Chapter 1: Introduction
In recent years, there has been a tremendous growth in the research for doing business by using latest technologies. These new technologies give us a most recent way for running business using information and communication technologies. But now the development of ontology and some related technologies change the whole infrastructure for running a business. This is because these technologies increase the popularity among various researchers working in different areas usually related to knowledge management and knowledge representation.
By using ontology technology, various practical applications have been developed rather than working on theoretical concepts of business. Ontology plays an important role and is well known in the Artificial Intelligence community. The development of ontology related applications and standards like RDF, OWL gained important momentum in the framework of the popular Semantics Web initiative. In the scientific community, technologies that are much focused on ontology actually exist and are used by many researchers. A variety of official standards and methods are available as well as many latest tools ranging from simple ontology editors to latest framework offering platform for the development of ontology applications.
Previously, the term ontology was an idea in philosophy which was used to describe the view of being here. But now it has gained more and more interest among researchers in the field of computer science and has become more important and famous in different fields such as database development, knowledgeable engineering, software development, business activities and so on. In 1998, Studer gave an important explanation of ontology in computer science based on Gruber’s research. He described ontology as an open and formal conceptualizing model composed of various objects & classes, their definitions and relationship between these objects and classes. Here, the term ‘open’ means that the conceptions used for developing ontology are clear and assured. Formal indicated that the ontology is easily understood by the computer. In others words we can say that an ontology is described as well as developed in such a manner so everyone can use and understand it. We cannot develop ontology for a single person .
In computer science, an Ontology is defined as a hierarchical structure containing all important and relevant entities, their relationships and the rules which we want to use in any domain. The term ontology that is used in computer science is derived from the word ontology that is used in philosophy. An Ontology that is not attached to a particular problem domain but describes the general entities of that domain is known as foundation ontology or upper ontology .
Major efforts and techniques are used to change the infrastructure and way of business activities. The use of new technologies such as Semantic Web and Semantic Web Services can easily change the life cycle of a business process. But now the new technologies are derived from the previous technologies and have changed the whole structure of business. Ontology has been proposed as a foundation and an important part for the semantic web. The main function of ontology is to enable knowledge sharing and reuse concepts. Ontology is not only about the database that is used in any business but it is about the concepts and the relationships between these concepts. Ontology is also used to represent the database schemes and for solving complicated problems in different research areas .
As I discussed above, Ontology is a significant as well as main part of the Semantic Webs. The Semantics Webs are used for the extension of the current web in which the given information and data is well defined and organised, so that people and computers works in cooperation. According to Berneers- Lee (1999), the important function of Ontologies in semantics web is to encode meaning into web page so that an intelligent agent who wants to use that web page can easily understand the actual function about that page and also give better helpful service to humans as well as organisations .
Ontology is an important key factor for developers as well as researchers. We can use Ontology for describing semantics data which we named as metadata. The important function of semantics web is to combine, share and find information easily, using data from current web. Through ontology we can easily find the relationship between the classes and concepts that we used for developing any software or business activities. We will learn Ontology more in detail in chapter 2.
The main motivation is to develop Ontology of business activity by combining details of different business activities, developing a common relationship as well as interface between them and develop a common vocabulary. The language that was used for developing ontology is Web Ontology Language (OWL). The syntax used by Web Ontology Language is in Resource Description Framework (RDF) format. We can learn OWL and RDF more in detail in chapter 3.
1.3 Aim and Objective
The overall aim of this thesis is to develop Ontology of a Business Activities by comparing data of different businesses and develop a common vocabulary. In this thesis, we can learn about the concept of ontology and the language as well as syntax used for developing Ontology. The syntax is in RDF format which we used for developing ontology. After which, we have to test the functionality of ontology by developing an interface either in a Windows or web application. As the thesis follows, we can learn more about the concept for the development of ontology and the techniques used for development.
In order to achieve this aim, we have to follow some important objectives:
- To research different business activities
- To identify entities, elements and concepts of different businesses
- To identify the relationship between them
- To develop a common vocabulary between different businesses
- To critically evaluate the existing specifications to a more structured and common system using XML, OWL or RDF
- Develop an Ontology in RDF format
In the end of the thesis we will learn and develop an ontology using the following functionality:
We will learn in detail about how ontology is developed step by step in the real world, the importance of ontology and how we can use it in our system for developing business ontology
The second important thing which we learn from this thesis is the OWL Language and how we can code in RDF editor for developing ontology
We also learn how to test our ontology in real world using Windows or web application after finishing coding in RDF format.
1.5 Thesis Organization
The structure of my thesis is as follows:-
Chapter 2. Literature Review
This chapter begins with the brief history of the semantic web. After brief history we can easily understand the detailed functionality of the semantic web in real world as a business perspective. After that we have to explain the role of ontology in real world .At the end of this chapter we can easily describe the business activities model and function of each step.
Chapter 3. Research Methodology
In this chapter we discuss about the research methodology. After us getting the theoretical knowledge about our project from chapter 2 we will develop an process model which we have to follow and get start working on our project. Firstly we have to start from the basic requirement of our project and after that we will creates a block diagrams of our project which shows the step by step function as well as implementation of our project. In this chapter we just give the Designing view of our project and some important block diagrams which we have to follow during implementation.
Chapter 4. Implementation and Testing
In this chapter we will practically implemented the coding part of the project and verify the output of our project. The starting of this chapter is from the language used for the development of the project. After that we have to explain each step how we can use the classes and relationship between these classes in our project. In the last we have to follow the testing phase of our development process. During testing our software we have to see the output of the project and click some snapshots which we have to fixed in our thesis so we can easily understand the proper functioning of the software.
Chapter 5. Conclusion
This chapter gives the conclusion part of the thesis. In this part we have to explain the concluding points which we get during the implementation as well as testing of the project.
Chapter 6. Further Work
This chapter suggests some of the future work to be done with this thesis which could be useful for further research in this field.
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