Dealing with Missing Mappings and Structure in a Network of Ontologies

Abstract: With the popularity of the World Wide Web, a large amount of data is generated and made available through the Internet everyday. To integrate and query this huge amount of heterogeneous data, the vision of Semantic Web has been recognized as a possible solution. One key technology for the Semantic Web is ontologies. Many ontologies have been developed in recent years. Meanwhile, due to the demand of applications using multiple ontologies,  mappings between entities of these ontologies are generated as well, which leads to the generation of ontology networks consisting of ontologies and mappings between these ontologies. However, neither developing ontologies nor finding mappings between ontologies is an easy task. It may happen that the ontologies are not consistent or complete, or the mappings between these ontologies are not correct or complete, or the resulting ontology network is not consistent. This may lead to problems when they are used in semantically-enabled applications.In this thesis, we address two issues relevant to the quality of the mappings and the structure in the ontology network. The first issue deals with the missing mappings between networked ontologies. Assuming existing mappings between ontologies are correct, we investigate whether and how to use these existing mappings, to find more mappings between ontologies. We propose and test several strategies of using the given correct mappings to align ontologies. The second issue deals with the missing structure, in particular missing is-a relations, in networked ontologies. Based on the assumption that missing is-a relations are a kind of modeling defects, we propose an ontology debugging approach to tackle this issue. We develop an algorithm for detecting missing is-a relations in ontologies, as well as algorithms which assist the user in repairing by generating and recommending possible ways of repairing and executing the repairing. Based on this approach, we develop a system and test its use and performance.