Ontologies in Automation


Author: Rainer Müller
Supervisor: Wolfgang Kastner
Type: Master Thesis
Finished: 2008-01-14


Semantic Web techniques have been proven to be an efficient method of storing information in various application areas. The intention is to enable automated processing, without the necessity of human interaction. Furthermore, semantically enriched data provides a greater flexibility due to its networked structure. In addition to this, a knowledge base (ontology) can be deployed in different ways. For example, an ontology that provides data for a web-shop, may also be integrated in industrial automation devices in order to automate communication. The increasing tool support makes it possible to develop ontologies, even without having detailed knowledge about the underlying techniques. Data visualization tools help to keep track of the inherent complexity of Semantic Web documents.

This thesis starts with a brief overview about the Semantic Web Vision, followed by an introduction into the basic ingredients and common design issues of ontologies. Afterwards, RDF, RDFS and OWL are discussed in detail. Next, different approaches for the use of ontologies in industrial automation devices are presented. Finally, the integration of an ontology into an existing engineering tool is shown.

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