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Ontology Modularization Framework

The Ontology Modularization Framework is based on the SONIVIS:Tool for network analysis and allows for easy ontology analysis and modularization.


As a very well known integrated development environment Eclipse allows to implement functional extensions through plugins. In this regard we have identified functional components which can be implemented as Eclipse plugins so an Ontology Modularization and Integration framework can be realized. The figure illustrates the architecture of this framework.
There are two basic components, the Ontology Backend and the Graph Analysis component. The Ontology Backend provides basic functionality to load and parse RDF and OWL documents. It allows to access different parts within the document, e.g.  subject, predicate and objects of RDF statements. The Graph Analysis components provides means to anaylse the graph  structure. Different algorithms for various graph metrics are part of this functional components.

The Discovery component allows to find existing ontologies. It is connected to different online ontology search engines and libraries. Basic terms of the target domain can be used to search for candidate ontologies for reuse. If the connected search engines provides meta information about the found ontologies, they are also downloaded by the Discovery component. These information are very helpful for the first decision, if a deeper analysis of the ontology is necessary. If an ontology is chosen it is downloaded and loaded through the Ontology Backend.

The Visualization component represents the chosen ontology as a graph, so its content and structure is easier to comprehend by the user. It accesses the ontology through the Ontology Backend and obtains its network structure. Through the Graph Analysis component, the Visualization component is able to get structure-based metrics about the graph. This information can be used, to optimize the visualization. E.g. centralitiy values about nodes allow to find nodes which are important according to the structure. These nodes can be highlited with the Visualization component.

The Modularization component is able to access the ontology through the Ontology Backend and to obtain information about the network structure of the ontology through the Graph Analysis component. Based upon these information the Modularization component is able to propose ways how to decompose the ontology into modules. With the Visualiaztion components this proposition can be represented visually.

The User Interface allows the user to interact with the under-laying components. Together with the visualization component it allows to navigate through the ontology and to choose different network visualization layouts and perspectives on the ontology, which highlight different aspects of the graph, e.g. the class hierarchy. It is possible to zoom into different parts of the ontology to better understand relations between concepts.


SONIVIS Eclipse Plugin for. Ontology Analysis and Modularization



  • Mario Rothe: Automatische Gruppierung von Konzepten zur Erleichterung des Verständnisses von Ontologien, Diploma Thesis, FU Berlin
  • Maximilian Schröder: Implementierung einer Sonivis-Erweiterung zur strukturbasierten Partitionierung von OWL-Ontologien, Bachelor Thesis, FU Berlin
  • Engin Yilmaz: Ontologie-Partitionierung mittels Partikel Schwarm Optimierung, Diploma Thesis, FU Berlin
  • Dai-Phuc Ha: Grafische Darstellung und Analyse von Ontologien, Bachelor Thesis, FU Berlin
  • Coskun, G. (2013). Structure-based Partitioning of Semantic Web Ontologies. Doctoral Thesis, Freie Universität Berlin

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© 2008 FU Berlin | Feedback
This work has been partially supported by the  InnoProfile-Corporate Semantic Web project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the BMBF Innovation Initiative for the New German Länder - Entrepreneurial Regions.
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