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Research Projects

Current Projects


GoodRelations: An ontology for linking product descriptions and business entities on the Web

A promising application domain for Semantic Web technology is the annotation of products and services offerings on the Web so that consumers and enterprises can search for suitable suppliers using products and services ontologies. While there has been substantial progress in developing ontologies for types of products and services, namely eClassOWL, this alone does not provide the representational means required for e-commerce on the Semantic Web. Particularly missing is an ontology that allows describing the relationships between Web resources and offerings made by means of those Web resources.

The GoodRelations ontology provides the vocabulary for annotating e-commerce offerings (1) to sell, lease, repair, dispose, and maintain commodity products and (2) to provide commodity services. GoodRelations allows describing the relationship between (1) Web resources, (2) offerings made by those Web resources, (3) legal entities, (4) prices, (5) terms and conditions, and the aforementioned ontologies for products and services (6).

Project Web site:
Funded by: FIT-IT Semantic Systems, University of Innsbruck, Florida Gulf Coast University, Bundeswehr University Munich

Completed Projects


Intelligent Match: Intelligent Business Matchmaking for Specific Goods with Linked Open Data

In this project, we work on the technological foundations and a prototype for better precision and a higher degree of automation of business matchmaking for specific goods, based on the GoodRelations ontology and Semantic Web components.

Consortium: intelligent views Gmbh, Universität der Bundeswehr München
Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger, Alex Stolz, Uwe Stoll
Project Web site:
Funded by: BMBF


OPDM: Ontology-based Product Data Management

The main objective of OPDM project is to develop an application that can be integrated into existing shop systems, product information systems, and third party applications and is able to handle product data based on individual domain ontologies. Applications that will use OPDM as “data middleware” will be able to participate within Semantic Web-based e-commerce scenarios immediately, without having to develop individual add-ons or extensions for their application systems.

Consortium: Universität der Bundeswehr München - Smart Information Systems GmbH - Intershop Communications AG - The Bakery - TIE Holding - University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
Team: Martin Hepp, Bene Rodriguez, Laszlo Török
Project Web site:
Funded by: Eurostars (within the EU 7th Framework Program)

Data Quality Management with SPARQL

In this project, we develop a RDF/SPARQL-based environment for defining and executing data quality rules over broadly distributed, heterogeneous data sources.

Consortium: Zentrum für Transformation der Bundeswehr, Universität der Bundeswehr München
Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger, Ugur Uysal, Markus Wischnewski
Project Web site: not available
Funded by: Zentrum für Transformation der Bundeswehr


BauDataWeb: The European Building and Construction Materials Database for the Semantic Web

With this project, we expose a major dataset of the European building and construction materials market for the Semantic Web on the basis of the GoodRelations Web Vocabulary for E-Commerce. This allows for the fine-grained search for products, suppliers, and warehouses for any building-related sourcing needs.

BauDataWeb is one of the largest and richest public datasets for a well-defined vertical sector that is available on the Semantic Web. It covers a major share of the European market.


Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger, Otto Handle
Project Web site:
Funded by: Austrian FFG

SWEEP: Semantic Web Environment for Electronic Procurement

One core task in using the Web for E-Commerce applications is the search for suitable suppliers. Unfortunately, using traditional search engines like Google for discovering suitable offerings is unsatisfying. In this project, we are developing a comprehensive framework and reference implementation for electronic procurement on the basis of Semantic Web technology. This includes a set of ontologies, tools for the annotation of existing Web offerings, and infrastructure for the accelerating the maintenance of products and services vocabularies.

Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger
Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems, University of Innsbruck, Florida Gulf Coast University



eClassOWL: The first real ontology for products and services

Products and services categorization standards (PSCS), like UNSPSC, eCl@ss, eOTD, or the RosettaNet Technical Dictionary (RNTD) form a valuable set of concepts from the product and services domain and reflect some degree of consensus. They are thus a promising foundation for the creation of products and services ontologies. Existing approaches for this task, however, do neither properly reflect the specific semantics of the respective categorization standards, nor do they sufficiently address the high versioning dynamics due to product innovation. In this project we are developing a comprehensive approach for the proper reuse of such standards in product ontologies and are continously releasing current OWL DLP/Lite versions of eCl@ss

Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger
Project Web site:
Funded by: University of Innsbruck, Florida Gulf Coast University, Bundeswehr University Munich


GoodRelations Annotator: Online Annotation Tool

We are working on a tool that helps operators of small Web shops generating GoodRelations-compliant annotations of their offerings.

Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems, Bundeswehr University Munich



myClassify: Open-Source API for the classification of product data using machine-learning

A recurring task in managing catalogs and other data of Web offerings is the proper classification of individual products according to a given hierarchy. myClassify is an open-source API that implements standard machine-learning algorithms for the classification of product descriptions.

Project Web site:
Funded by: University of Innsbruck



myOntology: Open Ontology Environment for Semantic Web-based E-Commerce

One paramount problem for E-Commerce solutions based on Semantic Web technology is the lack of high-quality ontologies for products and services, in particular such that are up-to-date. In the myOntology project, we use the infrastructure and culture of Wikis as an ontology workbench that fosters true collaborative, community-driven ontology creation and maintenance in the products and services domain, and establish a standardized framework for ontology-based products and services description for E-Commerce applications.

Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems



unspscOWL: An OWL Ontology based on the UNSPSC products and services classification

By applying the GenTax algorithm (see below), we have derived a consistent OWL ontology from the United Nations Standard Products and Services Classification (UNSPSC).

Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems


Semantic Business Process Management Research

There is now a renewed and growing interest in exploiting ontologies, of varying expressiveness and focus, for advancing the state of the art in business process management, in particular in ERP-centric IT landscapes. The term “Semantic Business Process Management” has been suggested for the described branch of research in an early 2005 paper, which is now frequently cited as the first description of the overall vision. A flagship activity in the field is the European research project “SUPER”, with more than a dozen premier industrial and academic partners, among them SAP, IDS Scheer, and IBM.

Project Web site:
Funded by: European Commission FP6 and FP7



ontoNaviERP: Ontology-supported Navigation in ERP Software Documentation

The documentation of Enterprise Research Planning (ERP) systems is usually (1) extremely large and (2) combines various views from the business and the technical implementation perspective. Also, a very specific vocabulary has evolved, in particular in the SAP domain (e.g. SAP Solution Maps or SAP software module names). This vocabulary is not clearly mapped to business management terminology and concepts. In this project, we evaluate the use of ontologies and automatic annotation of such large HTML software documentation in order to improve the usability and accessibility, namely of ERP help files.

Project Web site:
Funded by: University of Innsbruck, Bundeswehr University Munich


GenTax: A Generic Algorithm for Deriving Consistent OWL and RDF-S Ontologies from Taxonomies, Thesauri, and Classifications

Hierarchical classifications are likely the largest asset we can exploit for building domain ontologies for the Semantic Web. Unfortunately, they mostly suffer from numerous conceptual inconsistencies, in particular regarding the semantics of the hierarchy relation, which makes deriving OWL ontologies a non-trivial task. The GenTax algorithms uses a straightforward heuristic in combination with random samples in order to produce consistent, lightweight ontologies from hierarchical classifications with minimal human intervention.

Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems; European Commission, 6th Framework Programme


OntoSpend: A Prototype for Ontology Based Spend Analysis

In this project, we evaluate the usage of ontologies for improved spend analysis.

Project Web site:
Funded by: University of Innsbruck and Bundeswehr University Munich


OntoGame: Weaving the Semantic Web by Online Games

Despite significant advancement in technology and tools, building ontologies, annotating data, and aligning multiple ontologies remain tasks that highly depend on human intelligence, both as a source of domain expertise and for making conceptual choices. This means that people need to contribute time, and sometimes other resources, to this endeavor.

As a novel solution, we have proposed to masquerade core tasks of weaving the Semantic Web behind on-line, multi-player game scenarios, in order to create proper incentives for humans to contribute. Doing so, we adopt the findings from the already famous ?games with a purpose? by von Ahn, who has shown that presenting a useful task, which requires human intelligence, in the form of an on-line game can motivate a large amount of people to work heavily on this task, and this for free.

Project Web site:
Funded by: FFG/BMVIT FIT-IT Semantic Systems



SKOS2GenTax: Online tool for deriving OWL ontologies from SKOS categorization schemas

While there exists numerous hierarchical classifications for many domains of interest, the number of respective domain ontologies in OWL or RDF-S is still limited. Such classifications can be reused for building respective ontologies, but this process is not as trivial as one may assume. We have developed a generic algorithm and online tool that can convert hierarchical classifications available in the W3C SKOS format into consistent OWL DLP / Lite ontologies.

Team: Martin Hepp, Andreas Radinger
Project Web site:
Funded by: University of Innsbruck and Bundeswehr University Munich

For a list of all past projects by Martin Hepp, see