds.), International Workshop on Formal Ontology, Padova, Italy. Revised August 1993. Published in International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 43 , Issue 5-6 Nov./Dec. 1995, Pages: 907-928, special issue on the role of formal ontology in the information technology.

One of the first attempts at a software development methodology for ontologies. Introduces the notion that ontologies are design and should be amenable to engineering methodologies. Proposes five design criteria for ontologies.

Original abstract: Recent work in Artificial Intelligence is exploring the use of formal ontologies as a way of specifying content-specific agreements for the sharing and reuse of knowledge among software entities. We take an engineering perspective on the development of such ontologies. Formal ontologies are viewed as designed artifacts, formulated for specific purposes and evaluated against objective design criteria. We describe the role of ontologies in supporting knowledge sharing activities, and then present a set of criteria to guide the development of ontologies for these purposes. We show how these criteria are applied in case studies from the design of ontologies for engineering mathematics and bibliographic data. Selected design decisions are discussed, and alternative representation choices and evaluated against the design criteria.