On January 26, our PhD candidate Valentina Ivanova defended successfully her thesis with the title “Fostering User Involvement in Ontology Alignment and Alignment Evaluation.”
This thesis focuses on supporting users during the cognitively intensive ontology alignment process and makes several contributions.
First, front- and back-end system features that foster user involvement during the alignment process were identified and their support has been investigated in existing systems Then this was further narrowed down to investigate features in connection to manual validation while also considering the level of user expertise by assessing the impact of user errors on alignments’ quality. As developing and aligning ontologies is an error-prone task, there is also an investigation on the benefits of the integration of ontology alignment and debugging.
Further, interactive comparative exploration and evaluation of multiple alignments at different levels of detail was enabled by developing a dedicated visual environment—Alignment Cubes—which allows for alignments’ evaluation even in the absence of reference alignments.
Finally, inspired by the latest technological advances three promising directions for the application of large, high-resolution displays in the field were identified: improving the navigation in the ontologies and their alignments, supporting reasoning and collaboration between users.
Valentina’s work on the thesis was supervised by Patrick Lambrix, and co-supervised by Nahid Shahmehri. The opponent was Fabien Gandon from INRIA, France. The examination committee consisted of Oscar Corcho from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Mathieu d’ Aquin from the National University of Ireland Galway and Claes Lundström from Sectra and Linköping University. Mattias Arvola from Linköping University was backup examination committee member.