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Ontology (information science)

In computer science and information science, an ontology encompasses a representation, formal naming and definition of the categories, properties and relations between the concepts, data and entities that substantiate one, many or all domains of discourse.An ontology is a description (like a formal specification of a program) of the concepts and relationships that can formally exist for an agent or a community of agents. This definition is consistent with the usage of ontology as set of concept definitions, but more general. And it is a different sense of the word than its use in philosophy.Ontologies are often equated with taxonomic hierarchies of classes, class definitions, and the subsumption relation, but ontologies need not be limited to these forms. Ontologies are also not limited to conservative definitions — that is, definitions in the traditional logic sense that only introduce terminology and do not add any knowledge about the world. To specify a conceptualization, one needs to state axioms that do constrain the possible interpretations for the defined terms.See also: Logic machines in fiction and List of fictional computers In computer science and information science, an ontology encompasses a representation, formal naming and definition of the categories, properties and relations between the concepts, data and entities that substantiate one, many or all domains of discourse. Every field creates ontologies to limit complexity and organize information into data and knowledge. As new ontologies are made, their use hopefully improves problem solving within that domain. Translating research papers within every field is a problem made easier when experts from different countries maintain a controlled vocabulary of jargon between each of their languages. Since Google started an initiative called Knowledge Graph, a substantial amount of research has used the phrase knowledge graph as a generalized term. Although there is no clear definition for the term knowledge graph, it is sometimes used as synonym for ontology. One common interpretation is that a knowledge graph represents a collection of interlinked descriptions of entities – real-world objects, events, situations or abstract concepts. Unlike ontologies, knowledge graphs, such as Google's Knowledge Graph, often contain large volumes of factual information with less formal semantics. In some contexts, the term knowledge graph is used to refer to any knowledge base that is represented as a graph. The compound word ontology combines onto-, from the Greek ὄν, on (gen. ὄντος, ontos), i.e. 'being; that which is', which is the present participle of the verb εἰμί, eimí, i.e. 'to be, I am', and -λογία, -logia, i.e. 'logical discourse', see classical compounds for this type of word formation. While the etymology is Greek, the oldest extant record of the word itself, the New Latin form ontologia, appeared in 1606 in the work Ogdoas Scholastica by Jacob Lorhard (Lorhardus) and in 1613 in the Lexicon philosophicum by Rudolf Göckel (Goclenius). The first occurrence in English of ontology as recorded by the OED (Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, 2008) came in Archeologia Philosophica Nova or New Principles of Philosophy by Gideon Harvey. What ontologies in both information science and philosophy have in common is the attempt to represent entities, ideas and events, with all their interdependent properties and relations, according to a system of categories. In both fields, there is considerable work on problems of ontology engineering (e.g., Quine and Kripke in philosophy, Sowa and Guarino in computer science), and debates concerning to what extent normative ontology is possible (e.g., foundationalism and coherentism in philosophy, BFO and Cyc in artificial intelligence). Applied ontology is considered a spiritual successor to prior work in philosophy, however many current efforts are more concerned with establishing controlled vocabularies of narrow domains than first principles, the existence of fixed essences or whether enduring objects (e.g., perdurantism and endurantism) may be ontologically more primary than processes. Every field uses ontological assumptions to frame explicit theories, research and applications. For instance, the definition and ontology of economics is a primacy concern in Marxist economics, but also in other subfields of economics. An example of economics relying on information science occurs in cases where a simulation or model is intended to enable economic decisions, such as determining what capital assets are at risk and by how much (see risk management). Artificial intelligence has retained the most attention regarding applied ontology in subfields like natural language processing within machine translation and knowledge representation, but ontology editors are being used often in a range of fields like education without the intent to contribute to AI.

[ "Ontology", "Information retrieval", "Linguistics", "Artificial intelligence", "OWL-S", "Semantic P2P networks", "Upper ontology", "Fuzzy markup language", "Attempto Controlled English" ]
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