Ontologies - Introduction and practical approach to textile engineering
Authors: Leon Reinsch, Christoph Greb, Thomas Gries
Abstract: Ontologies and Semantic Web technologies offer great potential for interoperability of production processes, yet they still lack awareness in the textile industry. Successful examples of ontology-based approaches already display benefits but the implementation requires the contribution of knowledge engineers and expert domain knowledge. Currently textile domain experts often lack the informational basis to identify application scenarios. Textile engineering is predominantly characterized by experience-based approaches and tacit knowledge in specialized application domains. Ontologies serve as an approach for the formalization of knowledge in human and machine-readable form. This paper aims to convey ontology-based approaches in textile production technology and delineate additional application fields.Based on the research done by Lipp et al and Brillowski et al, this paper rests on three hypotheses:•Potential fields of application of ontologies in the textile industry are largely unused•This is due to lacking awareness and unclear benefits•Availability of textile domain knowledge and the kind of tacit knowledge make ontology-based approaches particularly complexTo evaluate the penetration of ontologies and their potential applications in textile engineering, existing applications from literature are classified. A narrative review is conducted and application fields are classified based on the suggested by Lipp et al. A comprehensible explanation for the target group of textile practitioners and scientists, a description of central concepts and an explanation with the help of target group oriented analogies are given. Finally, the suitability of the application area is analyzed by matching the requirements, prerequisites and limitations of ontologies with the current and envisioned characteristics of textile knowledge and interoperability industrial cross company cooperation and interoperability.The results show that current examples in textile production are mainly focused on vocabularies for human-readable communication rather than technical interoperability. Examples from manufacturing technology are well suited to be adapted for the field of textile production. This paper presents a basis for decision making on where to apply ontology-based approaches within individual production environments. Limitations are identified in circumstances, where quality-relevant decisions and experienced-based approaches are at play. The benefits of ontologies are delineated, as economic gain is a necessary prerequisite. The need for interdisciplinary cooperation and a growing amount of knowledge to be organized from the field of textile technology, related industries and science disciplines are identified as important challenges that require innovative new approaches. The need for knowledge management to foster interdisciplinary cooperation is the main target for the advancement of ontology technologies. The digitalization of these kinds of resources is the first step in this process and the ontology-based formalization is a useful next step.
Keywords: Knowledge Management, Interoperability, Ontology
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