PCS2OWL: A Generic Approach for Deriving Web Ontologies from Product Classification Systems


The classification of products and services enables reliable and efficient electronic exchanges of product data across organizations. Many companies classify products (a) according to generic or industry specific product classification standards, or (b) by using proprietary category systems. Such classification systems often contain thousands of product classes that are updated over time. This implies a large quantity of useful product category information for e-commerce applications on the Web of Data. Thus, instead of building up product ontologies from scratch, which is costly, tedious, error-prone, and high-maintenance, it is generally easier to derive them from existing classifications. In this paper, we (1) describe a generic, semi-automated method for deriving OWL ontologies from product classification standards and proprietary category systems. Moreover, we (2) show that our approach generates logically and semantically correct vocabularies, and (3) present the practical benefit of our approach. The resulting product ontologies are compatible with the GoodRelations vocabulary for e-commerce and with schema.org and can be used to enrich product and offer descriptions on the Semantic Web with granular product type information from existing data sources.

Proceedings of the 11th Extended Semantic Web Conference, May 25-29, 2014, Anissaras/Hersonissou, Crete, Greece, pp. 644-658