42 Towards a Software Design Process for Ontologies
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Ontologies facilitate the communication between human and information system. Knowledge representational frameworks have had success in the research community, but are slow to be utilized in industry; one reason could be the lack of a more formal rigorous model and associated design process. In software engineering, Unified modeling language (UML) provides a set of diagrams with model-driven architecture support. In XML, a formal model is supported using schema definition (akin to classes) that can then be instantiated. Entity-relationship diagrams (ERDs) provide a means to model information and associations prior to the creation and normalization of a relational schema. In all three models, design precedes implementation, which contrasts with ontologies with its concentration on representing knowledge at an instance level (data and domain knowledge) without having undergone a more formal design process. This paper contrasts the features of Web Ontology Language (OWL) against capabilities of UML, XML, and ERDs, as our intent is to enhance modeling capabilities of OWL with appropriate modeling capabilities from software engineering for more rigors modeling approach towards ontologies expanding its usage and breadth for multiple applications.