Tutorial given at ISWC 2014

Ontology matching: from mature technology to open horizons

Jérôme Euzenat (INRIA & Univ. Grenoble-Alpes)
Pavel Shvaiko (Informatica Trentina SpA)

Riva del Garda (Italy), October 19th, morning, 2014


Ontology matching is the task of finding relationships between different ontologies. In semantic web practice it is very important for mediating queries across data sources expressed in different ontologies or for interlinking open data, for instance. Ontology matching has benefited from years of very active research. The goal of this tutorial is to present ontology matching in an inclusive framework and to show by example how this is instantiated in tools for matching and manipulating alignments between ontologies. It also aims at presenting extensions of this framework towards more advanced questions (scalability, reasoning, involving other resources and people): these will also be discussed in a general way and illustrated on practical examples. This tutorial is targeted at people needing to involve ontology matching in their works, at practitioners who want to concretely learn how to start with ontology matching, and at students who are starting research involving ontology matching.


Since the tutorial we gave at ESWC 2005 which triggered the writing the first edition of our Ontology matching book, the discipline has both matured and generated new questions. It has matured in that there is a wide technology offer, easily interoperating, which makes ontology matching a practical activity for everyone. It also generated new questions in relation with new technology (crowdsourcing, gamification) and resources (linked data, networks of ontologies).

The goal of this tutorial is to present, in an organised manner, the basics of ontology matching. We will do it in an general way as well as by presenting how the general concepts are instantiated in tools that can be actionned in practice. Beyond basics, it will also introduce advanced topics that have already been exploited in the matching context.


It is organised around four slots of approximatively one hour each. We present these below.

  1. Introduction to ontology matching (45mn)
    We introduce the key concepts in ontology matching and show how they are put in application in specific use cases. We then illustrate ontology matching techniques organised in a general classification. This first component will provide a comprehensive general overview of the domain.
    1. Motivation
    2. General setting and basic definitions
    3. Use cases
    4. Classification of matching techniques
  2. Practical and methodological issues (45mn)
    Practical issues will provide more precise example of ontology matching technologies that may be actionned for practical use. This session considers a set of ontologies used in a particular domain and progressively builds a reasonable network of ontologies linked by alignments. Participants will apply a simple methodological approach to matching an existing set of ontologies. It goes step by step from assessing the available ontologies, providing first alignments, and refining them. It will also provide elements to evaluate both matchers and their results.
    1. Available matching resources
    2. Assembling a matcher
    3. Refining results
    4. Evaluation
  3. Advanced topics on ontology matching (45mn)
    We aim at showing that, beside being undergoing active research, there are already fruitful technologies that may be applied in specific conditions.
    1. Matching very large ontologies
    2. Matching and reasoning (semantics, repair)
    3. Context-based matching
    4. Ontology matching and linked open data
    5. Crowd-based matching and other social issues
  4. Advanced technology in practice (45mn)
    The last session will continue the practical session. It shows how alignments may be tested for consistenct and repaired with semantic techniques and how the resulting network can be published and accessed through REST services. It will then demonstrate how such networks of ontologies may be exploited for mediating queries across sources.
    1. Reasoning with alignments and repair
    2. Publishing network of ontologies and REST access to alignments
    3. Query mediation with alignments




The tutorial is designed with three types of participants in mind:


As can be seen on the program, we plan to run parts of the tutorial as hands-on sessions. This aims at showing that there are tools which make ontology matching really easy nowadays.

Nothing is compulsory, either for on-site participation or for preparation. However, the more prepared you are the most you will get out of the tutorial. Our advice is: go as far as you can, then try again the next bit, and come to the tutorial from that point.

For this, we need some preparation:

  1. Bring your laptop

  2. Download the material before the tutorial.

  3. Here is a description of the hands-on session that you may want to save as well.

To prepare yourself, you can additionally, familiarise yourself with existing tutorial for the current version of the Alignment API.


We assume that students will bring their computers with them and are able to compile and run Java programs.


The tutorial is based on the second edition of the Ontology matching book and extra practical material which will be included in the Alignment API tutorial.

The slides handouts can be found here


Jérôme Euzenat (INRIA & Univ. Grenoble-Alpes)
Jérôme Euzenat is senior research scientist at INRIA (Montbonnot, France). He holds a PhD (1990) and a habilitation (1999) in computer science, both from the University of Grenoble. Before joining INRIA he has worked for Cognitech, Bull and Ilog. He has contributed to reasoning maintenance systems, object-based knowledge representation, symbolic temporal granularity, collaborative knowledge base construction, multimedia document adaptation and semantic web technologies. His all time interests are tied to the relationships holding between various representations of the same situation. Dr Euzenat has set up and leads the INRIA Exmo team devoted to ``Computer-mediated communication of structured knowledge''.
Pavel Shvaiko PhD (Informatica Trentina SpA)
Pavel Shvaiko is a programme manager, head of the culture & tourism area at Informatica Trentina. He has provided various consulting services, co-authored and co-edited a number of books, contributed to, and published in various international journals and conferences in the fields of Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence, Information Systems, etc. He coordinated/participated in diverse European, national, industrial projects (e.g., Vivi Fiemme or Your Trentino, which provide a mobile platform for an enhanced tourist experience in the context of big events, such as World Nordic Ski championship of 2013 or Winter Universiade 2013). Pavel's specialties include strategic consulting, innovation management, research and business development with topics involving semantic heterogeneity management.
Both presenters played a leading role in the definition and development of the ontology matching field. They are the authors of the well-known Ontology matching book. They have already given tutorials on the topic, either together (ESWC 2005) or independently (European Summer School on Ontology Engineering and the Semantic Web, Italian Semantic Web Workshop). Jérôme Euzenat is teaching a course on semantic web foundations every year at the university of Grenoble.


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