This paper describes a system for supporting development of ontology in a distributed manner. By a distributed manner, we mean ontology is divided into several component ontologies, which are developed by different developers in a distributed environment. The target ontology is obtained by com-piling the component ontologies. These component ontologies are identified ac-cording to their conceptual level or domain characteristics. The distributed development of ontologies applies to many situations such as cooperative development, reusing ontologies and so on. To support such a way of ontology development, we investigate the dependency between component ontologies and design some functions for management of these ontologies based on their dependencies. We next consider the influence of a change of one ontology to others through its dependencies and design a function to suggest a few candidate modifications of the influenced ontology for keeping the consistency. We also present some examples of how the system works.
Research Paper at 2nd International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2003), 20-23 October 2003, Sundial Resort, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA.
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