Thesauri and Semantic Web: Discussion of the Evolution of Thesauri toward their Integration With the Semantic Web
Área de conocimiento
Título de la revista
Thesauri are Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS), that arise from the consensus of wide communities. They have been in use for many years and are regularly updated. Whereas in the past thesauri were designed for information professionals for indexing and searching, today there is a demand for conceptual vocabularies that enable inferencing by machines. The development of the Semantic Web has brought a new opportunity for thesauri, but thesauri also face the challenge of proving that they add value to it. The evolution of thesauri toward their integration with the Semantic Web is examined. Elements and structures in the thesaurus standard, ISO 25964, and SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System), the Semantic Web standard for representing KOS, are reviewed and compared. Moreover, the integrity rules of thesauri are contrasted with the axioms of SKOS. How SKOS has been applied to represent some real thesauri is taken into account. Three thesauri are chosen for this aim: AGROVOC, EuroVoc and the UNESCO Thesaurus. Based on the results of this comparison and analysis, the benefits that Semantic Web technologies offer to thesauri, how thesauri can contribute to the Semantic Web, and the challenges that would help to improve their integration with the Semantic Web are discussed.