Developing an Ontology Evaluation Methodology: Cognitive Measure of Quality
Ontologies are formal specifications of shared conceptualizations of a domain. Important applications of ontologies include distributed knowledge based systems, such as the semantic web, and the evaluation of modelling languages, e.g. for business process or conceptual modelling. These applications require formal ontologies of good quality. In this thesis, we present a multi-method ontology evaluation methodology, which consists of two techniques (sentence verification task and recall) based on principles of cognitive psychology, to test how well a specification of a formal ontology corresponds to the ontology users' conceptualization of a domain. Two experiments were conducted, each evaluating the SUMO ontology and WordNet with an experimental technique, as demonstrations of the multi-method evaluation methodology. We also tested the applicability of the two evaluation techniques by conducting a replication study for each. The replication studies obtained findings that point towards the same direction as the original studies, although no significance was achieved. Overall, the evaluation using the multi-method methodology suggests that neither of the two ontologies we examined is a good specification of the conceptualization of the domain. Both the terminology and the structure of the ontologies, may benefit from improvement.