CommerceNet in Palo Alto, CA, the industry
consortium for e-commerce companies, formed a strategic alliance with
Ontology.org, identifying knowledge architecture as a central issue for next-
generation Internet commerce.
Ontology.org, founded by Computer Sciences Corp. in May, is working with
CommerceNet to address “the formation and substainability of large Internet
trading groups.” Ontology is a word adopted by researchers in artificial
knowledge representation. It refers to the semantic information attached to
vocabulary and taxonomy, forming the building blocks from which domain models
can be constructed.
Standardization of business models, processes, and knowledge architecture are
critical to achieving the promised return on investment for Internet commerce.
practices vary widely and cannot always be aligned, Ontology.org said.
“One obvious solution is the adoption of common
standards for content and transactions, yet this is often difficult to
achieve, particularly in a cross-industry initiative, where companies (both)
cooperate and compete with one another,” said Howard Smith, director of
Ontology.org and a consultant in Computer Sciences’ e-business practice.
“Ontology.org is establishing the foundational building blocks of Internet
commerce where agreement can be reached, and creating the technical mechanisms
that enable trading partners to dynamically form higher level commercial
Internet agreements. In this way, Ontology.org can enrich and accelerate the
standards process and provide complementary solutions, building on the
existing body of research…in knowledge sharing, agent based architecture and
enterprise integration,” Smith said.
CommerceNet and Ontology.org will study the incorporation of ontology to XML-
based architectures in research projects and industrial pilots. Results will
be integrated with standardization efforts.
“Ontology will become
an increasingly important aspect of electronic commerce and has the potential
to dramatically expand the ability of the Internet to enable and support new
business models,” said Randall Whiting, President and CEO of CommerceNet.
“CommerceNet’s relationship with Ontology.Org will provide an
enormous resource to our members to better understand the role of knowledge in
interactive commercial relationships.”
Founded in May 1998, Ontology.org has established a steering group of leading
experts in the field of Ontology, XML and Internet commerce. Information about
the steering group is available here.