Ontology and Taxonomy: Strange Bedfellows

Are you struggling with how to make best use of your company’s knowledge assets that have grown overly complex?  Have you wondered how to blend the more informal taxonomic knowledge with the more formal ontological knowledge?  This has been a real head-scratcher for us for quite a while now.  We described some breakthroughs we have made in the past couple of years on this front in a keynote talk at the International Conference on Semantic Computing in Newport Beach.


Ontology and Taxonomy: Strange Bedfellows


In large companies, key knowledge assets are often unnecessarily complex, making them hard to understand, evolve and reuse. Ambiguity is at the root of the problem; it is often reflected in poorly structured information. We describe an approach using taxonomy and ontology to root out ambiguity and create a set of building blocks that acts as a solid foundation for creating more useful structure.

We describe the challenges of working with both taxonomy and ontology, and how we married them to provide a foundation that supports integration across a wide range of enterprise assets including spreadsheets, applications and databases.

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