Ontology in Information Science

Ontology in information science: What is mean, Mathematics, Example, Process, who made Ontology in Information Science. Ontology is business research that can be explained as “the science or study of being”.

It deals with the nature of reality. Ontology refers to a system of belief that reflects an interpretation of an individual’s accounts of a fact. Simply, we can define ontology as the study associated with what we consider as reality.

Ontology in information science: What is mean, Mathematics, Example, Process, who made Ontology in Information Science
Ontology in information science: What is mean, Mathematics, Example, Process, who made Ontology in Information Science

Ontology relates to the main question of whether social entities should be perceived as objective or subjective. I explain in different words it means that whether the actions and perception of social actors create social phenomena or the world is external to the social world.

Subjectivism recognizes that social phenomena are developed from the perspective and consequent actions of social actors related to their existence. Subjectivism is also known as constructionism and can also be defined as an ontological position that is in use for asserting that social phenomena and their meanings are continually being skilled by these social actors.

On the contrary, Objectivism portrays the concept that social entities exist in reality external to social actors perturbed with their existence. Objectivism has the opposite belief if compared to subjectivism as it holds the belief that social phenomena and their meaning exist without any dependence on social actors.

What does it mean?

Ontology encompasses a formal naming, representation, properties, categories, and relations between the concepts, data, and entities of both computer science and information science.

Ontology in information science means to show the properties of a subject area and see how they are related with the help of defining a set of concepts and categories representing the subject matter.

Ontologies are used in information science, artificial intelligence, software engineering, library science, biomedical informatics, the Semantic web, and information architecture for the knowledge representation about the world and some parts of it.

Another way of defining ontology is that it is the description of things in the world. Moving to Ontology in Information Science means that ontology relates to an engineering artifact composed of a specific vocabulary for the description of a certain reality. Ontologies have been proposed for the validation of both conceptual schemas and conceptual models.

Firstly, Ontology was used in philosophy for an overall description of Information Science but now there exists a difference between Ontologies of Information systems and Ontologies for Information systems. All three concepts hold importance in Information Science.


Ontologies are coded by using ontology languages. It includes different elements, individuals, relationships, attributes, and classes and all these constitute the mathematics of Ontology in Information science.

The representative primitives of Ontology are a domain of knowledge and discourse including set, properties, and the relations among the class members. You should learn about all of them to get a better understanding of the mathematics of Ontology in Information Science.


There are many structural similarities between contemporary ontologies regardless of the language in which they are explained. Most of the ontologies are in common use for the description of concepts, instances, relations, and attributes.


Individuals or instances are regarded as ground-level components of Ontology. These individuals in an ontology may include concrete objects that include animals, tables, molecules, planets, automobiles, people, planets along with abstract individuals such as words and numbers.

One of the general needs of ontology is to classify the individuals even if they are not the explicit part of the ontology.


Objects in Ontology can be described by using the attributes assigned to them. Each attribute has a name and value at least and attributes are used to store information that has a specific connection with the object. Interesting to know about the value of attribute; it is a complex data type and not a single value.


One of the important uses of attributes is to describe the relationship between ontology and objects. Commonly, the relationship itself is an attribute whose value is another object in the ontology. For instance, we are studying Ford Explorer and Ford Bronco, then Ford Bronco might have the following attributes.

Successor: The successor tells us that Bronco was replaced by the model Explorer. Ontologies’ most of the power comes from their ability to describe these different relations and when combined they describe the semantics of the domain.


The word classes which have many different synonyms such as type, category, kind, sort all these are abstract groups, collection of objects, and called sets too. They may also comprise individuals or other classes except for individuals or a combination of both.

For instance,

  • Person, the class of people.
  • Cars, the class of all cars.
  • Thing, the class of all things.
  • Number, the class of all numbers.
  • Molecules are the class of all molecules.


There are different examples of Ontology of which you might be aware. This world too has different meanings from each individual’s perspective. An ontology about the domain of computer hardware would amount to the video card or punched card meaning. Similarly, an ontology about poker would direct towards playing cards.

An example of Ontology that the class of doctors understands with clear meaning is the establishment of different categories by a physician for a better understanding of various things and how they fit together in a broader world.

Examples of ontology exist too for usage in the engineering world. A great number of engineering equipment and software have been invented to date for the solution of specified tasks of different types. But these equipment and software are either very expensive or much closed.

Some examples of ontologies include large reference hierarchies that are in common use as far as domain is concerned such as an ontology of electronic medical-record models to a system that may include a classification of different viruses.


In Philosophy, the process of ontology is related to a universal model of the world as an ordered wholeness. Such ontologies are called fundamental ontologies if compared to applied ontologies. Fundamental ontologies are in the form of a design pattern that can help explain empirical phenomena and can be put together consistently. It does not claim to be accessible by any empirical proof in itself.

In Western History, fundamental ontologies are named substance theory. The awareness and use of fundamental ontology are increasing rapidly because of the discovery of the foundation of physics. The development of basic concepts has made us capable of integrating into such boundaries as energy, objects, and the dimensions of time and space.

In Information Science the process of Ontology means the description of components and their relationships that are combined to make a process. A formal process of ontology is about the knowledge of ontology in the domain of process. Mostly, the ontologies gain the advantage of an upper ontology.

Who made Ontology in Information Science?

The term Ontology was first coined in 1613 by two philosophers independently Jacob Lorhard and Lexicon philosophicum. And in the early 20th century the term Ontology was used by the German founder of phenomenology Edmund Husserl.

Let’s have a look at the historical background of Ontology too. The term “Ontology” was derived from the field of philosophy and is concerned with the study of existence. In philosophy, Ontology can be regarded as the theory of nature of existence.

Moreover, moving to Computer and Information Science, Ontology is a technical term signifying an artifact that is planned for a purpose which is to allow the knowledge of some domain, imagined or real.

The term ontology is also adopted by artificial intelligence researchers who used this term to recognize the ability to work from mathematical logic. Artificial Intelligence also argued that new ontologies could be created in the form of computational models enabling certain kinds of automated reasoning.

In the early 1990s efforts were made to create an interoperability standard for the identification of technology stack that termed ontology layer as a standard component of knowledge system. In the case of widely cited web pages and papers, these papers define ontology as the explicit specification of conceptualization.

Much debate has been done regarding the specific terms and concepts of ontology and objections have been raised against the definition.

Among them, one objection is that the definition of ontology is broadly categorized allowing a great range of specifications to be folded in it ranging from simple glossaries and logical theories. But it is true for complex data models, for instance, a relation between a table and column for any data is a relational data model.

Viewing a more practical explanation of ontology, one can define it as a product and tool of engineering and is in its use. From this point of view, the important matter is that Ontology is the basis that provides the representational machinery with domain knowledge bases in use for making queries to knowledge-based services and marking the result of such services.

The ontology must be formulated in a specified language or it can be at the semantic level of specification. Unlike conventional database models, it is independent of data modeling implementations and strategies.

I hope you will read it with great interest as a new topic Ontology in Information Science has been closed in a nutshell.

Read also: Ontology of education; Ontology in medicine and nursing

External resource: Wikipedia

This post is also available in: English Français (French) Deutsch (German) Dansk (Danish) Nederlands (Dutch) Svenska (Swedish)