W3C Recommendation 10 February 2004
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- Jeff Heflin (Lehigh University) firstname.lastname@example.org
2.3 Corporate web site management
Large corporations typically have numerous web pages concerning things like press releases, product offerings and case studies, corporate procedures, internal product briefings and comparisons, white papers, and process descriptions. Ontologies can be used to index these documents and provide better means of retrieval. Although many large organizations have a taxonomy for organizing their information, this is often insufficient. A single ontology is often limiting because the constituent categories are likely constrained to those representing one view and one granularity of a domain; the ability to simultaneously work with multiple ontologies would increase the richness of description. Furthermore, the ability to search on values for different parameters is often more useful than a keyword search with taxonomies.
An ontology-enabled web site may be used by:
* A salesperson looking for sales collateral relevant to a sales pursuit.
* A technical person looking for pockets of specific technical expertise and detailed past experience.
* A project leader looking for past experience and templates to support a complex, multi-phase project, both during the proposal phase and during execution.
A typical problem for each of these types of users is that they may not share terminology with the authors of the desired content. The salesperson may not know the technical name for a desired feature or technical people in different fields might use different terms for the same concept. For such problems, it would be useful for each class of user to have different ontologies of terms, but have each ontology interrelated so translations can be performed automatically.
Another problem is framing queries at the right level of abstraction. A project leader looking for someone with expertise in operating systems should be able to locate an employee who is an expert with both Unix and Windows.
One aspect of a large service organization is that it may have a very broad set of capabilities. But when pursuing large contracts these capabilities sometimes need to be assembled in new ways. There will often be no previous single matching project. A challenge is to reason about how past templates and documents can be reassembled in new configurations, while satisfying a diverse set of preconditions.