Methods and techniques for generation and integration of Web ontology data

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Data integration over the web or across organizations encounters several unfavorable features: heterogeneity, decentralization, incompleteness, and uncertainty, which prevent information from being fully utilized for advanced applications such as decision support services. The basic idea of ontology related approaches for data integration is to use one or more ontology schemas to interpret data from different sources. Several issues will come up when actually implementing the idea: (1) How to develop the domain ontology schema(s) used for the integration; (2) How to generate ontology data for domain ontology schema if the data are not in the right format and to create and manage ontology data in an appropriate way; (3) How to improve the quality of integrated ontology data by reducing duplications and increasing completeness and certainty. This thesis focuses on the above issues and develops a set of methods to tackle them. First, a key information mining method is developed to facilitate the development of interested domain ontology schemas. It effectively extracts from the web sites useful terms and identifies taxonomy information which is essential to ontology schema construction. A prototype system is developed to use this method to help create domain ontology schemas. Second, this study develops two complemented methods which are light weighted and more semantic web oriented to address the issue of ontology data generation. One method allows users to convert existing structured data (mostly XML data) to ontology data; another enables users to create new ontology data directly with ease.In addition, a web-based system is developed to allow users to manage the ontology data collaboratively and with customizable security constraints. Third, this study also proposes two methods to perform ontology data matching for the improvement of ontology data quality when an integration happens. One method uses the clustering approach. It makes use of the relational nature of the ontology data and captures different situations of matching, therefore resulting in an improvement of performance compared with the traditional canopy clustering method. The other method goes further by using a learning mechanism to make the matching more adaptive. New features are developed for training matching classifier by exploring particular characteristics of ontology data. This method also achieves better performance than those with only ordinary features. These matching methods can be used to improve data quality in a peer-to-peer framework which is proposed to integrate available ontology data from different peers.
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