Learning context-sensitive domain ontologies from folksonomies: A cognitively motivated method

Raymond Y.K. Lau, J. Leon Zhao, Wenping Zhang, Yi Cai, Wai Ting Ngai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Ontology is the backbone of the Semantic Web, helping users search for relevant resources from the Web of linked data. The existing context-free mapping approach between tags and concepts fails to address the problems of social synonymy and social polysemy when ontologies are induced from folksonomies. The novel contributions of this paper are threefold. First, grounded in the cognitively motivated category utility measure, a novel basic-level concept mining algorithm is developed to construct semantically rich concept vectors to alleviate the problem of social synonymy. Second, contextual aspects of ontology learning are exploited via probabilistic topic modeling to address the problem of social polysemy. Third, a novel context-sensitive domain ontology learning algorithm that combines link-And content-based semantic analysis is developed to identify both taxonomic and associative relations among concepts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful research that exploits a cognitively motivated method to learn context-sensitive domain ontologies from folksonomies. By using the Open Directory Project ontology as a benchmark, we examined the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms based on social annotations crawled from three different folksonomy sites. Our experimental results show that the proposed ontology learning system significantly outperforms the best baseline system by 13083% in terms of taxonomic F-measure. The practical implication of our research is that high-quality ontologies are constructed with minimal human intervention to facilitate concept-driven retrieval of linked data and the knowledge-based interoperability among enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)561-578
Number of pages18
JournalINFORMS Journal on Computing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Folksonomies
  • Knowledge management
  • Machine learning
  • Ontology learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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