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Modelling Ontologies with Topic Maps and OWL: Implementation Challenges and Conceptual Issues
The thesis first introduces ontologies and related concepts like the Semantic Web and also presents an in-depth view of the Topic Maps and OWL standards. Three major topics are identified as being especially challenging when implementing ontologies in real world applications: providing persistent, scalable storage, performing complex queries on ontologies, and deducing implicit information by using special inference engines. Apart from these challenges on the implementation level, a number of crucial issues at the conceptual level of ontology representation formats are also discussed, such as the absence of contextual constraints, the inability to properly represent inconsistencies and the lack of methods for expressing uncertainty in knowledge bases.