An Introduction to Ontology Engineering
Author: C. Maria Keet
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This book is my attempt at providing the first textbook for an introduction in ontology engineering. Indeed, there are books about ontology engineering, but they either promote one specific ontology or methodology only, are handbooks, or are conference proceedings. There have been collaborative initiatives that aimed for a generic introduction, yet they have not made it to the writing stage.
Problems to overcome with such an endeavour—aside from the difficult task of finding time to write it—are, mainly, to answer the questions of 1) which topics should an introductory textbook on ontology engineering cover? and 2) how comprehensive should an introduction be? The answer to the first question is different for the different audiences, in particular with respect to emphases of one topic or another and the order of things. The intended audience for this textbook are people at the level of advanced undergraduate and early postgraduate studies in computer science. This entails, for instance, that I assume the reader will know what UML class diagrams and databases are. As computing degrees seem to have a tendency to have become less theoretical, a solid background in logic, reasoning, and computational complexity is not expected, so a gentle introduction (or recap, as it may be) of the core concepts is provided.
There are no lengthy philosophical debates in any of the chapters, but philosophical aspects are presented and discussed mainly only insofar as they are known to affect the engineering side. There still will be sections of interest for philosophers and domain experts, but they may prefer to work through the chapters in a different order.