Integrating Taxonomies and Ontologies in the Knowledge and Content Management Systems of organizations

Taxonomy Integration

In the digital world of online repositories, taxonomies and ontologies are the primary ways to categorize content by their underlying (or implicit) information domains. Taxonomies mean any controlled vocabulary
for tagging content. Thus a taxonomy is a logical organization based on how a
particular audience or a group of users think about (and conceptualizes) a set
of items. For instance, an Information provider providing information on
Agricultural soils over the web might organize the e-library storefront by Key
seekers typically think of browsing concepts in these categories. Therefore the
service provider can then categorize all products (or content objects) by
multiple terms, or descriptors based on the key words specified within various


Cultivated Soils, Soil types, Farm Land

So “AGRICULTURAL SOILS” is the taxonomy while the other conceptual categories are descriptors of the key word or the taxonomy.

This way the searcher directly clicks on farm land instead of browsing through all the collections on AGRICULTURAL SOILS

Typically, taxonomy defines a hierarchical relationship among terms. Taxonomy is a hierarchical list of terms or topics, which may or may not have alphabetical arrangement at a given level

Importance of taxonomies are listed below

1)Improves search applicability and improve both precision and recall when users are searching for information

2)Creates a unified approach that supports searching for known content and discovering new content

3)Search optimization & personalization is greatly enhanced

4)Enhances good navigation and User Interface which is critical for getting users to the content they need.

Ontology Integration.

Ontology - Ontologies resemble faceted taxonomies but use richer semantic relationships among terms and attributes, as well as strict rules about how to specify terms and relationships. Because ontologies do more than
just control a vocabulary, they are thought of as knowledge representation. The
oft-quoted definition of ontology is "the specification of one's
conceptualization of a knowledge domain."


When a user is searching for information concerning GENETICS which is a key subject, the taxonomy approach adopted above will display the other
narrow subjects which are Cytogenesis,
and Mutation. However
the ontology approach will allow the interlinking of all these other concepts
so that if a user decides to shift his area of focus from genetic maps which is a subdivision of cytogenesis, to cytosomatic mutation which is a
subdivision of mutation, it will be easier to navigate the search because the
content is displayed on the User Interface. This will be facilitated by the
richer semantic relationships among terms and attributes as shown by the

Benefits of the above two approaches (ontology and taxonomy) in Knowledge and content Management

  1. It is cost effective because there is no need of deriving new terms as these approaches will depend on the Thesaurus.
  2. The relationship between specific attributes e.g. (cytosomatic mutation and gene location) is displayed
  3. Supports knowledge search, retrieval and personalization, as the user is able to personalize and customize the search to his or her own needs
  4. Due to its hierarchical nature, it links together concepts thereby giving the information seeker a variety of options to choose upon.
  5. Ontologies serve as the basis for information gathering and integration. This is achieved in the sense that, the more formally represented information a user has, the more inferences for query
    answering will be achieved and this will lead into derivation of new
    knowledge as comparison and integration of facts from different sources is

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