One tool to rule them all: ISI postdoctoral researcher’s ontology wizard wins best paper award

November 14, 2017

ISI postdoctoral researcher Daniel Garijo has received a Best Paper Award in the Resources Track at the 16th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) in Vienna, Austria.

The paper, "WIDOCO: A Wizard for Documenting Ontologies,” describes a new tool developed by Garijo to facilitate the creation of ontology documentation. A crucial but notoriously tedious process for ontology developers, documenting a single ontology can take several hours, or even days, depending on the complexity of its vocabulary.

After encountering this problem first-hand as a PhD student, Garijo started to work on a “one-stop shop” tool that he hoped would overcome the shortfalls of existing automated approaches.

 “I built this tool to make my life easier, but then I realized it could also make other people’s lives easier, too,” says Garijo, who joined ISI’s Interactive Knowledge Capture group, led by Yolanda Gil, after completing his PhD at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain.

 “I started with well-established tools and integrated them, so that instead of using five different tools, the wizard does everything in one step.”

WIDOCO was launched four years ago as a simple open-source wizard to help non-programmers document their ontologies. But due to popular demand, Garijo has progressively added new functionality, including new types of metadata, graphic visualizations and version changes. To date, WIDOCO has been used to document more than a hundred ontologies in different domains, ranging from earth sciences to bioinformatics.

“We are very proud of Daniel,” says Gil. “As conference participants were tweeting about the award, many commented about how useful this tool is for ontology developers.” 

The ISWC is the premier venue for presenting fundamental research, innovative technology, and applications concerning semantics, data, and the Web. The ISWC 2017 Resources Track aims to promote the sharing of quality resources that have contributed to the generation of novel scientific work.