A Library of Generic Concepts for Composing Knowledge Bases (2001)
Building a knowledge base for a specific domain traditionally involves a subject matter expert and a knowledge engineer. One of the goals of our research is to eliminate the knowledge engineer. There are at least two ways to accomplish this goal: train domain experts to write axioms (i.e., turn them into knowledge engineers) or create tools that allow users to build knowledge bases without having to write axioms. Our strategy is to create tools that allow users to build knowledge bases through instantiation and assembly of generic knowledge components from a small library. In many ways, creating such a library is like designing an ontology: What are the most general kinds of events and entities? How are these things related hierarchically? What is their meaning and how is it represented? The pressures of making the library usable by domain experts, however, leads to departures from the traditional ontology design goals of coverage, consensus and elegance. In this paper we describe our component library, a hierarchy of reusable, composable, domain-independent knowledge units. The library emphasizes coverage (what is an appropriate set of components for our task), access (how can a domain expert find appropriate components) and semantics (what knowledge and what kind of representation permit useful composition). We have begun building a library on these principles, influenced heavily by linguistic resources. In early evaluations we have put the library into the hands of domain experts (in Biology) having no experience with knowledge bases or knowledge acquisition.
In Proceedings of First International Conference on Knowledge Capture, pp. 14-21 2001.

Ken Barker Formerly affiliated Research Scientist kbarker [at] cs utexas edu
Peter Clark Formerly affiliated Research Scientist peterc [at] vulcan com
Bruce Porter Faculty porter [at] cs utexas edu