Ontological definition

Christophe Roche
Table of contents

Today’s digital society has profoundly changed our working methods. It has paved the way for new data processing practices revolving around terminology: translation tools, semantic and multilingual search engines, knowledge management, digital libraries, specialized encyclopaedias, etc., all of which rely on terminology operationalization, i.e. a computational representation of their concept system. We should, indeed, not limit ourselves to processings – however complex – of the lexical dimension of terminology without also taking the terms’ meaning into account. Finding data thus, and increasingly so, goes beyond merely looking up key words, even linguistically and statistically related ones. This mass of information must imperatively be organized in relation to an external structure that is itself directly linked to the knowledge of the subject field. This applies both to the “semantic web” (Berners-Lee, Hendler, and Lassila 2001) and “semantic search engine” (Kiryakov et al. 2005).

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