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Dave McComb, Instructor - Designing & Building Business Ontologies

Dave McComb

President of Semantic Arts, Dave has been successfully leading software development, planning, and review projects for nearly 30 years. Inventor on four patents in the area of Model Driven Development, and author of "Semantics In Business Systems."
Dan Carey, Instructor - Designing & Building Business Ontologies

Dan Carey

Dan is an ontologist and data architect with 30 years of consulting experience, 25 of it designing databases, data models, and data strategies with major IT service firms. He has worked primarily for government clients at the federal, state, and local levels. Most recently, he has designed semantic technology products in OWL and RDF to assist in military human resources management, and data exchange standards in OWL and XSD. He holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Physics from Georgia Tech.
Michael Uschold, Instructor - Designing & Building Business Ontologies

Michael Uschold

Michael Uschold pioneered the field of ontology engineering, co-authoring the first paper and giving the first tutorial on the topic in 1995 (in London). He is a frequent invited speaker and panelist at national and international events, and serves on the editorial board of the Applied Ontology Journal. As a research scientist at Boeing from 1997-2008 he defined, led and participated in numerous projects applying semantic technology to enterprise challenges.

Instructors: Dave McComb,  Dan Carey,  Michael Uschold

Learn to create semantic models for enterprise class applications.

  • On-site 4 day Hands-on training (ask us about our bulk discounts)
  • Learn about building ontologies and leveraging semantic technology in your organization.
  • Taught by a stellar team of instructors who are pioneers in the field of Ontology, invited  speakers, and authors of several books and papers.

Course Description

A “Business Ontology” defines a common set of unambiguous concepts, that are central to your business. Getting everyone on the same page improves search and facilitates harmonization of data repositories. Complexity is greatly reduced, allowing for more flexible evolution of enterprise systems. Designing and Building Business Ontologies will help give you the edge you need to transform your information systems. Does this sound like you? - My information systems are bogged down and I’m not sure which way to turn. - I get that semantic technology can help, but don’t know how to proceed. - What’s the big deal about triples and linked data? - What’s the difference between an ontology and a data model? - How can I use OWL, if I am used to object-oriented modeling? - I’m digging the ideas about logic &inference, but don’t know how it works. - I know the basics of OWL, but I want more advanced material. - I want to build industry-strength ontologies. - I like to have FUN while I learn. This course is far more than learning the syntax of the Semantic Web or how to use tools to implement semantic based systems (although it certainly does cover both of those). This course is about learning how to think and design in semantics. We have been continually evolving this course over the ten years we have been teaching it. We are always adding new technologies and new techniques to the course. Over the course of time we’ve learned how students learn this new material and have continued to adopt the course materials. ***Discounts are available for bulk registration. Please inquire for details.***

What am I going to get from this course?

You will be able to: 

  • Describe where semantic technology has made a difference in industry today.
  • Identify opportunities and challenges in your organization that can be addressed by semantic technology.  
  • Continue your education by self-learning.
  • Evangelize the importance of joining the data-centric revolution.
Semantic Technology:
  • Understand and describe the advantages of a graph database over traditional relational databases, with reference to URIs and triples.
  • Understand  and describe the importance of having an enterprise ontology in the organization, and why it should be based on an upper ontology.
  • Explore publicly available ontologies and triple stores from SPARQL endpoints. 
  • Represent and query knowledge and data in a triple store using OWL, RDF & SPARQL.
  • Leverage the benefits of having the schema and the data in the same store.
  • Extract data from a relational database in the form of triples using the W3C standard mapping languaage: R2RML. 
  • Use RDF Shapes (SHACL) to manage constraints on how the ontology may be used in an application.
Ontology Engineering:
  • Use modern software tools to build and leverage core components of enterprise ontologies using a proven method based on using gist, an upper enterprise ontology. 
  • Avoid common errors that result in overly complex ontologies.  This entails   judicious choices of when to create new classes and properties. 
  • Build an ontology that is both a conceptual model of the subject area as well as being directly usable as a data schema in a triple store. 
  • Divide up an ontology into modules using the ontology import mechanism.
  • Understand how inference is used for represented enterprise knowledge and also how it can be used to help debug your ontology.

Prerequisites and Target Audience

What will students need to know or do before starting this course?

Participants should be able to think logically. There are no other pre-requisites, though some modeling experience will be helpful.  Participants who sign up will receive instructions before the course.

Who should take this course? Who should not?

The primary target audience is modelers and other technologists who want to build OWL ontologies and leverage semantic technology in enterprise and government settings, which may include:
  • Aspiring modelers with minimal experience, but who are logical thinkers.
  • Data modelers and object modelers wishing to learn how to create ontologies.
  • Librarians and taxonomists who want to know how ontology can augment what they are already doing.
  • Technically-oriented/interested manager who wants to know what semantic technology is about, how  it may fit into their organization, and to better manage their technical people.
With the exception of day 1, this is a very hands-on course, which may not appeal to those with a limited interest in technical depth.


Module 1: Semantic Technology: What is it? What is it good for?

Lecture 1 Introduction to Key Concepts

The first day is lecture based and covers all the key concepts without getting bogged down in the details. This is appropriate for those who may not be using the technology on a day to day basis but who want to understand how it works and its potential. As such we are allowing each registered student to invite one colleague to the first day as a guest

Module 2: Working with Triples: Hands on with Graph Databases, triple stores, and queries

Lecture 2 Learn by Doing

This is hands on, where we learn by doing, what is a graph database, what is a URI, what is a triple, how do we represent knowledge in a triple store? We will cover RDF, SPARQL and the Linked Open Data Cloud.

Module 3: Semantic Meta Data: Classes, Restrictions and the Open World

Lecture 3 Semantic Meta Data

We cover a lot of ground on this day, focusing on how classes are similar but different than they are in traditional technology. We cover how inference really works and what formal representation is all about. You will have an introduction to Description Logics, the underpinning of OWL. We cover the 20% of the OWL and RDFS spec that you will use on a day to day basis and point out the traps in the other 80% should you subsequently go there.

Module 4: Ontology Design and Semantic Architecture

Lecture 4 Wrap-up

On the last day we put it all together and cover pragmatic considerations of implementing this technology including such topics as: ontology modularization, use of upper ontologies, methodology for enterprise ontology development, semantic rules (what are they, when to use them), how to incorporate taxonomies into an ontology design, how to use RDFShapes for constraint management. We work through an example of extracting data from a relational database using R2RML. Finally, we will show how semantic technology will play a key part in the upcoming Data Centric Revolution.


6 Reviews

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Yasin K

December, 2016

I have been modeling for 30 years and with this class, I have gained a deeper understanding of ontology and its practice. The course has also provided me with an excellent perspective of usage for business practice.

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Kai N

December, 2016

There is no other place to get the big picture of using and developing ontologies. After years of detailed modeling, this course brought major concepts together. The instructors are masters! Kudos!

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Ravi M

July, 2017

I was able to understand more refined and practical business ontologies. A good course that helped correct my inclination and knowledge with semantics.

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Ariff Y

July, 2017

This course is about discovering how to plan in semantics. The instructor organizes the course in the way that is considerably better than studying the language of the Semantic or how to take advantage of tools to achieve linguistic bound processes.

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Rachel M

July, 2017

The hands-on teaching is intense and focused. The guides had wonderful semantic models for enterprise class applications which was incredibly helpful. I enjoyed studying and constructing ontologies and get ready for a special occupation path or discovery.

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Mounika K

July, 2017

Thanks to this instructor, I reasonably understand ontologies. I wanted to update my knowledge practices, and this course prepared me well. An amateur can readily make sense of how semantics can help and understand how to move with this training.