Ontology Evolution: Not the Same as Schema Evolution

Noy, N. Fridman; Klein, M. C. A.
Noy, N
Klein, M
Knowl. Inf. Syst. 6(4): 428-440 (2004)
Citations range: 
100 - 499

As ontology development becomes a more ubiquitous and collaborative process, ontology
versioning and evolution becomes an important area of ontology research. The many similarities
between database-schema evolution and ontology evolution will allow us to build on the
extensive research in schema evolution. However, there are also important differences between
database schemas and ontologies. The differences stem from different usage paradigms, the
presence of explicit semantics, and different knowledge models. A lot of problems that existed
only in theory in database research come to the forefront as practical problems in ontology
evolution. These differences have important implications for the development of ontologyevolution
frameworks: The traditional distinction between versioning and evolution is not
applicable to ontologies. There are several dimensions along which compatibility between
versions must be considered. The set of change operations for ontologies is difference. We must
develop automatic techniques for finding similarities and differences between versions.