Computers in industry ISSN: 0166-3615 Elsevier

Year: 2023

Type: journal-article

Authors: Daniele Spoladore, Elena Pessot, Alberto Trombetta

Ontologies can represent technological enablers for knowledge elicitation and management in different kinds of organizations, especially with the exponential growth of sources and types of data fostered by digital transformation. However, their adoption in business applications is still limited, with existing Ontology Engineering Methodologies (OEMs) lacking adequate support during knowledge elicitation, authoring and reuse phases. This paper introduces a novel agile ontology engineering methodology (AgiSCOnt) to support ontologists (especially novice ones) in ontology development workflow, fostering collaboration with domain experts in an iterative, flexible and customizable approach. AgiSCOnt combines macro-level instructions with micro-level guidance, leveraging existing techniques and a management framework to help novice ontologists throughout the whole ontology engineering process. The methodology is compared to existing OEMs and assessed with three other agile methodologies (UPONLite, SAMOD, and RapidOWL). The evaluation is conducted with a sample of novice ontologists in a learning environment on Industry 4.0 technologies. Both the development process with a methodology from a user perspective and the quality of the developed ontologies were considered in the evaluation. Preliminary results show that AgiSCOnt effectively supports authoring and reuse, with developed ontologies of good quality. It is perceived as clear and simple, while being flexible and adaptable enough, thus supporting knowledge management and sharing in industrial organizations through the documentation of the ontologies.