Elena Paslaru Bontas, Lyndon J B Nixon, Robert Tolksdorf AG Netzbasierte Informationssysteme Institut für Informatik Freie Universität Berlin email: paslaru, nixon, tolk@inf.fu-berlin.de

Report B 05-15
October 2005

As the Semantic Web grows, increasing numbers of private and public sector communities will be developing ontologies which represent their domain(s) of interest. As ontologies are also intended to act as shared domain conceptualizations it is expected that ontology developers may also wish to make their ontologies available to other users, possibly under some license. This will bring the benefit of ontology developers being able to re-use existing models or align them to local ones, thus reducing implementation costs, improving the quality of ontological sources, which are, by re-use, subject of continuous revisions and refinements, and increasing the interoperability among ontology-based applications. Besides, access to available ontologies across the Web is a fundamental requirement for the dissemination of Semantic Web Services, which are envisioned to automatically use these sources in order to describe their capabilities and for interprocess communication. In this paper we consider the current state of the art of the field "Ontology Discovery" and note the outstanding requirements that arise in a real world scenario making use of ontologies across the Web. In order to meet these requirements, we first examine existing ontology repositories on the Web and the technologies underlying these repositories and find them insufficient. We propose the use of a tuplespace-based system as a middleware platform for administrating ontologies and their (semantic) descriptions which can act as a fully-fledged ontology repository. This middleware platform is Semantic Web Spaces (see the previous technical report). We define how the space would store ontologies and how their descriptions would also be modeled as OWL-based metadata. Finally, we illustrate how a Semantic Web Space would function as Ontology Repository and conclude with our observations upon the proposed approach and future work.

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