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My major research interest is Semantics in Business Information Systems, especially the use of ontologies for advancement in the automation of all steps in the life-cycle of business processes. Ontologies in my understanding are community contracts about a representation of a domain of discourse. Representation in here includes (1) formal parts that can be used for machine reasoning, and (2) informal parts like natural language descriptions and multimedia elements that help humans establish, maintain, and renew consensus about the meaning of concepts. In my opinion, both aspects of ontologies are equally important, and I watch the current dominance of the formal aspects of ontologies in academic research with unease.
My contributions address the following two main dimensions of using ontologies for business information systems:
Maturing Semantic Web foundations, so that they become compatible with the real world complexity and scale. This includes four main areas of research:
- Ontology engineering,
- Community-driven ontology building,
- Economic aspects of ontology building and usage, and
- Ontology Management Systems (OMS).
Applying Semantic Web technology to core challenges of Information Systems in order to realize and evaluate the business benefit, and to identify the open research challenges. I currently focus on three specific application domains:
- Semantics-supported Business Process Management,
- Semantic Web services, especially WSMO/WSML/WSMX, and
- Electronic Markets and Electronic Procurement.
Check also: http://www.heppnetz.de/