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What is Ontology Language

Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence
Formal language based on a logic paradimg that can represent concepts and the constraints between them. Reasoning capabilities of the language depend on the paradigm in which the language is based on.
Published in Chapter:
Ontologies for Education and Learning Design
Manuel Lama (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and Eduardo Sánchez (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-849-9.ch187
In the last years, the growing of the Internet have opened the door to new ways of learning and education methodologies. Furthermore, the appearance of different tools and applications has increased the need for interoperable as well as reusable learning contents, teaching resources and educational tools (Wiley, 2000). Driven by this new environment, several metadata specifications describing learning resources, such as IEEE LOM (LTCS, 2002) or Dublin Core (DCMI, 2004), and learning design processes (Rawlings et al., 2002) have appeared. In this context, the term learning design is used to describe the method that enables learners to achieve learning objectives after a set of activities are carried out using the resources of an environment. From the proposed specifications, the IMS (IMS, 2003) has emerged as the de facto standard that facilitates the representation of any learning design that can be based on a wide range of pedagogical techniques. The metadata specifications are useful solutions to describe educational resources in order to favour the interoperability and reuse between learning software platforms. However, the majority of the metadata standards are just focused on determining the vocabulary to represent the different aspects of the learning process, while the meaning of the metadata elements is usually described in natural language. Although this description is easy to understand for the learning participants, it is not appropriate for software programs designed to process the metadata. To solve this issue, ontologies (Gómez-Pérez, Fernández-López, and Corcho, 2004) could be used to describe formally and explicitly the structure and meaning of the metadata elements; that is, an ontology would semantically describe the metadata concepts. Furthermore, both metadata and ontologies emphasize that its description must be shared (or standardized) for a given community. In this paper, we present a short review of the main ontologies developed in last years in the Education field, focusing on the use that authors have given to the ontologies. As we will show, ontologies solve issues related with the inconsistencies of using natural language descriptions and with the consensous for managing the semantics of a given specification.
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Semantic Web Languages and Ontologies
A formal language used to encode an ontology.
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