The 2nd European semantic technology conference in Vienna is a industry outreach conference, and the most business-near conference in this field in Europe. On the first day I entered the ontology engineering tutorial.
The first part tried to capture the business case for ontology engineering in enterprises through Enterprise Information Management. Unfortunately I was left with a Catch-22 feeling that we need large projects to get the real benefit from ontologies, and that no-one will take the risk of using fairly unproven technologies for larger projects. It is hard to see this talking off in the short term in the enterprise. One should IMO focus more on what you gain from adding some semantic web stuff into the enterprise fabrics, and where it is complementary.
Second part was a good walk through the various methodologies of ontology engineering also touching on ontologies build from wikis, games and tagging-approaches. Very interesting was also a framework for estimating the effort related to the building of an ontology. Basically it is a formula to evaluate the development cost given the size of the ontology, the domain complexity, development complexity, quality and personnel competencies. The Ontocom framework is proven to be within 30% accuracy in 80% of the cases. As an example ontology of 1000 concepts and properties it will take between 5 and 12 months depending on the other factors. The framework is based on lessons learned from 40 ontology projects and ongoing.
A fairly The opening keynote by DFKI however was all too scientific for this conference… really not what is needed at this kind of conference.