Ontologies: A Silver Bullet for Knowledge Management and Electronic Commerce


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 August 2004


Mann, C.J.H. (2004), "Ontologies: A Silver Bullet for Knowledge Management and Electronic Commerce", Kybernetes, Vol. 33 No. 7. https://doi.org/10.1108/k.2004.06733gae.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Ontologies: A Silver Bullet for Knowledge Management and Electronic Commerce

Dieter FenselSpringer-VerlagBerlin, Heidelberg, New York2004i-x + 162 pp.ISBN 3-540-00302-9Hardcover 34.95 (net), £27.00, sFr 64.00, $34.95

This is the second edition of a book which has merited updating. It now has some structural improvements which include recent developments of the semantic web and also, what will be a popular addition, web-based standard languages.

Readers may recall previous reviews and that ontologies have been developed and investigated over the decades in studies in artificial intelligence (AI) to assist in knowledge sharing and its reuse. The publishers say that the:

  • ...broadened interest in ontologies is based on the feature that they provide a machine-processable semantics of information sources that can be communicated among agents as well as between software artifacts and humans. This feature makes ontologies the backbone technology of the next web generation, i.e. the Semantic Web. Ontologies are currently applied in areas such as knowledge management in large company-wide networks and call centers, and in B2C, B2G, and B2B electronic commerce. In a nutshell, ontologies enable effective and efficient access to heterogeneous and distributed information sources. Given the increasing amount of information available online, this kind of support is becoming more important day by day. The author systematically introduces the notion of ontologies to the non-expert reader and demonstrates in detail how to apply this conceptual framework for improved intranet retrieval of corporate information and knowledge and for enhanced Internet-based electronic commerce.

Since its first edition there has been more interest in ontologies particularly in fields such as information systems/retrieval, databases, intelligent information studies as well as in electronic commerce.

The book also describes ontology languages, in particular XML, RDF, and OWL. Dieter Fensel, the author from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, has also included notes on ontological tools and discusses some of the applications of ontologies (a full review of this text will be included in a coming issue of this journal.)

C.J.H. MannBook Reviews and Reports Editor