Conference paper Open Access

VoCol: An Agile Methodology and Environment for Collaborative Vocabulary Development

Petersen, Niklas; Halilaj, Lavdim; Lange, Christoph; Auer, Sören

Vocabularies typically reflect a consensus among experts in a
certain application domain. They are thus implemented in collaboration
of domain experts and knowledge engineers. Particularly the presence of
domain experts with little technical background requires a low-threshold
vocabulary engineering methodology. This methodology should be im-
plementable without dependencies on complex software components, it
should provide collaborators with comprehensible feedback on syntax
and semantics errors in a tight loop, and it should give access to a human-
readable presentation of the vocabulary. Inspired by agile software and
content development methodologies, we define the VoCol methodology
to address these requirements. We implemented a prototype based on a
loose coupling of validation and documentation generation components
on top of a standard Git repository. All of these components, even the
repository engine, can be exchanged with little effort. By evaluating the
usefulness of error feedback of different tools in the realistic setting of an
emerging mobility vocabulary we prove, however, that our choice of the
crucial validation component is workable.

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