A methodology for creating ontologies for engineering design

Saeema Ahmed, Sanghee Kim, Ken Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper describes a methodology for developing ontologies for engineering design. The methodology combines a number of methods from social science and computer science, together with taxonomies developed in the field of engineering design. A case study is used throughout the paper focusing upon the use of an ontology for searching, indexing and retrieving of engineering knowledge. An ontology for indexing design knowledge can assist the users to formulate their queries when searching for engineering design knowledge. The root concepts of the ontology were elicited from engineering designers during an empirical research study. These formed individual taxonomies within the ontology and were validated through indexing a set of ninety-two documents. Relationships between concepts are extracted as the ontology is populated with instances. The identified root concepts were found to be complete and sufficient for the purpose of indexing. A thesaurus and an automatic classification are being developed as a result of this evaluation. The methodology employed during the test case is presented in this paper. There are six separate stages, which are presented together with the research methods employed for each stage and the evaluation of each stage. The main contribution of this research is the development of a methodology to allow researchers and industry to create ontologies for their particular purpose and to develop a thesaurus for the terms within the ontology. The methodology is based upon empirical research and hence, focuses upon understanding a user´s domain models as opposed to extracting an ontology from documentation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2005
VolumeVolumen 3 / Part A & B
Place of PublicationLong Beach, CA
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
Publication date2005
ISBN (Print)0-7918-4740-3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference : Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Long Beach, CA, USA
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference : Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
CityLong Beach, CA, USA
Period01/01/2005 → …


  • ontologies
  • methodology

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