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How, What and Why to test an ontology

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jennifer Warrender, Dr Phillip Lord



Ontology development relates to software development in that they both involve the production of formal computational knowledge. It is possible, therefore, that some of the techniques used in software engineering could also be used for ontologies; for example, in software engineering testing is a well-established process, and part of many different methodologies. The application of testing to ontologies, therefore, seems attractive. The Karyotype Ontology is developed using the novel Tawny-OWL library. This provides a fully programmatic environment for ontology development, which includes a complete test harness. In this paper, we describe how we have used this harness to build an extensive series of tests as well as used a commodity continuous integration system to link testing deeply into our development process; this environment, is applicable to any OWL ontology whether written using Tawny-OWL or not. Moreover, we present a novel analysis of our tests, introducing a new classification of what our different tests are. For each class of test, we describe why we use these tests, also by comparison to software tests. We believe that this systematic comparison between ontology and software development will help us move to a more agile form of ontology development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Warrender J, Lord P

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Bio-Ontologies

Year of Conference: 2015

Print publication date: 10/07/2015

Acceptance date: 26/05/2015

Date deposited: 14/12/2015